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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Announces Four New International Franchise Agreements And Four New International Store Openings


MARYVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RI), one of America's leading companies in the bar and grill segment of casual dining, today announced the signing of new franchise agreements for the development and operation of Ruby Tuesday(R) restaurants in Niagara Falls, Canada, Romania, Mexico, and eight countries in the Middle East. Also announced were the recent openings of additional restaurants in Honduras, Iceland, Chile, and Puerto Rico.

In Canada, 775571 Ontario, Inc. plans to open the first Ruby Tuesday in Niagara Falls later this spring. 775571 is owned by the Burland family and operates as Beefeater (Niagara) Ltd. The Burland family has been a prominent part of the hospitality industry in Niagara Falls since 1928.

Ruby Food Company Impex SRL, owned by Karim Badaoui, will be developing Ruby Tuesday in Romania, with the first store opening scheduled for Spring, 2002, in Bucharest. Mr. Badaoui said, "We are very confident that the first Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Romania will be very successful. It is a new concept to Romanians and it will be the first all American casual dining restaurant in Bucharest."

The franchise for Mexico has been completed with R. Martes de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., to develop Ruby Tuesday throughout Mexico. The owners, Jorge and Francisco Fernandez Alonso and Augustin Garcia Lourdes, anticipate the first restaurant to open this summer in Mexico City. The Fernandez family has owned and operated the famous LaMansion restaurants in Mexico since 1957.

National Arabic Company for Restaurant Management, an affiliate of the Bu Khamseen Commercial Corporation, will be developing Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, U.A.E., Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. The Bu Khamseen Commercial Corporation, established in 1960 and owned by Jawad Bu Khamseen, is one of the foremost commercial companies in the Middle East. Its holdings include hotels and resorts, travel and tourism, general trading, real estate, and finance, banking and insurance. The first store is scheduled to begin operation in Kuwait City in September, 2002.

Additional Ruby Tuesday restaurants have recently opened internationally in previously franchised territories. In July, second Ruby Tuesday stores opened in both Honduras and Iceland where restaurants are now operating in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and in Reykjavik and Akureyri, Iceland. The fourth Ruby Tuesday in Chile opened December 12, 2001, in the business district of La Borsa, and a second unit in Puerto Rico opened in Guaynabo on January 28, 2002.

John Brisco, President/Partner of RT International said, "We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with such highly respected people in the restaurant industry. It is an honor to have them as representatives of our Ruby Tuesday brand and as part of our Ruby Tuesday family."

As of December 4, 2001, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. owned and operated 400 Ruby Tuesday restaurants located in 26 states. Franchise operations included 161 domestic units and 14 international units. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RI).

    For more information, contact:   Phone:    865-379-5700
    John Brisco
    International Franchising

    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 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 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: 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; consumers' 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 and franchisees; changes in the availability of capital; and general economic conditions.


SOURCE Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
CONTACT: John Brisco, President, Partner, International Franchising of Ruby Tuesday, Inc., +1-865-379-5700