41 Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s locations shut down – most with little warning

Bloomin’ Brands, the owner of Outback Steakhouse and several other well-known restaurant chains, has shut the doors on 41 locations.

The company, on an earnings call, surprised investors with news of the permanent closures of select Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s locations. Some 33 of the 41 closings took place last Friday.

“We periodically review our asset base and, in our latest review, we made the decision to close 41 underperforming locations,” CEO David Deno said during the call. “The majority of these restaurants were older assets with leases from the ‘90s and early 2000s.”

The shutdowns came as a result of a variety of factors, ranging from sales and traffic to the cost of necessary improvements. Deno said the move was not a sign of weakness for the company and Bloomin’ Brands plans to open between 40 and 45 new restaurants before the end of the year.  

The company did not give a list of the closed locations, but among the closures was every Outback Steakhouse in Hawaii and Bonefish Grill locations in New Jersey and Virginia. Employees have said they received no warning about the closures.

It was something of a mixed quarter earnings-wise for Bloomin’. Sales at Outback were down 0.3% and fell 3% at Bonefish. Carrabba’s, however, saw same-store sales increase by 2.5%.

At the end of last year, Bloomin’ had 1,480 restaurants in its portfolio. Among those were 688 U.S.-based Outback Steakhouses, 217 Carrabba’s Italian Grills, 176 Bonefish Grills and 64 Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bars. Another 330 locations of those chains were located internationally.

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