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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Monday, Jul. 27, 2020 4 months ago

Amid crisis, restaurant group sees positive sales trends emerging

Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands provides second-quarter financial results.

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN), the Tampa-based parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, states in a press release that 92% of its company-owned restaurants have reopened with limited in-restaurant dining capacity. 

CEO David Deno, providing a business update that accompanies the firm’s second quarter financial results, says flagship brand Outback Steakhouse has begun to reverse the sales slide that accompanied the COVID-19 shutdown. As of July 19, the average weekly in-restaurant dining sales volume, per store, was $60,095. That’s 10.7% less than the same period last year, but Deno says the company has prioritized a swift but responsible reopening process for more than 500 Outback locations nationwide. 

“Our decision to not furlough any employees during this pandemic has allowed us to quickly prepare our restaurants to re-open dining rooms in a safe and efficient manner,” Deno states in the release, adding that cash flow was positive for the month of June. “Across our U.S. portfolio, we experienced consistent weekly sales momentum throughout the second quarter as we adapted to this evolving environment.”

The 36 Outback Steakhouse restaurants that offered only pickup and delivery service didn’t fare as well, with sales down 38.6% for the week ending July 19. But Deno sees a silver lining in that statistic. 

“I am more convinced than ever of the important role that full-service restaurants will continue to play in the lives of our customers and our communities,” he states in the release.

Bloomin’ Brands reported gross revenue of $4.14 billion in 2019, up from $4.13 billion in 2018. 

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