More Sweeping Changes Planned For Outback Steakhouse: Expansion, and Smaller Locations

Joel Eisenberg

The plans are longterm in nature and expected to improve the entity’s bottom line and customer dining experience.

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Outback SteakhousePhoto byOutback.com

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: ScrapeHero.com, NRN.com, and CNN.com.

Introduction

Within the time span since the publication of my November 16th article for NewsBreak about the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain, entitled “Sweeping Changes Coming to Outback Steakhouse,” two more company locations have opened.

According to ScrapeHero.com: There are 695 Outback Steakhouse stores in the United States as of November 23, 2022. The state with the most number of Outback Steakhouse locations in the U.S is Florida, with 97 stores, which is about 14% of all Outback Steakhouse stores in the U.S.

My NewsBreak article excerpted a report from Trade site NRN.com, “Outback Steakhouse Parent Bloomin’ Brands Leans Into Tech For Kitchen, Service and Sales,” that detailed the titular plans.

As excerpted from the NRN.com report: Bloomin’ Brands Inc., parent to Outback Steakhouse and other casual-dining concepts, is updating technology in both the front and back of the house that it expects will improve service levels and food quality, executives said Friday… At Outback, the company is rolling out new kitchen grills and ovens to improve food quality and productivity, he said. The new ovens are in about 35% of restaurants, he said. “We are also installing kitchen display systems for meal pacing and handheld technology for our servers,” he said. “We expect to complete the rollout of the handheld technology by the end of the year and the new cooking technology by the middle of next year.”

In recent days, archived articles have resurfaced detailing some of these plans, and others, with more specificity.

Let us explore further.

Outback Steakhouse: The Future

An archived May 14th story from CNN.com, “Here’s What the Outback Steakhouse of the Future Looks Like,” discussed specifics and company goals: Like many casual dining chains, Outback is pivoting toward a post-pandemic future in which delivery and takeout orders are increasingly important to the bottom line. So the chain, known for its Bloomin’ Onions and steaks, is reducing the size of its restaurants by 17% to clock in at about 5,000 square feet.

The article further stated, in addition to referencing identical points from the NRN.com piece: As for diners, one of the biggest aesthetic changes they’ll see is the bar: Once a horse shoe-shape in the center of the restaurant, the new bars have been pushed back against the wall. Patterson said they comprise about 70% of seats compared to the previous bar layout, but are still a “focal point” because of a freshened up design and visibility from the entrance.

Several locations have been successfully tested with the bar this year, and it is expected to become a mainstay. Also, as I had covered in my previous piece, other changes include increasing company visibility to younger patrons by partnering with and using as spokespeople college athletes for marking purposes.

The main change patrons can expect to see, however, to reiterate, are remodeled smaller locations, which are anticipated to decrease operational expense.

Conclusion

As I had mentioned in my prior linked article on the chain, Outback Steakhouse appears to be turning a corner from recent financial lows, and ongoing changes to the entity’s operations have been widely considered a net positive.

In the event of further updates to this story, I will post them here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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