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Future of area Ruby Tuesday restaurants uncertain

Future of area Ruby Tuesday restaurants uncertain

Ruby Tuesday Inc. posted a fiscal second-quarter loss Wednesday and said it plans to close 95 locations and sell one of its restaurant chains.

Ruby Tuesday will close 95 of its 724 locations by September. Ruby Tuesday counted 724 restaurants in its system as of the end of May, with a lot of them owned by the company.

The company said that employees displaced from the closed properties would be offered positions in nearby locations, when possible.

Same-store sales for the Tennessee-based restaurant operator fell 3.7 percent, worse that the 1.7 percent decline in the year-ago quarter.

Buettgen said the closures are part of a broader initiative to prop up profit and reignite sales.

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It is unknown at this time if the Ruby Tuesday or Logan's Roadhouse restaurants in Cullman will be affected. The closures will make up about 13 percent of the total.

As of May 31, 2016, the company had cash on hand of $67.3 million.

Additionally, closure and Impairment expense was $43.8 million primarily due to the announced restaurant closures, compared to $4.0 million a year ago.

"Performance at each of these [95] locations, despite the loyalty of valued guests and the efforts of our dedicated employees, was not meeting expectations", CEO JJ Buettgen said in a statement. "All of these factors contributed to low restaurant level sales and profitability".

Total revenue was $279.3 million, a decrease of 5.9 percent or $17.5 million from the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year.

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