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Ruby Tuesday Announces South Korean Expansion


MARYVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2004--National foodservice chain Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RI) plans to open a franchised restaurant in Seoul, South Korea (Republic of Korea) in April of next year, the first of several planned for that country. The franchise and development rights, acquired by the Majestic Group, Inc. of Baltimore, call for the territory to be developed over eight years, beginning in 2005. This marks the third franchise venture in the Pacific Rim for Ruby Tuesday, following Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc., a publicly traded company, currently owns, operates and franchises more than 750 casual dining restaurants in the United States and around the world. Besides Hong Kong and Taiwan, international markets where Ruby Tuesdays are currently located include Canada, Chile, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, India, Kuwait, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania, and Trinidad.

Majestic Group, Inc. is a newly formed Maryland corporation based in Baltimore. The company is headed by founder and CEO, Nam K. Kim. Site selection for the first store is currently being finalized by Kim, who is on a tour of the country previewing future development sites.

"We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with such highly respected people in the restaurant industry," Kim said. "Ruby Tuesday is the best in its class, and we are certain that our restaurants in Korea will be successful."

Majestic Group began discussions with Ruby Tuesday less than a year ago to secure the rights to South Korea. Kim decided to pursue a deal with Ruby Tuesday following a visit to Seoul earlier in the year. During his travel, Kim recognized that other American casual dining brands were doing quite well in the market. The average wait time for seating in an American casual restaurant in Seoul is over an hour. As Majestic Group builds out the territory, investment opportunities will be available for both U.S. and Korean investors.

About Ruby Tuesday

The Ruby Tuesday concept was born more than 30 years ago, when current Chairman and CEO Sandy Beall opened the first restaurant near the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Since then, the company has grown to more than 750 company-owned and franchised restaurants in 42 states, the District of Columbia and operations in locations around the world. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RI). More information about the company can be found at www.rubytuesday.com.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains various "forward-looking statements" which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including one or more of the following: future financial performance and unit growth (both Company-owned and franchised), future capital expenditures, future borrowings and repayment of debt, and payment of dividends. The Company cautions that a number of important factors and uncertainties could, individually or in the aggregate, cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the following: changes in promotional, couponing and advertising strategies; guests' acceptance of changes in menu items; changes in our guests' disposable income; consumer spending trends and habits; mall-traffic trends; increased competition in the casual dining restaurant market; weather conditions in the regions in which Company-owned and franchised restaurants are operated; guests' acceptance of the Company's development prototypes; laws and regulations affecting labor and employee benefit costs; costs and availability of food and beverage inventory; the Company's ability to attract qualified managers, franchisees and team members; changes in the availability of capital; impact of adoption of new accounting standards; effects of actual or threatened future terrorist attacks in the United States; and general economic conditions.

    CONTACT: Ruby Tuesday, Inc., Maryville
             Perrin Anderson, 865-379-6751
             Angie Heig, 865-379-5641

    SOURCE: Ruby Tuesday, Inc.