Casual dining chain operator Bloomin’ Brands announced on Feb. 17 that it would close 43 stores in the coming year.
The Tampa-based company, which includes Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, said that three of the underperforming restaurants already closed in the fourth quarter.
Bloomin’ Brands reported a loss of $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, with same-store U.S. sales falling 3.5% overall and down 1.9% across all brands for the fiscal year. Outback fared the worst, with sales declining 4.8% for the quarter and 2.3% for the year—although the brand’s same-store sales in Brazil were up 6.7% for fiscal 2016.
Carrabba’s same-store sales slipped 2.3% in the fourth quarter and Bonefish Grill’s fell 1.9%. Fleming’s Prime bucked the trend with a scant fourth-quarter increase of .2%.
Bloomin’ Brands, which expects sales will be flat to slightly down in the coming year, said it will open 40 to 50 new restaurants systemwide in fiscal 2017. The company currently operates about 1,500 restaurants in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 20 countries.