Outback Steakhouse is getting into the restaurant business

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The Outback’s food menu includes a build-your-own burger bar. / Photo 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 entrees and individual boxed entrees for groups of 10 or more.

“We look forward to sharing milestone moments with our guests at occasions such as weddings, family reunions, watch parties and celebrations,” Outback President Brett Patterson said in a statement. . “We are especially excited to meet the needs of employees when they return to the office, as we know the power of sharing a good meal.”

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

“It’s a big chain for us,” Bloomin CEO Dave Deno told investors at the time. “Carrabba’s is nailing it and Outback is moving aggressively, so that’s going to be something we’re going to do as well.

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

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

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

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