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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Increases Same-Store Sales Goal For Its Third Fiscal Quarter and Announces Planned Retirement of Chief Financial Officer


MARYVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RI), one of America's leading companies in the fast-growing casual dining segment, today updated its goal for same-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2001, which will end on March 4, 2001. In conjunction with its second quarter earnings release dated January 8, 2001, the Company indicated that its same- store sales growth goal for the third quarter of fiscal 2001 was approximately 2.0%. The Company now expects its same-store sales growth for the third quarter to be approximately 6.0%.

In the same earnings release dated January 8, 2001, the Company indicated it was comfortable with consensus earnings per share of $0.26 for the third quarter of fiscal 2001. Based on the increased same-store sales goal, offset by increases in the cost of utilities and expenses associated with its neighborhood marketing program, the Company's guidance for third quarter earnings per share is approximately $0.27-$0.28.

Commenting on the increased same-store sales goal, Sandy Beall, Chairman and CEO, said, "we are extremely excited about the positive sales trend which has continued throughout the third quarter to date. Three months ago, we, as well as many in the industry, were extremely cautious about the near term based on reports of the slowing economy. I am pleased to report that sales have not been negatively affected thus far."

The Company also announced that Russ Mothershed, the Company's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be retiring this summer. Beall commented, "this is an exciting time for Russ who has been with the organization for almost 29 years and is looking forward to spending more time with his family and relaxing on the golf course. As part of the Company's and the Board of Directors' long-term succession planning, Margie Naman has been designated as Russ' successor and has been preparing to succeed Russ for many years. She is well trained and will do an excellent job, having served in the areas of corporate accounting, investor relations, financial and strategic planning and most recently as Vice President and Operations Controller."

As of December 3, 2000, the Company owned and operated 350 Ruby Tuesday restaurants located in 26 states. Franchised operations included 154 domestic units and 10 international units. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RI).

    For more information, contact: Phone:  865-379-5700
    Price Cooper
    Director, Investor Relations and Planning

    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 concepts; 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.
Web site: http: //www.ruby-tuesday.com
CONTACT: Price Cooper, Director, Investor Relations and Planning of Ruby Tuesday, Inc., 865-379-5700