The long-running restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday has just filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is closing 185 of its stores, USA Today reports. 

With the pandemic still raging, few industries have been hit as hard as the restaurant industry. Not even an established chain like Ruby Tuesday could weather the storm, as it looks to use the debt-cutting process to improve its finances so that it doesn't have to close permanently. However, the 185 stores that are closing will be out of business permanently, leaving 236 company-owned and operated locations left.

"We do not anticipate any additional restaurant closures at this time," Ruby Tuesday chief marketing officer Jenifer Boyd Harmon said in a statement. "We remain committed to providing our guests with safe, quality experiences at all our current locations."

Ruby Tuesday had also been struggling for years prior because of increased competition from fast-food and fast-casual competitors. Reduced traffic to its mall-based locations and the rise of new food delivery options also slowed business, according to Ruby Tuesday CEO Shawn Lederman, who wants to be clear that just because the restaurant filed for bankruptcy, it doesn't mean it will be going away forever.

"This announcement does not mean ‘Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday,'" Lederman said in a statement. "Today’s actions will allow us an opportunity to reposition the company for long-term stability as we recover from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19."

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