Since 1988, Outback Steakhouse has brought Australian-themed dining and cuisine to its American customers. It has been so successful that since its origins in Tampa, Florida, it has expanded with over 1,300 locations across the country.
Outback Steakhouse has become a restaurant everyone knows and has tried at least once. It’s a comfortable atmosphere that reminds us of a simpler time. But, even though they have become a household name, they are not immune to hard times. Recently, they are one of the many restaurants struggling to stay afloat amid our changing world.
Rumors that Outback Steakhouse is closing have swirled around for a long time, but are they true? Is your local restaurant at stake? If you’ve heard any rumors about Outback Steakhouse shutting down, then you may want to take a look at this article. Find out the truth about Outback Steakhouse closing.
So, Is Outback Steakhouse Actually Closing?
So are the rumors true? Well, it’s complicated, but no, Outback Steakhouse is not closing for good.
Like all restaurants in 2020, Outback Steakhouse saw a massive decline in customers. They struggled to get customers in their door and accommodate spreading out the seating within the restaurant throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help this issue, Outback Steakhouse took out loans to get them through, expecting that business would go back to normal again soon.
Unfortunately, the economy didn’t exactly boom back to life. If they default on the loan, it would be effectively declaring the bankruptcy of their business.
On top of all that, faster restaurants have seen an increase in business. Chains such as Chipotle and Panera feel like they are higher quality than fast food, but you don’t have to sit and wait for service.
You get a hot meal in half the time of a sit-down restaurant. It seems that a lot of people are making the migration from Outback Steakhouse-style sit-down eating.
With this combination of forces, it’s a recipe for disaster. Luckily, even if Outback Steakhouse were to declare bankruptcy, it is more likely that they would simply close a few locations to save money and rebuild their brand. While your neighborhood Outback Steakhouse may disappear, you’ll still be able to find one a little further down the road.
Where Did These Rumors Come From?
The rumors that Outback Steakhouse might close started for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s truly a bad time to be a restaurant. They are one of the hardest-hit industries from 2020 and beyond. All restaurants are certainly still rebuilding after such a difficult time.
Plus, as society’s eating habits change, we begin to wonder, “who’s even eating there anymore?”
If people are becoming less familiar with sit-down dining and table service, rumors are bound to spring up that a business is heading for closure. Some people still prefer a nice long, sit-down meal, so Outback Steakhouse hasn’t lost all of its customers.
Outback Steakhouse is just one restaurant among many feeling these adverse effects, so rumors about their possible closure were sure to come up. Luckily they aren’t alone in these rumors, so hopefully, it doesn’t hurt their business any further.
Will It Close in the Future?
The future of Outback Steakhouse is difficult to know. There are some predictions, such as the S&P Global Market’s estimate that Outback has a 13.2% chance of defaulting on their loans. While that is a high estimate, it could change in an instant.
Plus, with so many locations still in existence, it would be financially manageable for them to close some of their less popular locations to support stronger parts of their business. Even defaulting on their loans may not be the end of Outback Steakhouse.
Based on these factors, I think it’s safe to say that Outback Steakhouse won’t be shuttering its windows completely anytime soon.
It will take more than a few bad years to force all 1,300 locations out of business. We are most likely looking at a slow burnout rather than a sudden closure all at once.
Other Restaurant Closings
As we said, Outback Steakhouse is certainly not alone in this financial struggle.
Restaurants such as Dave & Busters, Denny’s, The Cheesecake Factory, and Applebee’s are all being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic effects. They are among many other restaurants holding their breath to see what will happen as the world opens back up.
Similar to Outback Steakhouse, they are also struggling to keep up with the fast but casual dining at locations like Five Guys, Panera, and Chipotle.
These chains don’t have to rely on dining room service and already had fast online ordering systems established well before the pandemic. We may see more fast dining locations open up as the traditional sit-downs close.
Overall, it is unlikely to see a complete decline in restaurants like Denny’s and Applebee’s. Like the case with Outback Steakhouse, they will probably close a few locations but stick around in American society.
Over time, society has seen certain restaurants become relics of a forgotten time. Remember Chi Chi’s Mexican Restaurant? What a blast from the past! Unfortunately, today they are only serving ‘90s nostalgia instead of chips and guac.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, and keeping up with faster competition has only added to the restaurant struggle, we won’t be looking back on Outback Steakhouse’s best items with a childhood nostalgia anytime soon.
Outback Steakhouse will still offer Americans a taste of Australian life for years to come, even if it’s at fewer locations.