Bloomin’ Brands, the Tampa-based company that owns a spate of popular restaurant brands such as Carrabba's Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill, thinks Americans still want to know “where’s the beef?"
Now it plans to make it easier for them to find it.
According to Bloomin’ Brands CEO Liz Smith’s comments during a recent earnings call, 50 new Outback Steakhouse locations are in the works, and 14 existing restaurants will be relocated “as quickly as quality sites become available.”
Outback — relatively speaking — is the top performer in the Bloomin’ portfolio, with sales rising 4% in the second quarter and profit up 0.6%. The mid-price restaurant sector, in general, has struggled of late to adapt to changing consumer habits.
“At Outback, sales and traffic continued to outpace the industry,” Smith states in a press release. In the call, she says the brand’s restaurant remodeling program has been a boon for revenue, “generating a sales lift well in excess of 30%” as customers have responded with enthusiasm to the improved ambience at remodeled stores.
That's port of the impetus for the forthcoming new locations. Smith declines to specify in what markets the new restaurants will be, and where the 14 existing eateries will be relocated.
Smith also cites enhancements to steak preparation and portion sizes as drivers of Outback’s strong performance. "It’s clear that the investments we have made to elevate the customer experience are driving healthy sales growth," says Smith. “We feel very good about Outback.”