The company was formed in 1972, when Sandy Beall and four of his fraternity buddies from the University of Tennessee opened the first Ruby Tuesday restaurant adjacent to the college campus in Knoxville. It was Sandy’s dream to create a restaurant which offered great food at a great price in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The restaurant was named after a Rolling Stones song.

The company was acquired by Morrison Restaurants Inc. in 1982 and changed its name to Ruby Tuesday Inc. in 1996. The company began franchising restaurants in 1997.