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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Year-To-Date Same-Store Sales Up 2.1%; Company Reiterates First Quarter Earnings Per Share Goal of $0.31


MARYVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RI), one of America's leading companies in the bar and grill segment of casual dining, today announced same-store sales at Company-owned Ruby Tuesday(R) restaurants have increased 2.1% year-to-date for Fiscal 2003 after increasing 2.0% and 2.3% for the five week period ended July 9, 2002 and the following period through August 5, 2002, respectively. Same-store sales at freestanding units have increased 2.8% year-to-date while same-store sales at mall units (which represent approximately one-third of the system) have increased 0.9% over the same period. Year-to-date same-store sales at franchised Ruby Tuesday restaurants are flat. System-wide same-store sales have increased 1.6% year-to-date. The Company reiterated its goal of $0.31 earnings per share for its first quarter, which ends September 3, 2003.

Sandy Beall, the Company's Chairman and CEO, commented, "With all the uncertainty in the market place and investors receiving mixed news on sales performance in the casual dining segment of the restaurant industry, we believe it is appropriate to provide a mid-quarter update on our continued, solid sales performance. I am pleased with our Company-owned average unit volume growth and same-store sales growth, which is being achieved with no media advertising or couponing. Franchise same-store sales growth, which generally runs behind the Company's, is flat year-to-date as a result of sales at franchise units being strong during the same period of the prior year (actually outpacing Company-owned same-store sales) and current year sales in Florida being impacted by continued soft tourism."

Beall continued, "Based on our sales performance during the first two months of our first quarter, we estimate ending the quarter with approximately 2.0% same-store sales growth at Company-owned Ruby Tuesday restaurants with no media advertising and no couponing. We remain comfortable with our previous goal of $0.31 earnings per share for the first quarter. I am grateful for the investments we have made and continue making in our teams through increased staffing and our training programs as I believe this has been, and will continue to be, a major driver of our success."

As of June 4, 2002, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. owned and operated 397 Ruby Tuesday restaurants located in 25 states. Franchise operations included 183 domestic units and 16 international units. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RI).

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, franchisees and team members; changes in the availability of capital; and general economic conditions.


SOURCE Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Web site: http: //www.rubytuesday.com
CONTACT: Price Cooper, Vice President, Investor Relations and Planning of Ruby Tuesday, Inc., +1-865-379-5700