Bloomin' Brands has promoted Pat Hafner to president of Carrabba's Italian Grill, more than 25 years after Hafner started with the company as a server at Outback Steakhouse.
Hafner will lead operations and development for the 220-unit Italian chain, where he has been VP of operations since 2018.
He fills a role left vacant by former Carrabba's President Michael Kappitt, who left in 2020 to become chief operations and insights officer at Subway.
“Pat’s commitment to growth and development not only propelled his own career, but the success of the Carrabba’s brand and its expansion of off-premises, including catering” said Bloomin' CEO David Deno in a statement. “His strength in both leadership and results are invaluable.”
After starting at Outback as a server in 1996, Hafner became a manager, managing partner, joint venture partner and regional vice president for the steakhouse chain. He moved over to Carrabba's in 2018.
The brand has performed well during Hafner's tenure, with systemwide sales up nearly 6% since 2018. Catering, as Deno mentioned, has been a particular bright spot coming out of the pandemic.
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