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When J.J. Buettgen, chairman, President, and CEO of Ruby Tuesday, discussed the company’s brand transformation during the April 9 third-quarter earnings conference call, he noted customer experience as a key strategic focus.
“We continue to improve the guest experience through operations initiatives like our memorable service training,” Buettgen said, according to Seeking Alpha. “We are building key capabilities in our marketing organization and strengthening our culinary innovation pipeline. We are also testing a range of new menu items and marketing programs in the fourth quarter. We’re confident in our strategies and our restaurant and support center teams are fully engaged and have embraced our vision for the company and our common goal to drive profitable same-restaurant sales and guest count growth.”
Same-restaurant sales slipped 0.3% in the third quarter and check growth lagged, Buettgen said, as the company continues to invest affordability and promotional efforts.
“We began by charting a new strategic direction to reposition Ruby Tuesday as a more energetic and casual brand, a brand that is more broadly appealing and more affordable, a brand that is a great choice for a wider variety of occasions and guests, including families with kids,” Buettgen explained. “As we’ve said before, repositioning and transforming a brand is a journey. It’s not accomplished in a couple of quarters and our results may not be on a straight line trajectory.”
Since the brand transformation journey began. The company has implemented a wide range of targeted initiatives to reposition the Ruby Tuesday brand, to increase sales and guest counts, to strengthen its business model, and improve financial performance.
“As part of our brand’s transformation, we’ve introduced a broad range of exciting new menu items and energized the restaurant atmosphere,” Buettgen said. “We have improved our marketing communications and continued to increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of our media and promotion plans. These changes have been well received by our guests and help to improve our performance. We certainly have more work to do and we remain focused on our objective of driving profitable same-restaurant guest count growth.”
The brand transformation strategy focuses on four key pillars: Food, service, atmosphere, and communication.
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