Wednesday, October 14, 2020

[UPDATE] Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, Restaurant Chain "Rejects" Nearly 200 Leases

Ruby Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week and has announced plans to "reject" 185 leases which include both restaurants that have already closed as well as others it plans to shutter.  According to published reports, prior to the pandemic, the Maryville, Tennessee company had 236 restaurants in 25 states.  

In Georgia, Ruby Tuesday plans to reject the leases of a total of seven locations including one in metro Atlanta on North Point Drive in Alpharetta.  The other six rejected leases in Georgia are for those restaurants in Brunswick, Commerce, Dawsonville, Fayetteville, Newnan and Thomasville.  All of the aforementioned restaurants have already closed, including the Alpharetta and Newnan locations which closed in 2018.  The Newnan restaurant - at 1120 Bullsboro Drive - reopened earlier this year as The Juicy Crab.  

Despite the closures, the Ruby Tuesday website indicates that the company plans to continue to operate more than a dozen restaurants in Georgia including those in Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Lithia Springs and Marietta on Delk Road, among others. 

Ruby Tuesday was founded in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1970 and once had dozens of locations around Georgia, including many in metro Atlanta.  For decades, Ruby Tuesday was a mall mainstay and was found in nearly all metro Atlanta malls built in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Northlake Mall, Gwinnett Place Mall, Town Center at Cobb and Mall of Georgia all had Ruby Tuesday restaurants within, and the casual dining chain also previously operated a restaurant just outside Lenox Square near the intersection of Lenox and East Paces Ferry Roads.  

At its height in 2007, there were about 1,000 Ruby Tuesday restaurants nationwide.  Today, there are less than 250. 

Were you ever a Ruby Tuesday patron?  Why do you think Ruby Tuesday has struggled so mightily to stay relevant?  What is your favorite casual dining restaurant?

Please share your thoughts below.  

32 comments:

Jodyml813 said...

Dawsonville has been closed for almost 8 months now. Alpharetta was demolished along w the old Sage Wood fire grill. Something is going in there but I'm not sure what.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday!

Ham said...

When I worked in Duluth, back when Gwinnett Place was booming, I do remember the location they had in the mall. It sat on the upper level and looked out over a two story open area and was really kind of nice. Of course now they find dead bodies in the mall and everyone generally avoids the entire area.

Anonymous said...

Marietta/Delk Road briefly had a For Lease sign up, but that appears gone now. Also there was one at the Cobb Galleria, on the Cobb Parkway facing side, where it's now Big Chow or whatever. They also had an "upscale" sister concept in Galleria, along with Phipps - the name escapes me.

Anonymous said...

I have not lived in the vicinity of a Ruby Tuesday's for many years, though I live inside the perimeter. Maybe the residents in the failed locations have too many choices for dining out and RT is not at the top of their option list? When on a road trip, I often eat at RT if I come across one because it is predictable and while not gourmet food, I can count on it to be a decent meal. And the salad bar is fantastic, in my humble opinion. I am sorry to see them having so much trouble.

Rose Gorham said...

I presume the one at Dawsonville that closed is the one next to the North Georgia outlet mall? For a long time that was the only decent place to eat near that outlet mall. Now there are places everywhere up there.

Unknown said...

I work for a Ruby Tuesday in New Jersey. We have closed 185 stores in the last 3 years Nationwide. This article and others I've read have said, " Ruby Tuesday files for bankruptcy, to close 185 stores." These 185 stores they say are going to close have already been closed for a while. Of course everything is hurting because of covid, but that's not the reason these stores are closing. A few years back we were a privately owned corporation, now we are owned by investors. We have a ceo but it's the investors who own our company. All these articles force you to believe that this is all recent problems faced by uncertainty. Most of our locations were connected to another building like a mall or strip mall. Leasing for those spaces are generally higher Dollar rather than a standalone building. Yes covid does effect the restaurant business worse than most other businesses but that's not a reason that any of these stores closed their doors. Remember back to 2008, the recession we had back then was the start of EVERY RESTAURANT losing business, not just ours. Millennials are one of the reasons the restaurant industry is hurting. The millennials were always handed everything on a silver platter, they're very picky about what they eat and the environment in which they eat it. Not to mention the average salary for a millennial is under $10,000 a year. They really don't have money to eat so why not go to moms and get handed a meal. There will be more closures but not due to bankruptcy or covid. Filing for bankruptcy will allow them to take advantage of some benefits that can make the company better in the long run. The stores that remain will still be doing business. The article here shows you can't believe everything you read.

Unknown said...

They were known for their high quality salad bar, among other things, but they let the quality slip and were on the down-swing before covid hit. No surprise.

Anonymous said...

@ October 14, 2020 at 3:56 PM

The sister restaurant I believe was called Truffles Cafe.

I will miss Ruby Tuesday. I grew up in Knoxville and had some good times at RT. I always enjoyed the salad bar and bread. Sad.

Unknown said...

Good bye to a good company

Unknown said...

Ruby Tuesday was known for its Fresh Salad Bar. When the pandemic hit and no one could get the salad bar I think it finished off the company. We had a nice one in Ringgold GA,that was destroyed by a tornado. They never rebuilt it.

Unknown said...

I think Ruby Tuesday priced themselves out of business. They have decent food & the garden bar is amazing. But their entrees are along the same quality as Applebees or Olive Garden but are around $3-5 higher.

Anonymous said...

It means younger generations won't eat that generic garbage anymore. They want local and fresh.

Ldawg76 said...

I have worked for RT in the Florida panhandle that is actually one of the most successful stores in the area for 2 n half years. And the biggest complaint I hear from returning customers even ones who only come occasionally is the menu changes too much. In those less then 3 years the menu has changed idk probably 15 times since then its crazy. Like stop trying to copy everyone else and focus on what ur known for quality food at a decent price and that freaking salad bar. Now after covid the fact the salad bars are even allowed to stay open is a miracle. So anyone in Georgia wanting dome greatRT food come see us in Marianna FL lol. We are lucky to have an awesome cook that cares about his food so hopefully we won't be closing anytime soon

rebeka2 said...

The reason Ruby Tuesday is Failing is Customer Service in certain franchises and I think selling the stiff from the pantry is very tacky

Jodyml813 said...

Yes, the one in the outlet mall parking lot. Agree, that used to be one of the only restaurant up that way. When all the new restaurants started opening a few years ago it really hurt their business because better options were available.

Anonymous said...

I worked as a server in knoxville, although I ended up in about every position at some point. The internal structure is horrible and there's baaad communication and competition among Management. It's their own fault. They treat employees badly in an industry that's already hard to navigate. I could write a 10 page essay on why the location I worked at was going down hill, and would be an interesting read for authorities. Don't save failing businesses, capitalism.

Unknown said...

I love the food and all the specials. It would be a shame to close the ones sroud I know the people who work there who how friends to my family and friends.
B

Unknown said...

Put in 16 years of service with them. It was great as long as Sandy was there. As soon as he left, it just went down hill. I am not surprised that stores are closing. They dont know how to take care of their employees. I am sorry to say that but true.

Anonymous said...

I think Ruby Tuesday's downfall started in 2007. Just before the Great Recession, Ruby Tuesday decided to upscale their menu and add fresh seafood items and other entrees that approached the $20 level, instead of their burgers and salad entrees that were closer to $10. It was probably a bad move to begin with because you should stick to what you do well, but then the recession hit which created a perfect storm of failure. They scrambled and tried to reinvent themselves over and over as the poster above pointed out, but the damage was done.

Most of their real estate people were excellent so they have some really good sites. They waited and waited on Dawsonville until Dawson County finally voted to allow liquor and they secured the prized only on-site location at the North Georgia Outlets. They were the first restaurant in Dawson to secure a liquor license. That site should have minted money because the food court at the outlets is garbage and they were the only edible food on-site.

The Olive Garden that recently opened right next to the outlets is killing it. There's another restaurant coming soon right next to the Olive Garden that will be another pretty good addition to the area.

Sorry to see Ruby Tuesday in such sad shape. They've had some great people working there over the years from the top of the corporate all the way to the local restaurants.

Unknown said...

I use to work at the one in the Freehold Mall and in Toms River. I enjoyed working for them. It was a great place and made alot of friends. Goodbye Ruby's. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Just like many chains and restaurants they started out with top quality ingredients and everything was made fresh. Now everything comes out of a can and low quality ingredients..

Anonymous said...

I was a cook at the Hinesville,Ga.location.I think it's the Managers they're very insensitive to the employees. No empathy and they're in Competition with each other.Ive worked at several different locations over the years.And Hinesville is the Worst

Anonymous said...

I worked at the Hinesville, Ga location. And the Management is Horrible.They have No empathy for their employees.Ive worked at several different Ruby Tuesdays over the years.. And Hinesville Ga location is the Worst.Managers don't care about You or your Family.

Unknown said...

Is ruby tuesdayin pa

Unknown said...

It wasn't garbage or fast food. I will greatly miss them. The location I always went to in mid-Michigan closed after our terrible floods in May. They had a wonderful salad bar and my favorite chicken dish....

Unknown said...

We miss Ruby Tuesday in the central Ohio area. Loved the salad bar,and specials. It's a darn shame

PSH said...

I'm devastated to lose Ruby Tuesday's - I depended on them for the variety of offerings but especially their Salad Bar! Now I have not found another salad bar like theirs. Last year I introduced my brother and sister-in-law to Ruby Tuesday's. They were impressed and we're going to look for one near them (Hilton Head Island)! What a disappointment! I live near Charlotte and Gastonia, NC and Rock Hill SC - please bring back our Ruby Tuesday's!!!! πŸ₯ΊπŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ₯Ί

Unknown said...

I went to the Sebring Fl Ruby Tuesday the crowds were gone the service and food wwnt down

Anonymous said...

We went there often, but it got to be the same food over and over. They got sloppy with presentation and didn't know how to cook a medium hamburger

Unknown said...

Ruby Tuesday hasn't been a good restaurant since 1997. Actually surprised they have hung on this long - but I'm sure they are still a fancy restaurant in small town America.

Anonymous said...

"The millennials were always handed everything on a silver platter, they're very picky about what they eat and the environment in which they eat it. Not to mention the average salary for a millennial is under $10,000 a year."

OK boomer

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