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Bonefish Grill parent to close 14 locations

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By Matthew Clark
mclark@scbiznews.com
Published Feb. 22, 2016

According to its fourth-quarter 2015 filings, Tampa, Fla.-based Bloomin’ Brands Inc. said it plans to close 14 Bonefish Grill locations, most by the end of 2016.

The company operates eight Bonefish Grill locations in South Carolina, including its lone Upstate location at 1515 Woodruff Road in Greenville. Additionally, Bloomin’ Brands operates Outback Steakhouse, including international locations in Brazil and South Korea; Carrabba’s Italian Grill domestically and Abraccio Cucina Italiana in Brazil; and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. — parent company to Bonefish Grill, including the one here at 1515 Woodruff Road in Greenville — announced its plans to close 14 of its Bonefish Grill locations, most coming by the end of 2016. (Photo by Matthew Clark)
Bloomin’ Brands Inc. — parent company to Bonefish Grill, including the one here at 1515 Woodruff Road in Greenville — announced its plans to close 14 of its Bonefish Grill locations, most coming by the end of 2016. (Photo by Matthew Clark)
Elizabeth Watts, director of media and community relations for Bonefish Grill, said the company has not released any details regarding which restaurants will be closed.

“We have not released any specific locations at this time,” Watts said. “There is really no set time frame. Out of respect for our employees, we aren’t releasing anything at this time.”

The Tampa Tribune reported that the company did say none of the company’s locations in the Tampa area would be closed, and Watt said it was a parent company decision to make an exception due to the fact that Bloomin’ Brands is based in that area.

According to the filing, Bloomin’ Brands Inc. experienced a 5.4% drop in company-owned Bonefish Grill restaurant sales in the fourth quarter. All four of the company’s domestic restaurant chains had drops in sales, and only the company’s international brands had positive sales for the quarter.

For the year, the company’s U.S. segment had a $20 million increase in total revenues. For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of just more than $17 million, down from the over $22 million it reported in the same quarter of 2014. Total earnings for the year were $127 million, up from the $91 million reported in 2014.

Liz Smith, Bloomin’ Brands Inc. CEO, said earnings in the quarter were “in line with expectations” as the company did hit its earnings objectives for 2015.

“2015 was highlighted by the strength of our international business and ongoing productivity efforts, which led to 60 basis points ahead of adjusted restaurant margin expansion,” Smith said, in a statement.

The company’s total fourth-quarter 2015 domestic revenue dropped 5.3% compared with the same quarter a year ago. During the quarter, the company did open one domestic Outback Steakhouse restaurant and two Bonefish Grill locations. In all, Bloomin’ Brands Inc. operates 1,507 restaurants in 48 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and 22 countries.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-235-5677, ext. 107, or @matthewclark76 on Twitter.

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