Not just new decor at Ruby Tuesday…

August 21, 2008

Two weeks ago, Ruby Tuesday (RT) staged a mock demolition to drive the point home that the restaurant chain was changing. But the demolition, which was a big hit on YouTube, judging by this long list of people who filmed it, actually showed another chain restaurant being blown up, prompting the company to issue what has to be one of the oddest press releases ever. It basically says, Hey, we’re hip because all the kids are watching our PR-stunt on YouTube.

But it was the company’s proxy filed yesterday that really piqued our interest. Turns out lamps from the seventies aren’t the only things getting the boot at Ruby Tuesday’s: they’ve also gotten rid of one of the company’s two corporate jets. While executives, including CEO Samuel Beall III are still allowed to use the plane, they’re now required to pay for it in advance. Both of those are all well and good, but the numbers that are listed in the proxy for personal jet usage seem artificially low.

Also interesting is that Blackberry Hotel Company, a private company owned by Beall that owns the Ruby Tuesday Lodge near the company’s corporate HQ, is nowhere to be found in the proxy, other than for a brief mention in Beall’s bio. Last August, when Ruby Tuesday was trading at around $22 a share, we footnoted some of the unusual transactions between the two companies.

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