Outback Steakhouse parent company closes 41 ‘underperforming’ restaurants

Outback Steakhouse parent company closes 41 ‘underperforming’ restaurants

Fans of Outback Steakhouse may be surprised to see their local restaurant permanently closed after the chain’s parent company abruptly shut down dozens of locations around the US.

Bloomin’ Brands revealed in an earnings call last week that it closed 41 “underperforming locations” across the brands it owns, including Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s.

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The closures hit Outback Steakhouses the hardest, the company said in the call.

Bloomin’ said it closed the locations because of a “variety of factors,” including sales, shrinking customer traffic and financial investments that were too costly to improve the locations. Plus, a “majority of these restaurants were older assets with leases from the ’90s and early 2000s,” according to Bloomin’ CEO David Deno.

The company didn’t release a list of closed restaurants.

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Local reports show that Outback locations in Pennsylvania, Iowa and every Outback restaurant in Hawaii recently shuttered. Bonefish Grill locations in New Jersey and Virginia also closed, plus at least three Carrabba’s locations in New York closed.

Of the 41 closures across the brands, 33 restaurants were closed Feb. 23, a Bloomin’ spokesperson told Nation’s Restaurants News.

“Closing restaurants is never easy,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “This was a business decision that has no reflection on the staff or their service. Many team members will have the opportunity to transfer to open positions at another restaurant. Employees who do not will receive severance.”

However, Outback said it plans to open as many as 18 new restaurants in the US this year, reflecting a redesigned restaurant layout that it unveiled in 2022. It has about 700 locations in the US.

Sales in the fourth quarter at Outback struggled, sliding 0.3%, as well as at Bonefish, which fell 3%. Carrabba’s was actually a bright spot, with same-store sales up 2.5%. The stock price for Bloomin’ rose more than 6% in the past five days, topping $28 at one point.

In total, Bloomin’ plans to open as many as 45 restaurants across all of its brands in the coming year.