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Ruby Tuesday closes ‘underperforming’ Columbus restaurant

This sign now welcomes anyone approaching the front doors of the Ruby Tuesday restaurant at 6780 Veterans Parkway in north Columbus, at an entrance to Columbus Park Crossing and fronting a shopping center anchored by Lowe’s and Winn-Dixie. --
This sign now welcomes anyone approaching the front doors of the Ruby Tuesday restaurant at 6780 Veterans Parkway in north Columbus, at an entrance to Columbus Park Crossing and fronting a shopping center anchored by Lowe’s and Winn-Dixie. -- tadams@ledger-enquirer.com

Ruby Tuesday, which announced last week it was closing 95 underperforming restaurants by September, has already pulled the plug on the location at 6780 Veterans Parkway in north Columbus.

The eatery’s parking lot is empty and signs on its doors Sunday informed the public it has been closed.

“Please visit us at our Peachtree Mall location,” the signs said of the only remaining Ruby Tuesday outlet in the city, located inside the mall on Manchester Expressway. “We look forward to seeing you there!”

The shuttered Ruby Tuesday had been open more than a decade at the corner of Veterans Parkway and Adams Farm Drive, an entrance to the Columbus Park Crossing shopping and dining area, which is heavily trafficked and with many other restaurants. The chain’s menu is known for its American cuisine that includes steak, seafood and chicken dishes, but perhaps is best known for its salad bar and burgers.

Online reviews on TripAdvisor and Google suggest customer service may have been an issue with some people eating at the Veterans Parkway outlet, with one calling it “a hit or miss dinner” and another saying “the service was terrible.”

Last Thursday, as Maryville, Tenn-based Ruby Tuesday Inc. released its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2016 earnings report, it informed investors that it was in the “best interest” for the company to close about 95 underperforming restaurants by September. As of May 31, it operated 724 eateries, with 646 of them operated by the company. It said the move follows a “rigorous” analysis that included sales, cash flow, site location and status in the markets they operated.

JJ Buettgen, Ruby Tuesday’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, called it a “difficult but necessary” action to shut down the outlets to improve operations. The chain posted a loss of $50.7 million on revenues of $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2016, which ended in May.

“Performance at each of these locations, despite the loyalty of valued guests and the efforts of our dedicated employees, was not meeting expectations,” Buettgen said in statement. “Full-time and part-time employees impacted by closures will be offered positions in nearby restaurants where possible.”

It was in February of this year that another chain closed a major restaurant, with Ryan’s, a buffet and steakhouse, abruptly shutting its doors at 1900 Manchester Expressway after many years of serving Columbus-area customers. It, too, was deemed underperforming and was among 74 restaurants closed by its parent company, Ovation Brands.

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