the original Ruth's Chris Steak House in New Orleans

Our Story


In 1965, a time when most women couldn’t even apply for a bank card without their husband’s signature, our founder Ruth Fertel risked it all and mortgaged her home to buy a small steak house in New Orleans. As a single mom with two boys, Ruth taught herself the restaurant business, endured countless challenges and, in the process, redefined hospitality.

When a kitchen fire destroyed Chris Steak House in 1976, Ruth was forced to relocate her business, but the Chris Steak House name wasn’t allowed to come along. Short on time, Ruth improvised, adding her own name to the sign. That made it “Ruth’s Chris Steak House” and our legendary name was born.

Do what you love, love what you do.

Chris Steak House


Looking for ways to increase income, 38-year-old single mother Ruth Fertel spotted a local restaurant for sale in a classified ad. Against advice from her banker, lawyer, family and friends, she mortgaged her house and bought the 60-seat Chris Steak House.

New Orleans in 1965


Just months after opening the restaurant, Hurricane Betsy roared into New Orleans. Amid flooding, devastation and a week-long power outage that would spoil her food, Ruth Fertel got busy: she cooked a feast and dished it out to weary relief workers and storm victims.

Ruth Fertel cooking steak at Ruth's Chris Steak House


Early on Ruth discovered a 500° plate with a pat of butter gave a satisfying sound and kept steak hot to the last bite. To replicate that sizzle worldwide, she would eventually put her chemistry background to work designing a proprietary 1800-degree broiler.

Chris Steak House advertisement after the original location burned down


After 11 years of success, a fire destroyed the steak house and Ruth was forced to find a new location. Her contract wouldn’t allow her to keep the original restaurant name so she added hers to it: Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

the original Chris Steak House that preceded Ruth's Chris Steak House


She could have spent her career at the original restaurant, but Ruth always looked for new challenges. When her first franchisee set up shop in 1976, it began the transformation of Ruth’s Chris into the world’s largest fine dining company.

Ruth Fertel, founder of Ruth's Chris Steak House


Welcomed the first Ruth’s Chris southwest of the continental U.S. in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Ruth Fertel at a table at Ruth's Chris Steak House


By now Ruth’s Chris was the world leader in upscale steak houses and its founder had become something of an icon. After selling to a private firm in 1999, Ruth could finally slow down and make time for herself.

a man standing in front of a Ruth's Chris Steak House


Ruth’s Chris took a bold step: initiating a public stock offering, giving guests a chance to invest in a restaurant they already loved. A tribute to its founder, the company still trades on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol RUTH.

Ruth's Chris Winter Park FL exterior


Three wine glasses at Ruth's Chris Steak House

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Ruth's Chris takeout bag

From our kitchen, to your table. Order your favorites for takeout or catering.

gift card on a table at Ruth's Chris Steak House

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