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Can Ruby Tuesday Stage a Comeback?

Named after the Rolling Stone song “Ruby Tuesday,” it too may have to “change with every new day” as the lyric goes. Ruby Tuesday has a new owner and CMO to guide its efforts. Will shrinking their overall footprint and strengthening top performers help them to make a comeback?

Photo Courtesy of FSR Magazine.

Like many casual-dining icons, Ruby Tuesday has faced some hard times of late. In 2018, its revenue dipped nearly 13 percent.

In 2016, it shuttered 95 stores alone and in 2018 it closed an additional 50 locations.

Today there are 486 locations in 39 states and 11 countries. Ruby Tuesday had 724 units in May 2016.

Its new owner, NRD Capital Management, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, opted to take it private through a $148 million buy-out in early 2018.

Jenifer Boyd Harmon, a former senior director of advertising for Denny’s, was hired in June as its new chief marketing officer.

Ruby Tuesday’s menu offers chicken, steak, burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, but what exactly are they known for? That’s a problem.

Ruby Tuesday is now highlighting its Endless Garden Bar, as more Americans count their calories and watch their weight.

Promotions include kids under 10 dine free on Tuesday nights, and new cheese and chicken minis to draw in millennials and others who don’t want a full meal.

The traditional bar and grill that Ruby Tuesday and other likeminded brands exemplify doesn’t provide the specialized dining experience that some contemporary customers want, which has led to recent evolution.

They will aim to provide a special experience and food the consumer can’t get anywhere else by converting their restaurants “to represent 2019, not the 1980’s.

Knowing that millennials and other customers want their food quickly, Ruby Tuesday introduced delivery through DoorDash and Grubhub.

Jenifer Boyd Harmon, the recently hired CMO, stated its strategy focuses on everyday value, with really delicious familiar food with a twist, in a comfortable environment.

Its new owner, NRD Capital Management, “is aligned with everything we’re working on here with marketing and the executive team,” Harmon adds.

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