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Ruby Tuesday Signs Agreement for Development in Qatar, Part of Continuing International and Domestic Franchise Growth

03/12/2009

MARYVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 12, 2009-- Although, due to the economic climate, there may be fewer new eating places in the U.S., there is one part of the world where the picture is different: the Middle East, where well-known American brands are appearing on new restaurants that quickly fill with satisfied guests. And with the recent signing of a new franchise agreement for the nation of Qatar, one iconic American brand, Ruby Tuesday, is continuing to grow in the region, too. Global Brands Qatar, the company’s newest international franchisee, plans to develop and operate three Ruby Tuesdays, primarily in the city of Doha, over the next five years. This agreement will bring the total number of Ruby Tuesdays to be developed in the Middle East to approximately 45-50 including locations in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan.

“We are extremely proud to welcome Global Brands Qatar to Ruby Tuesday’s expanding international franchise community,” said Mark Ingram, President Global PartnerShips Inc., who directs Ruby Tuesday’s franchise development initiatives around the world. “The franchise partners in the Middle East tell us they are very satisfied with the success of the Ruby Tuesday Brand and the return on their investment,” he added.

Ruby Tuesday officials say that guests in the Arab States, a part of the world far removed from the U.S. cities and suburbs where the brand was started and where it has grown to more than 800 locations, love the handcrafted burgers, steak, seafood, and chicken entrees, shareable appetizers, and garden-fresh salad bar. And in a culture where the public consumption of alcohol is traditionally a taboo, the Qatar Ruby Tuesdays, like all the others, will serve “Zero Proof” drinks that are full of flavor but devoid of alcohol.

“While domestic growth has flattened out for most casual-dining brands, there is still opportunity for franchise development in the United States, and there is tremendous opportunity for growth in other countries,” Mr. Ingram said. “Strong restaurant concepts, like Ruby Tuesday, are great foodservice exports. We continue to create partnerships with franchisees, and there are a number of international countries available for future development that we believe will be as successful for the Ruby Tuesday brand as the Middle East continues to be.”

About Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday was founded more than 35 years ago, when current Chairman and CEO Sandy Beall opened the first restaurant near the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1972. Since then, the company has grown to over 900 company-owned and franchised restaurants in 45 states, the District of Columbia, 14 foreign countries, and Puerto Rico.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RT). More information about the company may be found at www.rubytuesday.com or call (865) 379-5739.

Source: Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Rick Johnson, 865-379-5700