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Sales at Tampa-based Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's slump

Outback Steakhouse is owned by Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands. Some restaurants are operated by franchise owners. Photo provided by Bloomin' Brands
Published Jul. 29, 2016

Restaurant sales at Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands suffered during the second quarter, according to an earnings report released Friday.

Sales at all restaurants in the U.S. were down 2.3 percent collectively for the 13-week period that ended on June 26. Outback Steakhouse sales were down 2.5 percent while Carrabba's Italian Grill saw a 4.8 percent slump, despite the company recently rolling out a new menu. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar saw sales dip by 0.8 percent. Bonefish Grill, which has struggled the most over the last year, reported a slight bump of 0.9 percent in sales.

Read More: Will a new menu aimed at younger diners help Carrabba's Italian Grill bounce back?

"Quarter two performance for our brands and the industry was softer than expected," said Liz Smith, CEO of Bloomin' Brands, in a statement. "However, we made significant progress elevating the core guest experience, which will return the portfolio to sales growth in the second half of 2016. In addition, we made meaningful advances to optimize our portfolio for long-term growth and improve total shareholder return. These actions included the sale of Outback South Korea, progress on our sale-leaseback program and investing ahead of growth internationally."

International sales at Outback Steakhouse restaurants in Brazil and South Korea were up. Brazil saw a 3.9 percent gain and South Korea had a 10.8 percent spike. Earlier this month the chain announced it would sell off all 74 of its Outback Steakhouse locations in South Korea for $49.4 million.

During the second quarter, Bloomin' Brands opened six new restaurants, including four overseas. The company announced it will open 26 Outback Steakhouse and Abbraccio restaurants in the Middle East over the next five years.

The president of Outback Steakhouse, Jeffrey Smith, plans to retire from the company on Aug. 31, Bloomin' announced Friday.

Smith, who also serves as executive vice president of Bloomin' Brands, will be paid $1 million for his interests in 10 Outback Steakhouse, 13 Carrabba's and nine Bonefish Grill restaurants. Bloomin' will purchase all of Smith's ownership interests in those 32 restaurants for $475,000, according to regulatory filings.

Gregg Scarlett was appointed executive vice president of Bloomin' and president of Outback Steakhouse in Smith's place. He was formerly the president of Bonefish Grill. The new appointment for Scarlett will increase his salary to $540,000 and equity compensation to 125 percent of his salary. Scarlett will get one-time grants of 100,000 options and 25,000 restricted stock units. Scarlett currently owns interests in three Outback Steakhouse restaurants and two Bonefish Grill restaurants. Bloomin' will buy out his ownership for those five restaurants for $270,000.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

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