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The Truth Behind Rumors of Ruby Tuesday Closing

Find out the truth about what’s happening to Ruby Tuesday.

Samuel E. (Sandy) Beall II established Ruby Tuesday, an American restaurant, in 1972. Sandy Beall used a 10 thousand dollar endowment from an operator of Pizza Huts to open up the restaurant. 

Ruby Tuesday store front sign

Beall attended the University of Tennessee. With the endowment, Beall combined another 10 thousand dollars with his fraternity brother friends to open the first Ruby Tuesday in Knoxville.

 The first Ruby Tuesday enjoyed much success due to the restaurant’s proximity to the University’s Knoxville campus. In fact, the first Ruby Tuesday building still stands on campus. However, no Ruby Tuesday is operating at the location. 

Up until the 80s, a new Ruby Tuesday restaurant location was established about every 9 months. In 1982, Beall sold the chain to Morrison Inc for 15 million dollars in stock and liquid cash.

Ruby Tuesday continued to quickly expand with additional support, and Beall became the president of a Speciality Restaurant Division. In 1985, Ruby Tuesday had 35 locations. 

How did such a successful business go to possible talk of closing? The short answer is financial hardships and the Covid-19 Pandemic. 


So, is Ruby Tuesday Actually Closing? 

Ruby Tuesday is not officially closed yet, but it probably will officially close sometime within the next several years.

The financial strain will likely take the restaurant chain down. According to Business Insider, 1 in 3 Ruby Tuesday restaurant chains closed as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

In 2019, Ruby Tuesday had 451 locations, compared to 840 locations 10 years before. The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The company claimed that 185 restaurants shut down during the global crisis. After the closures, only 236 company-owned locations still operated. 

In 2021, Ruby Tuesday left Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. However, the company was down to 209 restaurant locations, which indicated more closings than planned. 


Where Did These Rumors Come From?

The rumors came from hundreds of Ruby Tuesday’s closing across the country, and public knowledge of the company’s bankruptcy.

Multiple media outlets covered the chain’s bankruptcy.

More so, the media informed the public that Ruby Tuesday conducted several rebrand attempts throughout the 2010s that did not successfully increase revenue. 

Additionally, most people simply do not care for chain restaurants anymore. An overwhelming majority of consumers claim to prefer local businesses over corporate businesses.

Most people claim that the quality of food and treatment is better at local restaurants since the livelihood of individuals in the business’s community depends on it. 


Will It Close in the Future?

Yes, Ruby Tuesday will likely close in the future. The company already filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and had been declining even before the pandemic.

Ruby Tuesday saw implications of financial ruin in 2007, and their numbers continued to diminish. In 2017, a private-equity firm bought the company. 

These situations combined are not good signs for the future of Ruby Tuesday. Most people do not expect Ruby Tuesday to come back from such a financial crisis. 

It is possible to see a trend in similar restaurant closures across the country. Most chains in the food industry fail to update their menus and operations to appeal to younger audiences.

Unfortunately, none of the trends seem positive for Ruby Tuesday. 


Other Restaurant Closings

Dozens of restaurants similar to Ruby Tuesday closed. Restaurant chains like Ruby Tuesday already had been declining with onsets of new food trends prioritizing local business.

The Covid-19 Pandemic sped up the closing process for restaurant chains all over the world. 

Sweet Tomatoes, an American-buffet-style restaurant closed its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, Sweet Tomatoes had already been declining and filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2016. In 2017, the New York private investment firm bought out the chain.

However, the buy-out was incredibly unsuccessful and Sweet Tomatoes could not withstand the financial troubles of the pandemic. 

Additionally, companies like IHOP will likely be closing in 2022. IHOP closed over 100 locations in 2020 alone. Several IHOP franchisees were forced to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection as well in 2020. 

Applebee’s has had a bleak outlook for some time that took off during the pandemic. In 2018, the restaurant closed 80 locations due to a 330 million dollar loss the previous year. In 2020, Applebee’s continued to shut down restaurants. 


Final Thoughts

Ruby Tuesday, as of now, will remain open. However, the restaurant will likely close within the next few years. Unfortunately, consumers are less interested in restaurant chains and prefer local restaurants instead. 

If you are a huge fan of Ruby Tuesday and a location remains open near you, go and get your Ruby Tuesday fix while you still can. The likelihood that Ruby Tuesday will still be available to you in the future is incredibly slim.

Check out the best food on the Ruby Tuesday menu. Dine-in and enjoy while it is still possible! 

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Written by Ryan F.

Ryan is a local foodie who enjoys checking out the area's restaurant scene every chance he can. Ryan also enjoys traveling and checking out local eateries in every city he visits.