Ruby Tuesday emerges from bankruptcy, shifts focus to delivery-only brands

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Casual dining chain Ruby said on Wednesday it had emerged from bankruptcy, nearly five months after it filed for Chapter 11 protection as restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic halted dine-in operations.

The restaurant chain, known for its classic American burgers and steaks, said the bankruptcy allowed it to shed liabilities, including leases from closed locations that were impacted by the health crisis and focus on 209 company-owned locations.

"Ruby Tuesday is a healthier company now and is positioned to be more efficient, competitive and stable for the future," Chief Executive Officer Shawn Lederman said.

The company said it would focus on developing "delivery-only" brands and increase its off-premise presence, as consumers still wary of contracting the virus choose to order online and have food delivered to their doorstep.

The chain, founded nearly half a century ago, had struggled even before the pandemic due to increasing competition and as fewer people chose to dine at full-service restaurants.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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