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Bloomin’ Brands Looks To Grow Delivery Business, Cut Expenses In 2020

Delivery is available at more than 500 Outback restaurants.

Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands says customers are increasingly choosing delivery over dining out. The company, which owns Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, and Carrabba's has poured millions of dollars into restaurant renovations. And it’s trying to entice diners with a loyalty program. 

At the same time,  DoorDash, Uber Eats, and other delivery services have made it easy for consumers to order from almost any restaurant. 

On a conference call with investors this week, company executives said delivery orders accounted for 15% of Outback’s business in the fourth quarter of 2019.  

"The economics are compelling and this business offers attractive margins,” CEO Dave Deno said. “We expect third-party delivery to be a strong contributor to 2020 results.” 

Bloomin’ Brands embrace of delivery is part of a growing trend. Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, and Clearwater-based Frenchy’s are building kitchen-only locations, where drivers can pick up orders. 

The company announced last year it was exploring “alternatives” including a sale. “At this point in time, nothing compelling has materialized in terms of an outright sale of the company,” Deno told investors on this week’s call. “However, one area within our portfolio that has received significant interest is our business in Brazil.” Bloomin’ operates about 100 Outback restaurants in the country. 

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.
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