Forty years ago, Sandy Beall had an epiphany—he would open a restaurant with handcrafted food made with quality ingredients, such as 100% USDA Choice or Prime ground beef, seasonal vine-ripened tomatoes, and applewood-smoked bacon, and he would serve it in a family-friendly, casual atmosphere. Ruby Tuesday opened near the University of Tennessee in 1972, and it proved to be so popular, that it is now an iconic American institution with about 900 restaurants across the United States and the world.
Surrounded by flat-screen televisions playing sports or marathons of Suddenly Susan, customers select dishes from the menu, such as jumbo skewered shrimp, top sirloin steaks with roasted spaghetti squash, or chunks of rich lobster meat swimming in a creamy mac ’n’ cheese. Cocktails from an ample bar menu compete with craft beer and frozen drinks.
Ruby Tuesday’s staffers aren’t just concerned with making their customers happy—they also want to make Mother Nature happy and do so with a variety of green efforts and massages for trees. Their paper TueGo bags and T-Sack plastic bags are recyclable, and their new restaurants are built with the help of a LEED-accredited design and construction adviser.