Harmon, the recently hired CMO who is based in Maryville, Tennessee, was candid that Ruby Tuesday, over the last five to seven years, changed its strategy a number of times. That’s not uncommon in this competitive set. Now, however, its strategy focuses on “everyday value, with really delicious food that can set us apart, familiar food with a twist, but not unusual. We give them an excellent experience in a comfortable environment,” she says.
She describes Ruby Tuesday’s target audience as “an everyday person, salt of the earth, middle-class, comfortable with who they are, and wants to feel like they belong, and wants a fair price for a good meal.”
In the coming days, when many children are returning to school and parents will be hard-pressed for time, Ruby Tuesday is launching a new promotion that highlights its value meal of crunchy chicken or burger with fries for $8, and with the unlimited garden salad for $4 extra, at lunch or dinner. “That’s very competitive with fast casual, and competitive with most casual-dining restaurants,” she says.
Knowing that millennials and other customers want their food quickly, Ruby Tuesday introduced third-party delivery through DoorDash and Grubhub.
“You can order your food to go and pick it up on the way home including the garden salad,” Harmon says.
Its new owner, NRD Capital Management, “is aligned with everything we’re working on here with marketing and the executive team,” Harmon adds.
Ruby Tuesday’s goal is to present “very flavorful products they can’t get in other places, consistent service that’s warm and friendly, a place they can linger, with a comfortable environment,” she says.
Ruby Tuesday is inviting the people back who loved it in the past and hoping they’ll return to test out its new menu and salads.
Two years from today, Harmon's goal is to see “same-store comparable sales increase, the very loyal fan base continue to grow, and to know we’re a huge part of the communities we serve.”
Bottom-line, Reinstein says, is “if you take great care of the customer and execute,” a chain could build its base and take market share away from competitors. Even with many retail shops closing, some specialty stores are expanding, not declining, he notes.