Tampa-based Restaurant Company Bloomin’ Brands Announces Closure of Select Outback Steakhouse Locations

Bloomin’ Brands, headquartered in Tampa, has disclosed its decision to shut down 41 underperforming outlets across its portfolio, which includes Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s. With a presence of over 700 restaurants nationwide, Bloomin’ Brands is a significant player in the hospitality industry.

The closures will primarily affect Outback Steakhouse, the company’s flagship restaurant chain. Although specific locations were not disclosed, recent closures in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and all Outback restaurants in Hawaii suggest the scale of the closures. Additionally, Bonefish Grill sites in New Jersey and Virginia, along with three Carrabba locations in New York, have ceased operations.

Bloomin’ Brands cited various factors for the closures, including declining sales, reduced foot traffic, and the costliness of renovations needed to revitalize the locations. CEO David Deno highlighted that many of the shuttered restaurants were older establishments with leases dating back to the 1990s and early 2000s.

The fourth-quarter performance of Outback and Bonefish saw a decline in sales by 0.3% and 3%, respectively, while Carrabba’s experienced a 2.5% increase in same-store sales, offering a bright spot amid the challenges. Despite these closures and the associated challenges, Bloomin’ Brands’ stock price surged over 6% in the last five days, briefly surpassing $28.

Despite the closures, Bloomin’ Brands remains optimistic about its future growth prospects. The company intends to open up to 45 new restaurants across the United States this year, signaling its commitment to expansion and adapting to evolving market dynamics.

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While the closures reflect a strategic move to streamline operations and focus on high-performing locations, Bloomin’ Brands continues to navigate the evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, aiming for sustained growth and profitability.

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