In a move aimed at optimizing its business performance, Bloomin' Brands, the parent company of popular restaurant chains such as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill, has confirmed the closure of 41 underperforming locations within its portfolio.

The decision made public during an analyst call on February 23, was attributed to a comprehensive review of the company's asset base, with a focus on eliminating establishments with below-average business.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The CEO's Statement

According to Bloomin' Brands CEO David Deno, the majority of the closed restaurants were older assets with leases dating back to the '90s and early 2000s. Factors influencing the decision included sales and traffic-trade areas, reflecting the proximity of customers to the establishments and their willingness to travel for patronage. Deno emphasized that this closure aligns with the company's broader strategy, announcing plans to open 40 to 45 new restaurants in 2024.

Where Are The Locations That Are Closing?

"All affected locations, including Outback, Carrabba’s, and Bonefish Grill, have been closed as of Friday, Feb. 23," confirmed a spokesperson for Bloomin' Brands. The closures extend beyond Iowa, affecting Outback locations in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Notably, the last remaining Outback restaurants in Hawaii and New Hampshire have also shuttered. Additionally, Bonefish Grill locations in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as Carrabba’s in Virginia and at least three New York locations, were part of the closures.

grilling steaks on flaming grill and shot with selective focus
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Are The Employees Bad Workers?

Bloomin' Brands reassured affected employees that the decision was a business necessity and not a reflection of their service. Team members will have opportunities to transfer to open positions at other restaurants, and those who do not will receive severance packages.

What Is The Company Aiming To Do?

During the analyst call, Deno revealed Bloomin' Brands' commitment to investing $20 million in 2024 to boost traffic through marketing initiatives, including television and digital advertising. The company aims to increase carryout and to-go orders across its brands.

Despite a net income decline to $43.3 million last quarter, down from $58 million the previous year, Bloomin' Brands remains optimistic about its future prospects.
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