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Bloomin' Brands continues quest for more catering

The casual-dining company is adding catering at Bonefish Grill as it works to capture more group orders.
Bonefish Grill catering
Bonefish's catering menu includes fish, chicken and pasta as well as its signature Bang Bang Shrimp. / Photograph courtesy of Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill is launching catering nationwide as parent company Bloomin' Brands continues to double down on catering.

The sit-down seafood chain said Friday the new catering menu will be available from all of its 182 restaurants for groups of up to 10. Selections include Bonefish's signature Bang Bang Shrimp starter; fish, chicken and pasta entrees; and a taco bar.

"We're excited to offer a fantastic catering menu for both work events or gatherings with friends and family," Michael Healy, Bonefish Grill president, said in a statement.

Bonefish's larger sister brand, Outback Steakhouse, also began offering catering in April. It's part of an overall emphasis on group orders at Tampa-based Bloomin' coming out of the pandemic.

"We are pursuing catering opportunities as people continue to return to offices," CEO Dave Deno said during Bloomin's most recent earnings call. "We expect off-premises to remain a large and growing part of the business going forward." 

Bloomin's catering sales were "virtually negligible" before the pandemic, but it has been building up the business since, Deno said in February. In 2021, catering sales at its Carrabba's Italian Grill brand shot up 46% compared to 2019. 

"It's a big channel for us," Deno told investors at the time. "Carrabba's is nailing it and Outback is moving in aggressively. So that will be something that we're going to be doing as well."

Bloomin' is one of many restaurant companies to focus more on catering recently as workers start returning to offices. In June, catering platform ezCater said corporate orders had risen 61% since January.

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