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5 highlights of Bloomin’ Brands last quarter

The release of financial results and a follow-up discussion by management revealed a number of suprises about the Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s parent. Here are five.

  1. Outback’s same-store sales for the quarter rose year-over-year by 6.4 percent, beating expectations.
  2. Carrabba’s will use the name Abbraccio for some international expansion.
  3. Fleming’s, Bloomin’s high-end concept, is drawing attention from millennials with a push for late-night dining. The chain’s 8/9/10 deal—eight items offered for $9 until 10 p.m.—is aimed at younger people who typically work past 5. Bloomin’ CEO Liz Smith called it a key differentiator for Fleming’s.
  4. Outback will start advertising its lunch service, a relatively new addition for the once-dinner-only concept. About 61 percent of the chain is now open at midday. It plans to offer lunch in 70 percent of the system by the second quarter, when the new marketing program is scheduled to begin.
  5. The addition of lunch tends to cannibalize about 15 percent of dinner or late-night sales, but that cost is worth the opportunity to tap the $25 billion that’s spent annually in casual dining at midday, Smith said. She also noted that lunch business has been increasing while dinner sales have contracted, according to NPD.

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