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Outback Steakhouse parent shutters restaurants amid losses

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Outback Steakhouse restaurants and sister chains are facing a wave of closures across the country as their parent company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $4.3 million.

Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands Inc. announced Friday morning that it has closed 43 underperforming restaurants, Nation's Restaurant News and other trade journals reported.

The company operates more than 1,500 restaurants across the nation. A full list of the shuttered locations was not provided, but spokeswoman Cathie Koch told the Business Journal that all Pennsylvania locations will remain open.

In addition to Outback, the company's chains are Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Outback has four midstate locations, in Dauphin, Lancaster, Cumberland and York counties. Carrabba's and Bonefish have one location each in Cumberland and Lancaster counties, while Fleming's only Pennsylvania location is in suburban Philadelphia.

Outback last fall announced it was moving its York location from the county's east to the west side, leaving Springettsbury Township in favor of the West Manchester Town Center.

According to trade publication Restaurant Business, Flemings was the only one of the four chains to report year-over-year sales gains, and only then by 0.2 percent. Outback Steakhouse, posted a sales decline of 4.8 percent, while same-store sales at Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill slipped 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, the publication reported.

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rogerd@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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