Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands, parent of Outback Steakhouse and more, has sold off its interest in the seafood-based Roy's chain for $10 million. The sale, between Bloomin' and United Ohana, involves 20 restaurants and was agreed upon months ago, although the final tally wasn't revealed until Wednesday.
The $10 million — or only about $500,000 per restaurant — raised some eyebrows among industry analysts, although it was clear last fall that Bloomin' CEO Liz Smith had grown weary of celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi's namesake restaurants. "Roy's is a terrific founder-inspired brand that is constantly pushing the envelop with innovative Pacific Rim cuisine," Smith told analysts. "The brand, however, is a small part of our portfolio and not a priority for investment, given competing opportunities. Roy's deserves to be in a situation where it can get the time, attention and resources it needs to grow. We are confident that they will thrive under new ownership."
Roy's was acquired by Bloomin' in 2000. New owner United Ohana is a recently formed company whose founder, Sunil Dharod, owns and operates 69 Applebee's in Texas.