This Recently Bankrupt Chain Closed More Than 600 Locations in a Decade
The number of restaurant closures taking place at Ruby Tuesday made a bankruptcy filing appear imminent long before the paperwork was officially submitted in October. News first surfaced in June that the company had secretly closed about 150 locations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden closures continued throughout the summer, with some employees reportedly learning the news from notices posted on the doors of their restaurants.
As Ruby Tuesday emerges from bankruptcy this year, the full scale of these closures has come into focus. During the pandemic, the chain closed about 240 restaurants. However, a larger—and more devastating—trend points to more than 600 locations closed in the past decade, according to data from Technomic. The company currently operates 209 locations, or about a quarter of the footprint it had 10 years ago. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)
And Ruby Tuesday, as we know it, may look different in the future. Once known as a watering hole for casual gatherings, the chain recently announced a renewed focus on off-premise business, which includes increased investment in digital "delivery-only" brands. Ruby Tuesday said the post-bankruptcy move would allow it "to capitalize on its core strengths and increased off-premise business as part of the company's long-term growth plan."
Ruby Tuesday isn't the only full-service chain ramping up its off-premise business. Applebee's, Chilli's, and Chuck E. Cheese have all made similar moves, leaving the future of dine-in services at these types of restaurants unclear.
For more on restaurant trends, check out the 6 Most Anticipated Fast-Food Menu Items Launching This Year. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all of the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.