Major Restaurant Chains Facing Closures

Bloomin’ Brands, the company that owns restaurant chains Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Fleming’s, revealed in its first-quarter earnings call last month that it had closed 41 “underperforming locations” of its various restaurants, CNN reported.

Outback Steakhouses were hardest hit, with Bloomin’ Brands saying Outback’s locations were closed due to a “variety of factors,” including declining customer traffic, anemic sales, and the high cost of improving the locations.

According to CEO David Deno, the majority of the restaurants closed were some of the oldest locations, with leases dating from the 1990s and early 2000s.

While Bloomin’ Brands did not release the list of the 41 locations closed, local reporting revealed that every Outback Steakhouse in Hawaii, along with locations in Iowa and Pennsylvania have recently closed.

Meanwhile, Virginia and New Jersey locations of Bonefish Grill were closed, as were at least three New York locations of Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

A spokesperson for Bloomin’ Brands told Nation’s Restaurants News that as of Friday, February 23, 33 of the 41 restaurants had already closed.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for the company said the decision to close the 41 locations was “no reflection on the staff or their service” but instead was a “business decision.” The spokesperson said many restaurant employees would be offered the chance to transfer to another Bloomin’ Brands restaurant. The employees who cannot move would be offered severance packages.

At the same time, Outback Steakhouse said it would be opening up to 18 new locations in the US this year that would feature the redesigned layout that was first unveiled in 2022.

In the final quarter of 2023, sales at Outback dropped 0.3 percent. Bonefish Grill’s sales fell 3 percent. Carrabba’s Italian Grill, however, showed a 2.5 percent increase in same-store sales.