Bloomin’ Brands in the U.S. market
Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN) refreshed Carrabba’s menu in the first half of 2014 with a price point and variety in mind. However, the management admitted that this refresh has not proved “meaningful” in increasing traffic. Further, it also cited its failure to consider the customer’s preference of lighter menu options and more variety on weekdays. About 51% of Carrabba’s and 56% of Outback locations had a weekday lunch menu by quarter end.
Market Realist recently reported that Brinker International (EAT) has already introduced a lighter menu in its Chili’s restaurants and plans to introduce a lighter menu in its Maggiano’s restaurants as well. With this initiative, Brinker reported a same-store sales growth of 2.5% for Chili’s compared to negative 0.6% in the corresponding quarter in 2013.
Bloomin’ Brands refreshed the menu at Bonefish as well, by introducing 35 new food and beverage items along with the introduction of a new bar menu and seasonal menu offerings. By the second quarter, the company had completed its addition of a Saturday lunch menu at Bonefish Grill.
The major markets for Bloomin’ Brands include Korea and Brazil, unlike Yum! Brands (YUM) that has China as its major international market. The Korean market faced macro pressures from discretionary spending, leading to a 20% decline in sales volume for the quarter. However, the company has aggressively built new locations.
Let’s now look at how these initiatives have translated into revenue, or the top line for Bloomin’ Brands.