The founder of Ruth’s Chris Steak House is Ruth Fertel. [37] In 2017, the company was accused of denying service to African-American customers, as part of a class action lawsuit. “She knew everybody, and that’s what I wanted for myself.” Fertel became Brown’s mentor in the restaurant business. Savor the savings at Ruth’s Chris. Ruth eventually included her own recipes and hired an all-female staff. "What sets Ruth’s Chris apart from other high-end steakhouses is that Ruth Fertel always insisted on having the best available prime beef, never frozen, hand cut daily at the restaurants. Obituary: Ruth Fertel / Started Ruth's Chris Steak House chain . [17], In that period, the chain expanded to 86 restaurants, including 10 overseas locations. [29] In 2015, it was announced that the restaurant was expanding into Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ruth Fertel is founder of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain. Matulich sued her though stopping her from using the name. Her job as a lab technician wasn't paying enough for her to send the kids to college, so she went to the classifieds to find something better. Within six months, she had raked in more than twice her annual Tulane salary. [11] The sales agreement with Matulich prevented her from using the original name at any other address, so she named the new restaurant Ruth's Chris Steak House in order to keep some continuity with the previous location. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a franchise restaurant with more than 150 restaurants all over the world. From local and wire dispatches . [36], The restaurant chain was sued in 2014 for grave and indelible injuries caused to a customer at a New Orleans branch. During Matulich's 38-year management, the business was sold six times, failing each time, and enabling him to buy the restaurant back cheaply from the purchasers. But before there were 130+ locations serving 25,000 steaks a day, there was a fearless single mother of two who tore an ad from the local newspaper that read “steak house for sale” and thought, “I can do that”. [9] She initially planned to raise just $18,000 to cover the purchase price, until it was pointed out to her that she would need an additional $4,000 to cover the cost of renovations and food. [21] Members of the Fertel family, particularly Ruth's son Randy, were bitterly opposed to the move. [33] In 2016, Ruth's Chris opened its restaurant in Odenton, Maryland. Ruth’s Story Over four decades ago, Ruth Fertel, a divorced mother of two, mortgaged her home for $22,000 to buy a small 60-seat restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana named Chris Steak House. [38], The original Chris Steak House (1927–1965), Acquisition by Madison Dearborn 1999–2005, McDowell, Bill, "Ruth's Chris Steak House,", "Never Give Up: Ruth's Chris Steak House,", Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, "Ruth's Chris Made $468 Million in Revenue but Gobbled Up $20 Million in Small Business Relief", "Ruth's Chris Steak House Gets $20 Million From Coronavirus Aid Program", "Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. | Company profile from Hoover's | 407-333-7440", "Ruth Fertel: A Pioneer in the Restaurant Industryauthor= Katie Bloor & Linda J Shea", "The BP Oil Spill and the Bounty of Plaquemines Parish", "Ruth Fertel of Steakhouse Fame Is Dead at 75", "Philanthropist, founder of TJ Ribs, Ruffino's restaurants T.J. Moran dies at age 84, family friend says: Restaurateur funded medical outreach", "Madison Dearborn Finds Ruth's Chris To Be Tasty Morsel", "Ruth Built the Steakhouse. [6][7], Ruth Fertel was a divorced single mother who needed money to send her teenage sons to college. While looking for a way to finance her children through college, she mortgaged her home and purchased an existing restaurant in 1965 turning it into a successful steakhouse. [11], In early 1976, shortly after Fertel signed a new ten-year lease on the restaurant, a fire destroyed the building. Ruth Fertel purchased the restaurant in 1965 which was then called Chris steakhouse which was named after the previous owner, Chris Matulich. "[13], The first franchised restaurant was opened in 1977 by a loyal customer, Thomas J. By: Megan Pasche Ruth Fertel, the woman behind one of the world’s biggest steakhouse chains probably has one of the most interesting stories in the history of the North American restaurant business. Amid much criticism by local officials and media, and on the heels of the announcement by Morton's that it would reopen its own New Orleans branch,[22] the corporate offices announced that, due to extensive damage, the old flagship location on Broad Street would be permanently closed and donated to charity. However, after having been sold multiple times, the restaurant was acquired by Ruth Fertel in 1965. In 2010, we celebrated our 45th anniversary, and we consider it a celebration of the life of a woman who broke the mold – our founder, Ruth Fertel. [2] On April 24, 2020, it was reported that the loans would be repaid to the Treasury Department following the public controversy. In 1927, Chris Matulich, a New Orleans entrepreneur, founded Chris Steak House. It is the largest steakhouse company in terms of number of locations. Ruth Fertel, who found a New Orleans restaurant called Chris Steak House in the classified ads and from it built one of the largest steakhouse chains in the world, died Tuesday in … The business was acquired by Ruth Fertel in 1965, and renamed it to Ruth… [35], On multiple occasions and in several jurisdictions, Ruth's Chris has been the target of legal action for its treatment of staff, employees, and customers. [24] In May 2008, Ruth's Chris reopened in New Orleans and is centrally located downtown in Harrah's Hotel at 525 Fulton Street. Like most businesses in the city, two of the chain's locations in the New Orleans area were forced to close because of the storm. J." The charges stemmed from a Houston customer who was seated in a different dining area. Phone: (901)761-0055. Ruth’s Chris Steak House was established in 1965.