Ruby Tuesday won’t close

Published 11:29 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

Farmville’s Ruby Tuesday restaurant won’t be one of 13 closing across the state.

“The Farmville … Ruby Tuesday restaurant is not included in the 95 corporate-owned restaurants closing,” said Mike Ellis, the firm’s chief development officer. “We look forward to continuing to serve our guests at the Farmville restaurant on South Main Street.”

An Aug. 11 company press release said the decision to close 95 “underperforming” locations across the country came following a comprehensive review of its corporate-owned restaurant portfolio.

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Farmville Mayor David Whitus said he didn’t expect the restaurant to close.

“(Ruby Tuesday) is one of the anchors on the South Main Street corridor and is one of the favorites of locals for a chain restaurant. We would have been very disappointed if they had been on the closure list,” Whitus said.

Ruby Tuesday “determined that it was in the company’s best interest to close approximately 95 underperforming restaurants. These locations will cease operations by September,” company officials stated in the release. “As of May 31 … Ruby Tuesday’s system included 724 restaurants, of which 646 were company-operated. This conclusion, followed a rigorous unit-level analysis of sales, cash flows and other key performance metrics, as well as site location, market positioning and lease status.”

Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joy Stump said the restaurant staying open is “a great thing because we need restaurants here. I’m happy to know they are doing well and (are) not part of the decision to close.”

The Virginia restaurants the company is closing include two each in Norfolk and Virginia Beach; and one each in Ashland, Roanoke, Danville, Hampton, Lynchburg, Bristol, Chantilly, Alexandria and Gainesville.

“The decision to close 95 Ruby Tuesday restaurants was not made lightly given the impact to many of our cherished team members, however, we believe it is a necessary step to improve the health and profitability of the company and best position Ruby Tuesday for success,” Ellis said. “We will offer full-time and part-time employees impacted by the closures positions in nearby restaurants where possible. In cases where relocation is not possible, severance and benefits will be made available in accordance with our company policy. We greatly appreciate the dedicated service of our team members and the patronage of our many residents and guests.”

“I’m ecstatic that it’s not, because it’s a great restaurant and I go by it three to four times a day,” said Town Manager Gerald Spates, “and it’s always busy … I think Ruby Tuesday here has done very well.”