Restaurants Close, Sales Slide at Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday lost nearly $40 million and closed 95 restaurants in the fiscal first quarter of 2017, the restaurant reported Friday.

Since the first quarter of last year, Ruby Tuesday has closed 109 company-owned restaurants and seen its revenue fall by 8.2 percent to $256.7 million.

Same-restaurant sales declined 2.7 percent compared to a 0.6 percent increase last year.

Lane Cardwell, interim president and CEO, says in a statement that the company plans to drive traffic through the strategies of its new Fresh Start initiatives, including a “Fresh New Menu, Fresh New Garden Bar, and Fresh Experience.”

“We are focused on showcasing the affordability and value that Ruby Tuesday offers through a redesign of our core menu,” Cardwell says. “Our team has never been more excited and focused on the plan ahead. We are moving with greater urgency to change the trajectory of our business through a renewed focus on our guests.”

Including fast casual Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Ruby Tuesday had 761 restaurants system wide at the close of the first quarter last year. That number is down to 616 with Ruby Tuesday retaining one Lime Fresh restaurant, 50 international franchised Ruby Tuesday units, 18 domestic franchised units, and 547 company owned units.

The company recently sold its 40,000 square-foot Maryville, Tennessee property for $2.8 million as it plans to consolidate its Restaurant Support Center by the end of January.

The $39.7 million loss comprised 15.5 percent of Ruby Tuesday’s overall revenue, compared to a $4.2 million loss at 1.5 percent of overall revenue last year.

Administrative costs, such as closures and impairments, drove up Ruby Tuesday expenses in the quarter from $2.7 million to $30.2 million.

The company had $449 million in total liabilities and $369 million in shareholders’ equity, with $818 million in total assets.

By Alex Dixon

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.