The Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Lakeland, a longtime fixture on South Florida Avenue near the Polk Parkway, is among 147 sites that the chain has quietly closed this year, Business Insider reports.
The Lakeland location still has furniture and fixtures inside, but the exterior bears signs of abandonment. There are no signs telling customers of its fate, but the Lakeland location is no longer listed on the company website.
Ruby Tuesday had already been shedding stores, but the pace of closings has accelerated since the pandemic struck, Business Insider reported. It has transitioned its offerings in recent years in search of younger customers, but its current take on the fast casual concept has not been conducive to takeout ordering, the magazine said.
Business Insider used information from store location service AggData to compile its list of 147 locations that have closed since Jan. 23.
The list includes 11 stores in Florida. Nearby locations remain open in Bartow and Winter Haven, according to the Ruby Tuesday website.
A spokesperson for the company would not comment on the list of closings, but issued a statement: “During these uncertain times, and after careful consideration, we have made the decision to close select locations in an effort to better position our restaurants for future business. We value the dedication and hard work of all our employees and we greatly appreciate all those who support us. We will continue to work hard to make the Ruby Tuesday brand even stronger for the future.”