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Outback Steakhouse gets into catering

The chain is now offering the service at 481 restaurants as it looks to tap into workers returning to the office.
Outback Steakhouse catering food
Outback's catering menu includes a build-your-own-burger bar. / Photograph courtesy of Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse is launching catering for the first time, bringing the service to 481 of its nearly 700 restaurants with plans for more.

Timed to align with the return of workers to offices, the menu offers both buffet-style and individual boxed entrees for groups of 10 or more.

“We’re looking forward to sharing milestone moments with our guests at occasions like weddings, family gatherings, watch parties, and celebrations,” said Outback President Brett Patterson in a statement. “We’re particularly excited to cater to employees as they return to the office because we know the power of sharing a great meal.”

Executives of Outback parent Bloomin’ Brands hinted at a greater emphasis on catering during a February earnings call. The service has been a source of growth at the company’s Carrabba’s Italian Grill brand, where catering sales increased 46% last year compared to 2019.

“It's a big channel for us,” Bloomin’ CEO Dave 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.”

Outback’s catering menu features some of its signature dishes including Alice Springs Chicken, Victoria’s Filet Mignon and Kookaburra Wings. There are also options specific to the catering menu like a build-your-own burger bar. 

Orders can be placed online and are available for pickup before 4 p.m. every day.

Tampa-based Outback had a solid 2021, finishing the year essentially flat compared to 2019 in terms of total sales, and besting its 2020 sales by 26%, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. 

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