Despite challenges in the casual dining segment in the U.S., as consumers cut back or shift spending to quick service options, Ruby Tuesday has seen momentum in the brand's popularity in other countries.
For example, master franchisee Mahmoud Mousavi operates six Ruby Tuesday locations under its Gourmania flag and has franchisees in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, coming soon, Qatar.
“American casual dining is still a big hit in our area,” said Mousavi, director of franchising and real estate for Kuwait City-based Gourmania International. “We saw, our owners saw, an opportunity, and now we’re ready to capitalize on it and reignite growth.”
Local and regional relationships, like its partnership with Gourmania, are crucial for Ruby Tuesday's successful growth internationally.
“They know how to position the brand in the region,” Ruby Tuesday General Counsel and Vice President Global Franchise DevOps James Vitrano told Franchise Times. “That relationship is what matters most to us,” as does Gourmania’s ability to find qualified sub-franchisees, including a group that recently signed a development for five Ruby Tuesdays in Qatar.
Ruby Tuesday’s push into the Middle East and North Africa is part of the company’s move to reestablish its international presence using a regional approach, Vitrano added, as opposed to the previous strategy “where we rolled dice or threw coins and wherever they land, that’s where we’re going.” The company is also eyeing expansion in South America, East Asia and the Pacific Rim.
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