Ruby Tuesday has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will permanently close 185 of its restaurants, leaving the chain with about 250 locations globally.

🔬 Failure Blueprint

  • Back in 2016, Ruby Tuesday was operating over 720 restaurants. But the 48-year-old fast-casual chain has been struggling over the past few years.
  • By 2017, NRD Capital Management acquired the company and began closing restaurants, slashing corporate overhead, and racking up debt.
  • Ruby Tuesday failed to adapt to changing consumer habits and values— the COVID-induced economic crisis was just the nail in the coffin.
  • The remaining restaurants will continue business as usual as the firm attempts to recover “from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19,” according to a statement from CEO Shawn Lederman.

  • The court filing estimates liabilities between $100 million and $500 million.

💎 Data Digs

Casual dining chains — like Outback Steakhouse, Applebee's, and TGI Friday's — could see opportunity in Ruby Tuesday’s absence. The map below shows clusters of Ruby Tuesday locations that have at least one of these chains within a five mile radius. The larger the bubble, the greater the number of competing restaurants nearby. Click each bubble to see how many.

⚡ Opportunity

Florida is among Ruby Tuesday’s largest markets, with over 60 locations. Outback Steakhouse boasts more than 90 restaurants in Florida, while Applebee’s counts over 100. As of last year, for every Floridian Ruby Tuesday, there are about ten Applebee’s and six Outbacks within a five mile radius. 

Outback and Applebee’s will also compete for former Ruby loyalists in North Carolina, where there’s an average of six Applebee’s and three Outbacks within five miles of every Ruby. TGI Friday’s could also see some of Ruby’s runoff, with about three restaurants within five miles of every NC Ruby T.  

In Georgia, another one of Ruby Tuesday’s biggest markets, there are roughly six nearby TGI Friday’s per Ruby. This is compared to an average of three Applebee’s and one Outback within the five mile radius. The competition is fierce in New York, as well. On average, there are five Outbacks, ten TGI Friday's, and a whopping 16 Applebee's within five miles of every Ruby Tuesday.

Ruby Tuesday has always operated on a smaller scale than these companies. Applebee's has nearly 2,000 locations, Outback counts about 1,000 steakhouses, and TGI Friday's runs over 800 restaurants. This Chapter 11 filing will either give them room to grow and solidify their fast-casual dominance, or go the way of Ruby.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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