Restaurant sales

Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill owner says restaurant sales exceed pre-pandemic levels, workers easy to find

  • Bloomin ‘Brands CEO David Deno told CNBC restaurant sales were 12.6% above 2019 levels.
  • He said the company has taken advantage of the delivery option and reopened dining rooms to boost sales.
  • He also said that manpower has not been a problem for the company, despite a shortage of manpower in the industry.

Business is booming for Bloomin ‘Brands, owner of restaurant chains such as Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill.

David Deno, CEO of the company, told CNBC on Thursday evening sales to exceed 2019 levels by 12.6% so far in the second quarter, and finding workers has been easy despite outcry from much of the service industry over a labor shortage.

Deno attributed the sales growth to customers returning to restaurants and continuing to use the take out and delivery options reinforced by pandemic.

Deno told CNBC’s “The Exchange” that he hoped to get the “magic” of the two dining rooms reopened with “great service” as well as continuous deliveries and deliveries to increase sales.

Growth is a turnaround for the company, which last year placed on a list of companies likely to default on their debt in the midst of the pandemic. At the time, a representative told Insider the company was in strong financial health, driven by positive cash flow in its deferral business.

Regarding the workforce, the CEO said the company did not put on leave or lay off its restaurant workers last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. “So when we turned the dining rooms back on and people came back, we already had staff,” Deno said on CNBC.

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Much of the service industry has sounded the alarm bells about a labor shortage and a inability to resume normal service levels because of it. Some channels had to reduce opening hours or keep dining rooms closed to account for the lack of workers.

Others have launched hiring campaigns and offered incentives to people to apply.

Although millions of people are still unemployed due to the pandemic, experts estimate low salaries and stimulus funds could be two of the reasons people don’t return to work.

For Bloomin ‘Brands, however, Deno said the company has a high retention level and low revenue compared to the rest of the industry.

“People want to see two things. First, they ask what they are going to be paid, see what they are going to be paid. And… they want to work in a great environment, and we think we are able to offer the two, so we were able to recruit the people we need, ”he told CNBC.

A Bloomin ‘Brands spokesperson told Insider the company “is constantly hiring and now needs to hire more people due to increased sales compared to 2019.”