Outback, home of Bloomin’ Onion, to offer lean meals, too

Outback Steakhouse’s parent company will debut some low-calorie entrees as part of its effort to make it through what could be a rocky 2010.

That was one of the announcements OSI Restaurant Partners of Tampa made during a conference call with investors and securities analysts Wednesday morning. In discussing its 2009 financial results, the company also announced that it lost about $54 million last year, a rough period for casual-dining restaurants nationwide.

On a positive note, sales seem to be rebounding in the last few months as more people venture back into restaurants, the company said.

On Wednesday, new Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Smith said customers will probably spend cautiously for the foreseeable future. So OSI and its biggest brand, Outback, are focused on cutting costs and introducing more value to the menu.

“The new normal is that consumers will certainly be more thoughtful and discerning in their spending,” said Smith, who was named OSI’s chief executive in November.

Outback may be best known for its hearty steaks and Bloomin’ Onion appetizer, which has 1,560 calories, according to its menu in New York, where restaurants must post calorie counts.

The steakhouse chain will debut several entrees with fewer than 500 calories in April, Smith said. No further information was available about the plan Wednesday morning.

Outback revamped its menu last year to include 15 entrees for less than $15 in an effort to draw customers in a recession. On Wednesday, Smith said OSI would continue to emphasize value on its menus through a range of prices and portion sizes, including a new focus on smaller entrees at its Carrabba’s Italian Grill chain.

However, she insisted the company wouldn’t deeply discount its existing menu items, as some other chains have done.

According to its annual financial report, OSI lost $54.4 million last year, which was actually an improvement over 2008, when it lost $742 million. Most of the 2008 loss came from a non-cash expense related to the value of its businesses.

Still, revenues continued to fall last year. Revenues in 2009 were $3.6 billion, about 9 percent lower than the $3.96 billion reported in 2008.

Aside from Outback and Carrabba’s, OSI also operates Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy’s. All told, OSI operates 1,477 restaurants worldwide.

Among its brands, only Bonefish Grill saw an improvement in sales during the fourth quarter. For the three months ended Dec. 31, sales at Bonefish Grill restaurants open for 18 months or longer – a measurement known as comparable store sales – rose 1.1 percent.

OSI executives were optimistic about Bonefish Grill’s improvement, saying it is one of the few restaurants in its restaurant category to see a sales increase.

Among other OSI brands in the fourth quarter, comparable store sales were down 6 percent at Outback, down 3.6 percent at Carrabba’s and down 5.7 percent at Fleming’s. OSI does not break out comparable store sales at the small Roy’s chain

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Duke Witte was great to work with from the beginning.

    He took my resume and made it a masterpiece. He followed that up with coaching, advice, and mentoring through the entire process including following up with me well over 60 days of employment. He listened to what I was looking for and found me a wonderful fit. I have been working in hospitality on and off since 1993 and I can say without hesitation this was the best process of job acquisition I have ever had. He found me a company I can call home. I understand being skeptical but this company, and more specifically Duke delivered on his promise to me. I am grateful to have had a chance to work with such an unwavering professional. I would and will continue to recommend Patrice & Associates as a premiere recruiting company. Thank you, Thomas Showalter   Duke Witte was great to work with!
  • Carly was very amazing!!!

    She worked and understood my situation, potential and needs.  She knew what I was looking for, what my options were, and she never offered fake leads or over or under-qualified positions.  Carly is a great asset to your company.  She is very polite, welcoming  and a professional individual.

    I once again thank her for her efforts and time to land me an opportunity which suits my skills and needs.   Thank you. Harshesh patel. Carly was very amazing!!!
  • I am grateful for Milton's help...

    I would like to give thanks to Milton Sallee, he definitely took the time make sure that I was ready for my interview. By just coaching me form start to end, and I believe the extra training he gave me was definitely the most helpful. He represents his client well.  I am grateful for everything that he has done and I can't wait till I start with with me new career. Thanks for your help, Anthony V. Branch II I am grateful for Milton's help...
  • Stacie is one of the best recruiters that I have ever worked with!

    She is very professional, resourceful, thorough, prompt, efficient, and engaged. She is full of so much passion and drive. She had my best interest at heart throughout our three month process (we were only engaged with one concept the entire time). I began the process with a wealth of knowledge and experience, but Stacie was still able to add tons of value to my profile and preparation throughout the entire process. Stacie keeps in contact with me on a regular basis, even during my training. She played an essential role in me joining a great organization. Stacie is a great asset, and I am grateful that our paths crossed. I give her a five star rating!   Sincerely, Joshua Towbridge Stacie is one of the best recruiters that I have ever worked with!
  • Jonathan Litt was amazing!

    He was there step by step. I never felt that I was alone in this process . I received constant feedback and updates. And within a few short weeks I had offers .  Patrice and Associates were instrumental in my job transition. Thank you, Rodney Powell Jonathan Litt was amazing!