Outback Steakhouse

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Outback Steakhouse
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Genre Casual dining
Founded March 1988; 28 years ago (1988-03)
Founders Bob Basham
Trudy Cooper
Chris T. Sullivan
Tim Gannon
Headquarters Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Number of locations
978 (2015)[1]
Area served
North America, Australia, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, United Kingdom, Venezuela
Products American cuisine
Parent Bloomin' Brands
Website www.outback.com

Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed American casual dining restaurant chain, serving American cuisine, based in Tampa, Florida, with almost 1000 locations in 23 countries throughout North, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It was founded in February 1988 in Tampa by Bob Basham, Chris T. Sullivan, Trudy Cooper, and Tim Gannon, and it was owned and operated in the United States by OSI Restaurant Partners, until it was acquired by Bloomin' Brands, and by other franchise and venture agreements internationally.

Canadian Outback restaurants began in 1996. In March 2009, Outback Steakhouse Canada abruptly closed all nine locations in the province of Ontario, citing poor economic conditions. However, the restaurant later opened a location in Niagara Falls; its Edmonton, Alberta, franchise remains in operation.

In 1997, Outback entered the South Korean market through the franchise agreement with Aussie Chung Inc. Currently, there are 101 Outback Steakhouse locations throughout South Korea. On June 14, 2007, OSI Restaurant Partners completed a stock repurchase plan, and the company is now privately held.

In April 2012, Bloomin' Brands, the current owner of Outback Steakhouse, filed with the SEC to raise up to $300 million in an initial public offering.[2]

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. became a publicly traded company on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “BLMN.”[3]

Menu[edit]

All meat is heavily seasoned; there is a 17-spice blend for the steaks themselves. Outback bills its food as "full flavor". It fries its food in beef tallow, and uses real butter and heavy cream in many dishes. Burgers are ground from beef tenderloin. Menus are highly regionalized. Crawfish appear in some dishes in Southern American locations, as do sweet potatoes. Eastern locations often feature Maine lobster tails, while western locations frequently serve Alaskan king crab legs and cakes.[4]

Outback's bar selections are highly regionalized. Outback serves Foster's Lager, an Australian brand of beer exported around the world. Other Australian beers often served include Toohey's New, Boag's, and Coopers Premium Lager, Sparkling Ale, and Pale Ale. Wine selections vary, but often include Australian wineries Yellow Tail, Lindeman's, and Rosemount.[4]

Although a number of menu items are grilled, steaks are prepared on a griddle using butter as a heat transfer medium. Because they are cooked solely by conduction, their surfaces are cooked much more rapidly than their centers, and Outback follows a standard meat temperature (rarity) scale.[4]

The use of fats in such liberal quantities has brought the chain under major fire from many health advocates: Men's Health magazine condemned Outback's Aussie Cheese Fries as the "Worst Food in America," with 182 grams (1,638 calories) of fat and nearly 3,000 calories per order.[4]

In Malaysia, Outback Steakhouse offers a pork-free menu to cater to Muslim customers.

Dietary considerations[edit]

The lamb served at Outback comes from New Zealand and is certified halal by the Islamic Council of New Zealand.[5]

Outback also offers a gluten free menu which includes most of its normal menu items with slight variations. Outback has recently added gluten free beverage choices, including Angry Orchard cider.

Since early 2010, Outback has displayed full nutritional data on its food.[6]

Outback has now added a "light style" option to the menu. This option is designed to prepare meals under 500 calories by carefully proportioning out sides and preparing the meals without butter and added fats and salt.[7]

Bloomin' Onion[edit]

Main article: Blooming onion

The Bloomin' Onion is a signature Outback item. It is a one-pound onion cut to 'bloom' open, breaded, deep-fried and served with mayonnaise-horseradish sauce. Other restaurants offer items similar to the Bloomin' Onion, as in Chili's Awesome Blossom (discontinued) and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon's Texas Rose. Many of the Blooming onions have come under fire for high calorie counts, sometimes going over 1,500 calories.[8]

Involvements[edit]

Community[edit]

Outback Steakhouse has a program to support the communities in which its restaurants are located.[9] On a national level Outback partners with Heineken USA and their Heineken with a Heart program to raise funds for various organizations in these communities.

Political[edit]

The company and its founders are major contributors, via the Outback Steakhouse PAC, to the Republican Party, contributing $303,015 and $334,197 for the 2000 and 2004 election cycles, respectively.[10][11] The Outback Steakhouse PAC itself is one of the largest donors in the food and beverage sector, second only to the National Restaurant Association, which itself represents 300,000 restaurants.[12]

Advertising[edit]

  • One of the two Outback blimps
    The company owns two blimps: the Bloomin' Onions I and II, both named after their appetizer.[13]
  • For several years, the company ran a media campaign with an Australian-themed variation of the Of Montreal composition "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)."
  • General (Ret) Tommy Franks sits on the Board Of Directors for OSI Restaurant Partners, INC., which owns Outback Steakhouse.[14]

Sports[edit]

Outback Steakhouse was the title sponsor of the Outback Champions Series tennis events and NCAA football's Outback Bowl. The sponsorship will last through 2020.[15]

Outback is also a partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and has a concession stand in Amalie Arena.

Motorsports[edit]

The Outback Steakhouse Hummer vehicle

In 2012, Outback Steakhouse became a sponsor of the Ryan Newman and the No.39 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In their first race as sponsor, Newman won the 2012 Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.[16] One of the promotions the company had with Newman is a free Bloomin' Onion on the Monday after a race in which Newman would finish in the Top 10.[17] Kevin Harvick took over Outback's sponsorship and promotion in 2014 for two races in their No. 4, after Newman left the team to drive Richard Childress Racing's No.31 car.[18] The company also sponsored retired Sprint Cup Series driver and current Fox NASCAR announcer Jeff Gordon's No. 67 for the AC-Delco 200 in the Busch Series during the 1990 season.[19][20]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Bloomin' Brands, Inc. 2015 Annual Report
  2. ^ "Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin' Brands files for $300 million US IPO". Renaissance Capital. 9 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "About the company" (PDF). 14 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The 20 Worst Foods in America". Men's Health. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  5. ^ "Outback Halal Summary on zabihah.com". zabihah.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  6. ^ Zinczenko, David; Matt Goulding (2010). Eat This, Not That! (2010 ed.). Rodale. pp. 138, 283. ISBN 9781605295381. 
  7. ^ "Outback Steakhouse Menu". Outback Steakhouse of Florida, LLC. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  8. ^ "Nutritional Information". Outback Steakhouse, INC. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  9. ^ http://www.outback.com/companyinfo/outbackgivesback.aspx
  10. ^ "Soft Money Donations: Outback Steakhouse (2000)". The Center for Responsive Politics. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  11. ^ "Soft Money Donations: Outback Steakhouse (2004)". The Center for Responsive Politics. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  12. ^ "Food & Beverage PAC Contributions to Federal Candidates, 2003-2004". The Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  13. ^ "Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion I Airship". Outback Steakhouse, INC. Archived from the original on 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  14. ^ "Inside The Company". OSI Restaurant Partners, INC. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  15. ^ "Outback Steakhouse renews title sponsorship of Outback Bowl through 2020". WTSP. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  16. ^ Kurz, Jr., Hank (2012-04-01). "Newman wins wild finish at Martinsville Speedway". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  17. ^ "OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE OFFERS FANS TASTY REASON TO CHEER FOR NEWMAN". Ryan Newman. 2012-12-24. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  18. ^ "2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Paint Schemes - Team #4". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  19. ^ "1990 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  20. ^ "Hallways To The Past". Gordon Online. 2011-10-20. 

External links[edit]