Honoring the legacy of founder Ruth Fertel and toasting to the future
50 years ago, the “First Lady of Steak,” Ruth Fertel, bought a local steak house in New Orleans, Louisiana, and transformed it into the now-famous Ruth’s Chris Steak House. What started as one restaurant has grown into the largest collection of upscale steak houses in the world. Now guests routinely savor the sizzle of USDA prime steak and genuine hospitality in more than 140 locations worldwide. This year the company celebrates its 50th anniversary and honors the legacy of Ruth Fertel, a true American entrepreneur, with a unique 50th Anniversary Wine Dinner Series, new menu items and a large number of remodeled restaurants.
“Ruth had a recipe for everything from preparing the best steak of your life to simply living right,” said Mike O’Donnell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. “She knew the value of hard work and the true meaning of hospitality.”
The five-course 50th Anniversary Wine Dinner Series will take place in Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations nationwide. New menu items are currently in test and will be rolled out in the near future. Guests can expect the same exemplary quality of new appetizers, sides and main dishes for which Ruth’s Chris is known. The celebration and menu updates will help set the stage for the next 50 years at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
With the celebrations underway, the company remembers how it all started. In 1965, Fertel was a single mom in New Orleans trying to earn enough to send her two sons to college. After seeing the “for sale” ad of a local steak house in the Times Picayune, she mortgaged her home in order to purchase the restaurant. She worked every job: from butchering and broiling steak, to waiting tables, keeping the books and washing the dishes. Fertel’s hard work paid off, and her restaurant soon became the most popular steak house in New Orleans.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House began with a team of working mothers, hired by Fertel for their hardworking attitudes and dedication to doing things right. Having established a “this is how it’s done” tradition – passion, hard work and business savvy – Ruth’s Chris Steak House began to grow. In the years that followed, Ruth’s Chris Steak House brought its signature sizzle to more than 120 locations in the U.S., and more than 20 internationally. Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s culture has stood the test of time; more than 120 employees have been with the company nearly 20 years or more.
Ruth passed in 2002, but her legacy of community, philanthropy, and commitment to serving only the best lives on. Through her legacy, the First Lady of Steak taught more than how to prepare a great steak. She taught everyone she met how to savor life.
“In this milestone year, we want guests to come in and savor a meal the way Ruth savored life: fearlessly and cheerfully. It’s not just a steak dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses – it’s about creating memories that last a lifetime,” said O’Donnell.
To learn more about the legend of Ruth Fertel and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, visit RuthsChris.com.