Mar 6 2008

Ruby Tuesday working to avoid loan defaults

Ruby Tuesday Inc.'s lenders have agreed to give the restaurant chain until next month to amend its loan agreements to avoid default, the company said Wednesday.

"With the completion of our remodeling initiative, our repositioning investments and expenditures, and the temporary suspension of new restaurant openings, our focus is firmly on sales and profits with all excess cash flow being used to reduce debt levels. This should allow us to strengthen our financial position over the coming quarters and then focus on our strategy of returning excess capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases," Beall added.

The company, which has 944 company-owned, domestic and international franchised restaurants, warned in January of a possible default on its debt obligations. At the time, Beall described to investment analysts the continuing industry slump and economic downturn, comparing it to a "perfect storm."

It's always sad when a good company goes public and has to focus on "repositioning investments and expenditures" and "reducing debt levels" using "excess cash flow" and "strengthening their financial position" and "returning excess capital to shareholders" instead of just making a good product, food in this case, and providing good service to their customers.

One thing that distinguishes them...

...has been the salad bar. People who like that sort of thing can't get it in most restaurants. They also provided, at one time, diet friendly meals. Do they still do that?

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

I'm surprised they didnt use

I'm surprised they didnt use 9/11 as an excuse.

Two Sisters?

Be looking for a Federal bailout. Lamar doesn't want to lose a business partner.

Blackberry City Lodge

So a company in financial straits is going to get out of trouble by focusing on the lodge? This is a zoning grab, plain and simple. Because the college got into a long term lease with RT, doesn't mean it will last the entire term. Look to see this building rezoned so it's value will increase - as if to make it more profitable for a sale.

Are there any guarantees with this re-zone? RT has opened up their facilities to public before. Remember Ruby T's? How long did that last?

I guess Wilkinson Pike at the location isn't dangerous enough, we need to increase the number of out of town guests who have had a few at the restaurant on this road.

DG, have you seen the

DG, have you seen the latest? (link...)

Good for them

Wednesday afternoon, faculty members, students and administrators met at Maryville College to discuss the rezoning. The request was withdrawn today.

Chalk one up to our youth. Looks like college kids aren’t as enamored with being spoon fed great deals by large corporations as high school kids. That or there were second thoughts – or maybe just getting around to first thoughts. All this seemed to be set up to happen quickly.


It has always pissed me off that MC leased Morningside Inn to RT. RT did remodel and redo the gardens, for which I am grateful, but MC could have dome that as well.

RT going down is big news for Maryville. Just think if the restaurant goes under. Suddenly vacant buildings in downtown.

In my opinion, RT deserves what is happening. Classic example of corporate types being out of contact with its customers.


Wow FarmerJohn, wow.

I am not a fan of large corporations, but they do supply employment to a large percentage of the population. For that reason, I am always saddened to hear that a business of any size is having trouble. If RT goes down there will be more than 500 people at the corporate level and over 40,000 people that work in the restaurants that will find themselves unemployed. How could I feel good about something like that?

As for the Lodge, have you actually been to there lately? It is stunning. RT spent milllions repairing it. There is no way that MC could put the resources into it that RT has. They would be remiss to do so when there are so many buildings that students actually use that are in various states of disrepair. For goodness sake, the front of the international house is practically falling off the building, the dorms above the Proffitt dining hall smell vaguely of sewage and often the A/C doesn't work, and then there is the work needed at the Cooper Athletic building...

I find it scary that the Lodge and the land around it is zoned residential in the first place. Why not make the area a Conservation Zone?

What about the NEW civics center?

To think that MC would beg of the county taxpayers for money when so many things on campus are in such a state is the real hypocrisy taking place here.

Why would they want such a large "new" building to maintain when they can't even maintain what they've got?

I think we all know why. There's a lot of ROCK in a civics center.

As for the Lodge and Ruby Tuesdays, I hate to see someone lose there job also but think about it.................these people who lose their jobs at RT won't have to "lose" their uniforms. They can just wear them to their new jobs at TGI Fridays or Bennigans or Chilis or Applebees or (etc).

These places are all the same right? Since the food is all the same, I just thought....................

"Effective management always means asking the right question."
-Robert Heller

Maybe Sandy needs to start asking "the right question" instead of spending so much of his time developing the "Three Sisters" with Jim and Lamar. He evidentally has other ambitions at this point in his life that doesn't involve the restaraunt business but does involve his new buddies in the GOP.

Rebeldog: The new Civic Arts

Rebeldog: The new Civic Arts Center will replace two old buildings that were in a sad state of repair and also did not serve the college's (or the community's)needs very well. I do not see where the hypocrisy is relative to the CAC.

My premise.........................

The fact that the NEW civics center will replace two old buildings really has no bearing on the point that I was trying to make.

The "sad state of repair" that you mentioned IS the very premise that I was trying to produce.

Why beg the county residents for money for something that you can't afford? Judging from so many buildings being in this "sad state of repair" leads most intelligent people to believe that there will come a day when the NEW civics center is no longer NEW and will also fall into the category of "sad state of repair". Will they beg for more money then too? Will someone from the GOP start pushing for a bigger and better civics center at that point? I think so.

The only "needs" that will be served by the MC Civics Center will be the "needs" of the development industry and those who benefited from exercising their conflicts-of-interests as in the case of a certain person on the Maryville City School Board.

hy·poc·ri·sy –noun, plural -sies. 1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
3. an act or instance of hypocrisy.

Saying that you need money for a building when you can't even raise enough money to maintain what buildings that you already have is dishonest and not something that should be expected from a religious institution such as MC.

I'm sure that they had some friends in the GOP who convinced them that WE ALL NEED THIS NEW CIVICS CENTER. All the while, the Lambert Camp was just interested in selling more rock and empowering their development-minded buddies. The Lamberts don't care about the "civics" of Blount County and that, my friend, is about the best example of hypocrisy that I can give concerning local politics.

The shame of it all is the supposedly "enlightened" folks at MC bought into this lie. I'm not against a civics center. I am against our tax dollars being misused to fund another project that will only make money for the Lambert Camp and one that is destined to be in a "sad state of repair" after a few years.

Again, I hope this provides a thought "outside of the box" for a change.

I thought that this blog was about Ruby Tuesdays' poor management practices that are driving them into bankruptcy, not whether supporters of the new MC civics center actually ended up being the minority in the county. That's why no funding came from the county government by the way.

Yellowdog, I hope that you see now what my premise was.

I agree that many proponents

I agree that many proponents of the CAC in the county are the same people who are in the inner circle of the GOP. I hope you are right that the county commission's narrow rejection of funding the CAC had something to do with making that crowd a minority in the county, but I doubt it.

I do not think the CAC will fall into disrepair within our lifetimes unless the General Contractor subs to Ed Shore to build it. The folks at MC will come out ok in this. I am not sure who was using whom.

I think mismanagement of the economy has as much to do with Ruby's problems as their own arrogance, but both are pretty sorry.


I hate that we got off on a tangent here, but never-the-less, here we go...........

"I hope you are right that the county commission's narrow rejection of funding the CAC had something to do with making that crowd a minority in the county, but I doubt it".

The "narrow rejection" came because the folks who are supposed to represent us had "selling rock" on the brain. Both of the commissioners in my district voted to spend county taxpayer's money on this project. They did so because of their connections to the GOP, not because they bought into the "enlightened excuse" that the MC crowd created.

Had the civics center gone to a "binding referendum vote", I think you would have found out just how much the MC crowd is a minority in the cities also. But it didn't, and they got what they wanted just like the "minority" of people who are part of the Republican/development machine in Blount County.

The MC crowd had legitimate reasons (however misguided they may be) for wanting the civics center. But the people who actually did the "voting" for the civics center did so for the wrong reasons. Do you understand?
The MC crowd was after "enlightenment". The Lambert Camp wanted to sell more rock and the MC crowd provided them with the opportunity to do so. Comprende' mi amigo?

I would just hate to think that I was part of the crowd that "enabled" the Republican/Lambert/Development machine in Blounty County.

I personally heard Mrs. Clayton make the statement that she "...would not live anywhere where she couldn't go see the symphony play".......and when one of the Claytons wants a civics center, they obviously get it.

As far as "...making that crowd a minority in the county...", you can't manufacture a "minority". I am very in touch with folks in my district. I can assure you that WE, as a MAJORITY of OUR district, did NOT want our taxpayer's dollars spent to "enable" the Lambert Camp.

Getting back to the "state of repair"..............

Did you not say that the NEW civics center was going to replace two old buildings that had fallen into a state of bad repair? I got news for you boss, those two buildings weren't really that old.

I think that no matter what kind of background that you may come from, WE ALL LOVE some form of art. Whether it be music, paintings, sculptures, etc., we all have an interest in "civics".

I, however, take my "civics" in the form of TRUE CULTURE such as what goes on at Rocky Branch every weekend. The Rocky Branch Community Center is PRIVATELY funded and serves more of the MAJORITY in my district than the NEW civics center at MC ever will.

We've been pickin' for generations in Blount County and already have OUR civics center in my district. Because of the "self-sufficiency" that is part of our "Southern Appalachian Culture", we did not need the help of the Lambert Camp or corrupt local government to have a place to enjoy the "civics" that WE love. Some people do...............and some people may call themselves "progressives" and "liberals" but that doesn't mean that they aren't "elitists".

Again, I hope this helps to "enlighten" you, yellow dog, on the TRUTH about the MC Civics Center and WHY it is being built.

"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."
-Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900 - 1965)

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."
-Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
-Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)

Got to argue with one point

I don't pretend to be well-versed in issues of funding, but...

Throughout her childhood, my niece used to play her piano recitals in that square squatty building with the auditorium and huge organ in it. I don't know what year that was built, or how old it is, but you just can't argue that it wasn't in bad repair. The basement hall was constantly cluttered with buckets to catch the water leaking from somewhere, the main doors couldn't even shut properly, and the rear doors and class rooms weren't easily handicapped accessible. In fact, I don't see anyway that building could have been made handicapped accessible. I don't think the place was energy efficient, either. The individual rooms seemed to have their own heating and cooling.

I don't know what the arrangement was, but I know MC had a Suzuki piano school for preschool through high school students operating out of there. My niece managed to get a couple of college scholarships to another institution as a result of that program. So I don't think MC was selfish with the building, and it certainly was a blessing to the community. As it stands, there are not other buildings in our community to use for piano recitals that I am aware of, other than churches.

To say it another way, I think there are more reasons for needing a civic arts center than for the wealthy to view symphonies. I think it will prove to be a good resource for the community.

Then you need to get out more.

"As it stands, there are not other buildings in our community to use for piano recitals that I am aware of, other than churches."

Then you need to get out more.

There are lots of places out there that would be more than happy to allow a piano recital other than churches. Rocky Branch, Music Row, Alynwick(SP?), HHS, WBHS, MHS, AHS.............all of which have nice auditoriums and would welcome an opportunity to serve ALL of the community.

"I think it will prove to be a good resource for the community."

It will be a better source for tax-dollars than the two buildings that were torn down.............and we all know what kind of organized crime manipulates the taxpayer's money these days.

Chill, rebeldog! I agree

Chill, rebeldog! I agree with you about much of what you say. Still, Wilson Chapel and the old Fine Arts Center, though not "old" compared to , say Anderson Hall, were poorly designed and awkward to use, as Local Yokel attests, and replacing them will be a good thing, at least for MC.

Different advocates of this project had different goals: some wanted to sell rocks, some wanted MC to have a better place in which to run an art and music program, some wanted a place to hear various kinds of music, some think it will encourage "economic development" and tourism, point is that there were/are many reasons why this is happening, not just one. I think that in this case, "truth" is more complicated than you say.

If the advocates of the CAC are now in a minority in the county, as you say, then we should expect the GOP to lose some elections soon, beginning with the upcoming judge race between Mike Meares and David Duggan, the latter of whom is a major part of the GOP apparatus.

And back to the reason for this thread, the Ruby Tuesday management people were not particularly active in promoting the CAC. Maybe they were too busy opening reataurants in China.

Brother, I hope that Mike

Brother, I hope that Mike Meares can win but there's alot of propaganda being ditributed by the GOP right now. He's got my vote but he's going to need more than that.

You have to understand that the NEW civics center issue was the first time that I have seen the left side engineer a manipulation to that extreme of the right side. It was the first time that I saw the Lambert Establishment and the Progressives work as a team to secure taxpayer dollars for their PRIVATE interests.

I'm going to have to disagree with you about the Ruby Tuesday people not being active promoting the NEW civics center. They weren't the most vocal, but they were there just like the Denso crowd.

Some of this "promotion" actually runs back to the same crowd that is now promoting the Pellissippi Parkway Extension. It's always the same players................ALWAYS!

"Different advocates of this project had different goals: some wanted to sell rocks, some wanted MC to have a better place in which to run an art and music program, some wanted a place to hear various kinds of music, some think it will encourage "economic development" and tourism, point is that there were/are many reasons why this is happening, not just one. I think that in this case, "truth" is more complicated than you say."

I can assure you that I see the WHOLE picture.

I appreciate the debate but it sounds like we have more in common than you think. You may not be at the treasure chest yet.............but you've definitely got the map!

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." -John Kenneth Galbraith

"To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something." -Walker Percy

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