Ruby Tuesday Inc. has signed a deal to sell its headquarters building and announced 19 support-center layoffs, the company said Thursday.
“We have made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our support-center team by 19 in connection with the previously announced closure of 95 corporate-owned restaurants,” the Maryville, Tenn.-based casual-dining company said in an emailed statement Friday. A spokesperson said the support center has a total of about 235 employees.
Amid sluggish sales, Ruby Tuesday said in August that it would close 95 restaurants, or about 15 percent of its company-owned units.
Last week, James J. “JJ” Buettgen resigned as Ruby Tuesday president and CEO, positions he had held since 2012. Board member Lane Cardwell was named to the posts in the interim.
As part of the corporate restructuring, Ruby Tuesday said it had agreed to sell its 40,000-square-foot headquarters for $2.8 million to Altar’d State, a women’s clothing store chain, and consolidate operations to another Maryville location by January. The headquarters sale is expected to be closed by October, the company said.
“Consolidating our Restaurant Support Center will streamline our cost infrastructure as we continue to execute against our Fresh Start initiatives,” Cardwell said in a statement. “We are confident in our long-term strategies and believe we are positioning Ruby Tuesday to deliver improved operational results over time.”
Ruby Tuesday said laid-off employees would be offered severance and benefits in accordance with company policy.
“While it is never easy making these decisions, it is important that we take this step to help better position Ruby Tuesday for a strong future,” the company said.
As of Aug. 30, Ruby Tuesday had 615 restaurants in 42 states, 14 countries and Guam. The company owns and operates 547 restaurants and franchises 68 units.