SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
| ||For the fiscal year ended|
December 25, 2022
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
| ||For the transition period from ______ to ______|
Commission File Number: 001-35625
BLOOMIN’ BRANDS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)||(I.R.S. Employer|
2202 North West Shore Boulevard, Suite 500, Tampa, FL 33607
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
$0.01 par value
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
(Nasdaq Global Select Market)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer ☒ Accelerated Filer ☐ Non-accelerated Filer ☐
Smaller Reporting Company ☐ Emerging Growth Company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates (based on the closing price on the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market) was $1.6 billion.
As of February 16, 2023, 87,098,993 shares of common stock of the registrant were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10-14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
For Fiscal Year 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Report”) includes statements that express our opinions, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or projections regarding future events or future results and therefore are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). These forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “feels,” “seeks,” “forecasts,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could” or “would” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements are accompanied by such terms. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout this Report and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industry in which we operate.
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Although we base these forward-looking statements on assumptions that we believe are reasonable when made, we caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and industry developments may differ materially from statements made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this Report. In addition, even if our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and industry developments are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this Report, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from statements made or suggested by forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those described in the “Risk Factors” section of this Report and the following:
(i)Consumer reactions to public health and food safety issues;
(ii)Minimum wage increases, additional mandated employee benefits and fluctuations in the cost and availability of employees;
(iii)Our ability to recruit and retain high-quality leadership, restaurant-level management and team members;
(iv)Economic conditions and their effects on consumer confidence and discretionary spending, consumer traffic, the cost and availability of credit and interest rates;
(v)Our ability to compete in the highly competitive restaurant industry with many well-established competitors and new market entrants;
(vi)Our ability to protect our information technology systems from interruption or security breach, including cyber security threats, and to protect consumer data and personal employee information;
(vii)Fluctuations in the price and availability of commodities, including supplier freight charges and restaurant distribution expenses, and other impacts of inflation and our dependence on a limited number of suppliers and distributors to meet our beef, chicken and other major product supply needs;
(viii)The severity, extent and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts on our business and results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, including any adverse impact on our stock price and on the other factors listed in this Report, and the responses of domestic and foreign federal, state and local governments to the pandemic;
(ix)Our ability to preserve and grow the reputation and value of our brands, particularly in light of changes in consumer engagement with social media platforms and limited control with respect to the operations of our franchisees;
(x)The effects of international economic, political and social conditions and legal systems on our foreign operations and on foreign currency exchange rates;
(xi)Our ability to comply with new environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) requirements or our failure to achieve any goals, targets or objectives with respect to ESG matters;
(xii)Our ability to effectively respond to changes in patterns of consumer traffic, consumer tastes and dietary habits, including by maintaining relationships with third party delivery apps and services;
(xiii)Our ability to comply with governmental laws and regulations, the costs of compliance with such laws and regulations and the effects of changes to applicable laws and regulations, including tax laws and unanticipated liabilities, and the impact of any litigation;
(xiv)Our ability to implement our remodeling, relocation and expansion plans, due to uncertainty in locating and acquiring attractive sites on acceptable terms, obtaining required permits and approvals, recruiting and training necessary personnel, obtaining adequate financing and estimating the performance of newly opened, remodeled or relocated restaurants, and our cost savings plans to enable reinvestment in our business, due to uncertainty with respect to macroeconomic conditions and the efficiency that may be added by the actions we take;
(xv)Seasonal and periodic fluctuations in our results and the effects of significant adverse weather conditions and other disasters or unforeseen events;
(xvi)The effects of our leverage and restrictive covenants in our various credit facilities on our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, to make capital expenditures to invest in new or renovate restaurants and to react to changes in the economy or our industry; and
(xvii)Any impairment in the carrying value of our goodwill or other intangible or long-lived assets and its effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Given these risks and uncertainties, we caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement that we make in this Report speaks only as of the date of such statement, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or to publicly announce the results of any revision to any of those statements to reflect future events or developments. Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless specifically expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.
Item 1. Business
Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (“Bloomin’ Brands,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” and similar terms mean Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. and its subsidiaries except where the context otherwise requires) is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world, with a portfolio of leading, differentiated restaurant concepts. We have four founder-inspired concepts: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Our restaurant concepts range in price point and degree of formality from casual (Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill) to upscale casual (Bonefish Grill) and fine dining (Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar). OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC (“OSI”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bloomin’ Brands, is our primary operating entity.
As of December 25, 2022, we owned and operated 1,186 full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens and franchised 321 full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens across 47 states, Guam and 13 countries.
We consider each of our restaurant concepts and international markets to be operating segments, which reflects how we manage our business, review operating performance and allocate resources. We aggregate our operating segments into two reportable segments, U.S. and international. The U.S. segment includes all restaurants operating in the U.S. while restaurants operating outside the U.S. are included in the international segment. Following is a summary of reportable segments as of December 25, 2022:
|REPORTABLE SEGMENT (1)||CONCEPT||GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION|
|U.S.||Outback Steakhouse||United States of America|
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill|
|Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar|
|International||Outback Steakhouse||Brazil, Hong Kong/China|
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Abbraccio)||Brazil|
(1)Includes franchise locations. See Item 2. Properties for disclosure of our restaurant count by country and territory.
As of December 25, 2022, in our U.S. segment, we owned and operated 1,011 full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens and franchised 153 full-service restaurants across 47 states.
Outback Steakhouse - Outback Steakhouse is a casual steakhouse restaurant concept focused on steaks, bold flavors and Australian decor. The Outback Steakhouse menu offers seasoned and seared or wood-fire grilled steaks, chops, chicken, seafood, pasta, salads and seasonal specials. The menu also offers a selection of specialty appetizers, including our signature Bloomin’ Onion®, and desserts, together with full bar service.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill - Offering authentic Italian cuisine passed down from its founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s Italian Grill uses high quality ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, guests can enjoy signature dishes such as Chicken Bryan and Pollo Rosa Maria, wood-fire grilled steaks and chops, small plates and classic Italian pasta dishes in a welcoming, contemporary atmosphere.
Bonefish Grill - Bonefish Grill specializes in fish from around the world, hand-cut in-house every day, savory wood-grilled specialties, and locally created, seasonal Partner Selection dishes featuring high-quality and fresh ingredients. Offering a selection of classic and signature hand-crafted cocktails, using fresh juices, edible garnishes
and house infusions, Bonefish Grill also features a distinct list of wines, which are the perfect match for any food pairing.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar - Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is a contemporary interpretation of the classic American steakhouse, boasting culinary mastery, signature style and unrivaled attentive service to create memorable dining experiences in a welcoming and lively atmosphere. Hospitality is at the heart of Fleming’s mission, but guests will see passion for prime steak, seafood, storied wines and handcrafted cocktails reflected across their range of menus.
We have local management to support and grow restaurants in each of the countries where we have Company-owned operations. Our international operations are integrated with our corporate headquarters to leverage enterprise-wide capabilities, including marketing, finance, real estate, information technology, legal, human resources, supply chain management and productivity.
As of December 25, 2022, in our international segment, we owned and operated 175 full-service restaurants and franchised 168 full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens across 13 countries and Guam. See Item 2. Properties for disclosure of our international restaurant count by country and territory.
Outback Steakhouse - Our international Outback Steakhouse restaurants have a menu similar to our U.S. menu with additional variety to meet local taste preferences. In addition to the traditional Outback Special sirloin, a typical international menu may feature local beef cuts.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Abbraccio Cucina Italiana) - Abbraccio Cucina Italiana, our international Carrabba’s Italian Grill restaurant concept, offers a blend of traditional and modern Italian dishes. The menu varies, with additional pasta and pizza offerings, to account for local tastes and customs. Abbraccio Cucina Italiana also has a range of beverage options, including classically inspired cocktails and local favorites with an Italian twist.
We utilize the ownership structure and market entry strategy that best fits the needs for a particular market, including Company-owned units and franchises, as determined by demand, cost structure and economic conditions.
U.S. Development - We opportunistically pursue unit growth across our concepts through existing geography fill-in and market expansion opportunities. During 2021, we opened our first U.S. Outback Steakhouse utilizing a smaller-scaled “Joey” prototype. The Joey prototype was designed to increase return on investment through a reduced restaurant footprint with a more efficient layout. We opened five Joey Outback Steakhouse restaurants during 2022 and plan to open additional locations throughout 2023.
During 2022, we continued to test our fast-casual concept, Aussie Grill by Outback (“Aussie Grill”). Originally created for our international franchisees, Aussie Grill offers steak, burgers, chicken and salad with fast-casual convenience.
International Development - We continue to pursue international expansion opportunities, leveraging established equity and franchise markets in South America and Asia, and in strategically selected emerging and high-growth developed markets, with a focus on Brazil. All Outback Steakhouse restaurants opened in Brazil since the beginning of 2021 were built utilizing the Joey prototype design.
During 2022, we introduced Aussie Grill in Brazil, opening the first two restaurants in that market. We plan to open additional Aussie Grill restaurants in Brazil during 2023.
System-wide Restaurant Summary - Following is a system-wide rollforward of our full-service restaurants in operation during 2022:
|2022 ACTIVITY||DECEMBER 25,|
|Number of restaurants:||OPENINGS||CLOSURES||COUNT|
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill|
|Franchised||7||— ||— ||7|
|Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar|
|Company-owned||64||1 ||— ||65||25|
|Company-owned||5 ||4 ||(2)||7||1|
|U.S. total||1,167 ||13 ||(17)||1,163 |
|Outback Steakhouse - Brazil (1)||122 ||17 ||— ||139 |
|Other (1)(2)||33 ||3 ||— ||36 |
|Outback Steakhouse - South Korea||78 ||12 ||(4)||86 |
|Other (2)||54 ||3 ||(10)||47 |
|International total||287 ||35 ||(14)||308 |
|System-wide total||1,454 ||48 ||(31)||1,471 |
|System-wide total - Company-owned||1,165||32 ||(12)||1,185|
|System-wide total - Franchised||289||16 ||(19)||286|
(1)The restaurant counts for Brazil, including Abbraccio and Aussie Grill restaurants within International Company-owned Other, are reported as of November 30, 2021 and 2022, respectively, to correspond with the balance sheet dates of this subsidiary.
(2)International Company-owned Other included two and four Aussie Grill locations as of December 26, 2021 and December 25, 2022, respectively. International Franchised Other included three and four Aussie Grill locations as of December 26, 2021 and December 25, 2022, respectively.
Following is a system-wide rollforward of our off-premises only kitchens in operation during 2022:
|2022 ACTIVITY||DECEMBER 25,|
|Number of kitchens (1):||OPENINGS||CLOSURES|
|Company-owned||3 ||— ||(2)||1 |
|Company-owned||1 ||— ||(1)||— |
|Franchised - South Korea||40 ||13 ||(18)||35 |
|System-wide total||44 ||13 ||(21)||36 |
(1)Excludes virtual concepts that operate out of existing restaurants and sports venue locations.
COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Our Business
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19”), traffic was significantly reduced in our restaurants which negatively impacted our operating results in 2020. During 2021, the recovery of U.S. in-restaurant dining continued while we retained a significant portion of the incremental off-premises volume we achieved during 2020. Internationally, COVID-19-related capacity constraints continued in 2021 during periods of increased case counts and new variants until the middle of 2022 when in-restaurant dining was operating without COVID-19-related capacity constraints.
The restaurant industry is highly competitive with a substantial number of restaurant operators that compete directly and indirectly with us in respect to price, service, location and food quality, and there are other well-established competitors with significant financial and other resources. There is also active competition for management personnel, attractive suitable real estate sites, supplies and restaurant employees. In addition, competition is influenced strongly by marketing and brand reputation. At an aggregate level, all major casual dining restaurants in markets in which we operate would be considered competitors of our concepts. We also face growing competition from the supermarket industry which offers expanded selections of prepared meals. In addition, improving product offerings and convenience options from quick service and fast-casual restaurants, “ghost” or “dark” kitchens where meals are prepared at a separate takeaway premises rather than a restaurant, and the expansion of home delivery services, together with negative economic conditions, could cause consumers to choose less expensive alternatives than our restaurants. Internationally, we face competition due to the number of casual dining restaurant options in the markets in which we operate.
REVENUE GENERATING ACTIVITIES
We generate our revenues from our Company-owned restaurants and through sales of franchise rights and ongoing royalties and other fees from our franchised restaurants.
Company-owned Restaurants - Company-owned restaurants are restaurants wholly-owned by us or in which we have a majority ownership. The results of operations of Company-owned restaurants are included in our consolidated operating results and the portion of income or loss attributable to the noncontrolling interests is eliminated in our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss).
Historically, we paid royalties that ranged from 0.5% to 1.5% of U.S. sales on the majority of our Carrabba’s Italian Grill restaurants, pursuant to agreements we entered into with the Carrabba’s Italian Grill founders (“Carrabba’s Founders”). Each Carrabba’s Italian Grill restaurant located outside the U.S. paid a one-time lump sum fee to the Carrabba’s Founders in place of a continuing royalty fee. In August 2021, we entered into the Purchase and Sale of Royalty Payment Stream and Termination of Royalty Agreement (the “Royalty Termination Agreement”) with the Carrabba’s Founders, pursuant to which our obligation to pay future royalties and lump sum royalty fees on Carrabba’s Italian Grill (and Abbraccio) restaurants was terminated.
Following is a summary of sales by occasion, sales mix by product type and average check per person for Company-owned restaurants during 2022:
|Bonefish Grill||Fleming’s |
& Wine Bar
|In-restaurant sales||72 ||%||67 ||%||84 ||%||94 ||%||85 ||%|
|Off-premises sales||28 ||%||33 ||%||16 ||%||6 ||%||15 ||%|
|100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%|
|Sales mix by product type:|
|Food & non-alcoholic beverage||92 ||%||89 ||%||81 ||%||79 ||%||91 ||%|
|Alcoholic beverage||8 ||%||11 ||%||19 ||%||21 ||%||9 ||%|
|100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%||100 ||%|
|Average check per person ($USD)||$||27 ||$||24 ||$||33 ||$||98 ||$||11 |
|Average check per person (R$)||R$||57 |
Delivery - In March 2020, we pivoted to an off-premises only model in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While our dining rooms were closed in the U.S., we tripled our off-premises sales per restaurant and, since reopening our restaurant dining rooms in May 2020, have maintained strong retention of off-premises sales.
Unaffiliated Franchise Program - Our unaffiliated franchise agreements grant third parties rights to establish and operate a restaurant using one of our concepts. Franchised restaurants are required to be operated in accordance with the franchise agreement and in compliance with their respective concept’s standards and specifications.
Under our franchise agreements, each franchisee is required to pay an initial franchise fee and monthly royalties based on a percentage of gross restaurant sales. Initial franchise fees for full-service restaurants are generally $40,000 for U.S. franchisees and range between $30,000 and $75,000 for international franchisees, depending on the market. Initial franchise fees for international delivery-only kitchens are generally $10,000. Some franchisees may also pay advertising and administration fees based on a percentage of gross restaurant sales. Following is a summary of royalty fee percentages based on our existing unaffiliated franchise agreements:
|(as a % of gross Restaurant sales)||MONTHLY ROYALTY FEE PERCENTAGE|
|U.S. franchisees (1)||3.50% - 5.75%|
|International franchisees (2)||2.00% - 5.00%|
(1)U.S. franchisees must also contribute a percentage of gross sales for national marketing programs and spend a certain percentage of gross sales on local advertising. For most U.S. franchisees, there is a maximum of 8.0% of gross restaurant sales for combined national marketing and local advertising.
(2)International franchisees must spend a certain percentage of gross sales on local advertising, which varies depending on the market.
On December 27, 2020, we entered into an agreement (the “Resolution Agreement”) with Cerca Trova Southwest Restaurant Group, LLC (d/b/a Out West Restaurant Group) and certain of its affiliates (collectively, “Out West”), a franchisee of 79 Outback Steakhouse restaurants in the western United States as of December 25, 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, advertising fees were reduced to 2.25% of gross sales until December 31, 2023 or upon the earlier occurrence of certain specified events, including the sale of all or substantially all of the assets or equity of Out West, bankruptcy or a liquidation event.
Out West also entered into a forbearance agreement with its lenders that, in conjunction with the Resolution Agreement, among other things, provides for a pre-determined calculation of available monthly cash (“Available Cash”) that Out West may use to settle its obligations due to us and its lenders. Under the Resolution Agreement, if
Out West is unable to satisfy monthly royalty or advertising fees with Available Cash, such amounts will be automatically deferred and payable under the terms of the Resolution Agreement.
See Note 4 - Revenue Recognition of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further details regarding the Resolution Agreement.
Sourcing and Supply - We take a global approach to procurement and supply chain management, with our corporate team serving all U.S. and international concepts. In addition, we have dedicated supply chain management personnel for our Company-owned international operations in South America and Asia. The global supply chain management organization is responsible for all food and operating supply purchases as well as a large percentage of purchases of field and corporate services.
We address the end-to-end costs associated with the products and goods we purchase by utilizing a combination of global, regional and local suppliers to capture efficiencies and economies of scale. This “total cost of ownership” (“TCO”) approach focuses on the initial purchase price, coupled with the cost structure underlying the procurement and order fulfillment process. The TCO approach includes monitoring commodity markets and trends to execute product purchases at the most advantageous times.
We have a distribution program that includes food, non-alcoholic beverage, smallwares and packaging goods in all major markets. Where applicable, this program is managed by two custom distribution companies that only provide products approved for our system. These customized relationships enable our staff to effectively manage and prioritize our supply chain.
Beef represents the majority of purchased proteins. In 2022, we purchased our beef raw materials primarily from four beef suppliers in the U.S. and Brazil. Due to the nature of our industry, we expect to continue purchasing a substantial amount of beef from a small number of suppliers. Other major commodity categories purchased include seafood, poultry, produce, dairy, bread, oils and pasta and energy sources to operate our restaurants, such as natural gas and electricity. The cost of such commodities may fluctuate widely due to government policy and regulation, changing weather patterns and conditions, climate change and other supply and/or demand impacting events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, macroeconomic conditions, geopolitical events or other unforeseen circumstances.
Serving safe and high-quality food has always been our priority. We utilize both an internal food safety team responsible for supplier evaluations and external third parties who inspect supplier adherence and restaurant practices to monitor quality, food safety and product specifications. All of our restaurants implement best practices for food handling, monitoring and innovating to improve procedures. Our restaurant teams have many touch points to seek to ensure food safety, quality and freshness through all phases of preparation.
We are committed to building long-term partnerships with suppliers who are dedicated to delivering safe, high quality ingredients in a sustainable way. All suppliers are required to comply with our Supplier Code of Ethics and we strive to source only products that are raised in a sustainable, ethical and humane manner.
Information Systems - We leverage technology to support areas such as digital marketing and customer engagement, business analytics and decision support, restaurant operations and productivity initiatives related to optimizing our staffing, food waste management and supply chain efficiency.
To drive customer engagement, we continue to invest in data and technology infrastructure, including brand websites, digital marketing, online ordering and mobile apps. To increase customer convenience, we are leveraging our online ordering infrastructure to facilitate expanded off-premises dining systems. Additionally, we developed systems to support our customer loyalty program with a focus on increasing traffic to our restaurants. In recent years, we have made investments in a supply chain management system to improve inventory forecasting and replenishment in our restaurants, which helps us manage food quality and cost and reduce food waste. We also
continue to invest in a range of tools and infrastructure to support risk management and cyber security. We maintain a robust incident response plan, conduct periodic tabletop scenarios and present cyber security program updates to our Audit Committee on a quarterly basis.
Our integrated point-of-sale system allows us to transact business in our restaurants and communicate sales data through a secure corporate network to our enterprise resource planning system and data warehouse. Our Company-owned restaurants, and most of our franchised restaurants, are connected through a portal that provides our employees and franchise partners with access to business information and tools that allow them to collaborate, communicate, train and share information.
We maintain a robust system to ensure network security and safeguard against data loss. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for additional discussion of our cyber security measures.
Advertising and Marketing - We advertise through a diverse set of media channels including, but not limited to, national/spot television, radio, social media, search engines and other digital tactics. Our concepts have active public relations programs and also rely on national promotions, site visibility, local marketing, digital marketing, direct mail, billboards and point-of-sale materials to promote our restaurants. We focus on data segmentation and personalization, customer relationship management and digital advertising to be more efficient and relevant with our advertising expenditures. Internationally, we have teams in our developed markets that engage local agencies to tailor advertising to each market and develop relevant and timely promotions based on local consumer demand.
Our multi-branded U.S. loyalty program, Dine Rewards, is designed to drive incremental traffic and provide data for customer segmentation and personalization opportunities.
Restaurant Management - The Restaurant Managing Partner has primary responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the restaurant and is required to follow Company-established operating standards. Area Operating Partners for our casual dining concepts oversee restaurant operations and Restaurant Managing Partners within a specific region. For our Outback Steakhouse brand, Market Vice Presidents oversee multiple Area Operating Partner regions.
In addition to base salary, Market Vice Presidents, Area Operating Partners, Restaurant Managing Partners and Chef Partners (“Restaurant Partners”) generally receive performance-based bonuses for providing management and supervisory services to their restaurants, certain of which may be based on a percentage of their restaurants’ monthly operating results or cash flows and/or total controllable income.
Many of our international Restaurant Managing Partners are given the option to purchase participation interests in the cash distributions of the restaurants they manage. The amount, terms and availability vary by country.
Trademarks - We regard our Outback®, Outback Steakhouse®, Carrabba’s Italian Grill®, Bonefish Grill® and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar® service marks and our Bloomin’ Onion® trademark as having significant value and as being important factors in the marketing of our restaurants. We have also obtained trademarks and service marks for these and several of our other menu items and various advertising slogans both in the U.S. and in other countries where we operate. We are aware of names and marks similar to the service marks of ours used by other persons in certain geographic areas in which we have restaurants. However, we believe such uses will not adversely affect us. Our policy is to, whenever possible, pursue registration of our marks in countries where we operate and to vigorously oppose any infringement of our marks. We also have registered domain names for each of our concepts.
We license the use of our registered trademarks to franchisees and third parties through franchise and license arrangements. The franchise and license arrangements restrict franchisees’ and licensees’ activities with respect to the use of our trademarks and impose quality control standards in connection with goods and services offered in connection with the trademarks.
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Historically, customer traffic patterns for our established U.S. restaurants are generally highest in the first quarter of the year and lowest in the third quarter of the year. International customer traffic patterns vary by market with Brazil historically experiencing minimal seasonal traffic fluctuations. Holidays may affect sales volumes seasonally in some of our markets. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on consumer behaviors and customer traffic that resulted in temporary changes in the seasonal fluctuations of our business. Additionally, severe storms, extended periods of inclement weather or climate extremes resulting from climate change may also affect the seasonal operating results of the areas impacted.
We are subject to various federal, state, local and international laws affecting our business. Each of our restaurants is subject to licensing and regulation by a number of governmental authorities, which may include, among others, alcoholic beverage control, health and safety agencies, environmental and fire agencies in the state, municipality or country in which the restaurant is located.
U.S. - During 2020, several governmental bodies in the U.S. addressed the spread of COVID-19 by imposing limitations on business operations or recommending that residents and/or employers adopt “social distancing,” vaccination and/or testing measures. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, formal and informal restraints, as well as consumer behavior, materially affected the way we operated our business and served our guests.
Alcoholic beverage sales represent 11% of our U.S. restaurant sales. Alcoholic beverage control regulations require each of our restaurants to apply to a state authority and, in certain locations, county or municipal authorities for a license or permit to sell alcoholic beverages on the premises and, where applicable, a permit to provide service for extended hours and on Sundays. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, many state governors entered executive orders allowing restaurants to sell alcohol for carry-out or delivery. In most jurisdictions, alcohol licenses for restaurants did not previously allow for off-premises sales. Some of these executive orders remain in effect, with several states passing permanent legislation. We are currently offering alcohol to-go from certain locations from each of our restaurant concepts.
Our restaurant operations are also subject to federal and state laws for such matters as:
•immigration, employment, minimum wage, overtime, tip credits, paid leave, safety standards, worker conditions and health care;
•menu labeling and food safety;
•the Americans with Disabilities Act, which, among other things, requires our restaurants to meet federally mandated requirements for the disabled; and
•information security, data privacy, anti-corruption/anti-bribery, cashless payments and gift cards.
International - Our restaurants outside of the U.S. are subject to similar regional and local laws and regulations as our U.S. restaurants, including COVID-19-related mandates, labor, food safety, data privacy, anti-corruption/anti-bribery and information security.
See Item 1A. - Risk Factors for a discussion of risks relating to federal, state, local and international regulation of our business.
HUMAN CAPITAL RESOURCES
Employees - As of December 25, 2022, we employed approximately 87,000 Team Members (our employees), of which approximately 750 are corporate personnel, including more than 200 in international markets.
We are committed to nurturing an inclusive, service-focused culture, founded on respecting and valuing every person, regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, ability or age. We track a variety of workforce statistics to help us understand the gender, racial and ethnic diversity of our U.S. Team Members, including the following as of the period indicated:
|DECEMBER 25, 2022|
|WOMEN||PEOPLE OF COLOR (1)|
|Restaurant Support Center||63%||21%|
|Hourly Team Members||52%||49%|
(1)Denotes U.S. Team Members that identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander or two or more races.
Various jurisdictional mandated industry-wide labor agreements, which are renewed annually, apply to certain of our employees in Brazil.
Celebrating Our People – Team Members, guests, suppliers and neighbors have always been at the heart of our Company’s culture, driven each day by our founding Principles & Beliefs, which include treating each individual as we would want to be treated. We believe that creating exceptional guest experiences begins with providing a positive, supportive work environment that welcomes individual differences and allows employees to grow and have fun. We focus on developing genuine, emotional guest connections through friendly service and high-quality food. We embrace the communities we serve, from feeding first responders to supporting worthy causes, especially in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, home to our Restaurant Support Center (“RSC”).
We use surveys to seek feedback from our Team Members on a variety of topics that include, but are not limited to, confidence in leadership, our company culture and overall satisfaction with the Company. In 2022, we invested in a comprehensive total rewards survey, the insights from which we are using to define our Value of Employment strategy. Annual strategic talent reviews and succession planning for executive-level roles, senior management and key restaurant leadership positions help ensure consistency in management talent quality. During 2022, approximately 90% of promotions to our Manager in Training program and to Restaurant Managing Partner were internal, which consisted of 33% women and 30% people of color.
We are committed to high standards of ethical, moral and legal business conduct and strive to be an open and honest workplace, providing a positive work environment and fostering a culture of integrity and ethical decision-making. To support this commitment, we have a Code of Conduct that provides clear direction for behavioral expectations. Every employee, officer and director completes training annually. We also provide annual training to our Restaurant Partners and our RSC Team Members on our Code of Conduct, Preventing Discrimination and Harassment and Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption. In addition, we maintain an Ethics and Compliance Hotline (the “Hotline”), which includes an 800 number and an online form where our Team Members can report any workplace concerns, with the option to report anonymously. The Hotline is accessible via several languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also developed an informational poster for all our restaurants, in English and Spanish, which provides the phone number, the web address for the reporting form, and a QR code to make it easy for our Team Members to report concerns.
Finally, we have migrated to a hybrid work environment in the RSC. We are investing in a cultural refresh in response to employees returning to the office after two years of working from home and to invigorate connection and inclusivity between the corporate and field teams.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - We aim to cultivate a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment that celebrates diverse backgrounds and provides equitable access to opportunities. We deliver on this by ensuring Team Members are trained, understand their role in inclusivity and are held accountable in making our restaurants a place where everyone is valued for who they are and what they bring to the table.
We are constantly working to improve how we support a more inclusive workplace for our Team Members and remain steadfast and relentless toward our goals in diversity and equity. We continually assess our overall racial and gender diversity at Bloomin’ Brands as we strive to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. We have seen improvements in diverse representation among our restaurant management teams and RSC while recognizing there is more work to be done. We deepened our work in cultivating a diverse talent pipeline through our Summer Internship Program by bringing on interns which consisted of 73% women and 33% people of color engaged in meaningful work across all departments of our RSC.
In 2022, our Executive Leadership Team (“ELT”) engaged in quarterly diversity, equity and inclusion (“DE&I”) sessions curated and facilitated by a diversity consulting firm. In these sessions, ELT members learned key principles of DE&I and engaged in deep, enriching dialogue around potential gaps in our organization and industry and their individual and collective responsibility for sustaining change. ELT members also worked toward the expected actions captured in their individual bonus modifier, including:
•active leadership in our Employee Resource Groups;
•Pluma coaching program - monthly engagement in mentoring efforts with high potential talent;
•active participation in company DE&I activities, such as Courageous Conversations (a virtual platform where Team Members hear personal stories, learn from others’ experiences, and discuss important issues in DE&I); and
•demonstrating progress in furthering representation of women and people of color in their respective brands/functions.
While engaged in deep work with our executive team, we also continued listening, sharing and storytelling to inspire awareness, understanding and change across the organization. Each concept held monthly Courageous Conversations and we hosted virtual calls open to the entire company bimonthly to learn about and discuss DE&I issues aligned to the mission and objectives of our five Employee Resource Groups:
•Women’s Interests Network (WIN): Committed to accelerating the advancement of women at Bloomin’ Brands through mentorship, education, experience and information sharing;
•Black Interests Group (BIG): Focused on elevating and amplifying Black talent through strong networks and mentorship;
•BELONG: Fostering an environment for Our People to thrive while celebrating understanding, acceptance and involvement of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies;
•¡Adelante!: Aimed at accelerating and celebrating the Hispanic and Latin Community at Bloomin’ Brands; and
•Bloomin’ Balance: Inspiring our community to lead happy, healthy and fulfilled lives through total and balanced wellness.
From our participation at the Women’s Foodservice Forum annual conference to memorable heritage month programs and active community involvement (for example, Juneteenth service activities, Pride sponsorships and engagement, walks and runs for special health-focused causes), our Employee Resource Groups have been instrumental in providing community, support and both personal and professional development for our Team Members.
As we aim to attract and cultivate relationships with the next generation of talent in our workforce, we have been intentional about being visible and building brand awareness at a number of Florida colleges and universities, including Florida A&M University (a historically Black university), Florida International University (minority/Hispanic serving institution), the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida. We provide future industry leaders with financial support through endowed scholarships at each of these schools to help offset students’ costs of higher education as they pursue degrees and certifications that align with the work we do in hospitality.
We support words with actions by being good stewards of our communities and engaging with organizations dedicated to cultivating more diverse and inclusive communities, including:
•National Urban League
•Woman’s Foodservice Forum
•Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance
•National Diversity Council
•Habitat for Humanity
•Big Brothers, Big Sisters
•Boys & Girls Clubs
•Feeding America (Tampa Bay)
•Meals on Wheels
•Harvest Food Donation
Workplace Safety - Employee health and safety in the workplace is of utmost importance to our Company. We believe that all employees, regardless of job role or title, have a shared responsibility in the promotion of health and safety in the workplace. We are committed to providing and following safety laws and rules, including internal policies and procedures. This commitment means carrying out company activities in ways that preserve and promote a clean, safe and healthy environment.
Total Rewards - Our total rewards philosophy is to motivate and retain our Team Members by offering, what we believe to be, competitive salary packages. To align Team Member objectives with the Company and ultimately our stockholders, Bloomin’ Brands offers programs that reward long-term performance. Additionally, we offer a well-rounded benefit package that includes the following, along with other benefits:
•Comprehensive health insurance coverage for Team Members working an average of 30 or more hours each week. This program includes wellness programs intended to proactively support healthcare and access to a health savings account that is eligible for employer contributions and is fully portable.
•An employee assistance program provided at no cost to all Team Members and their family members which includes virtual therapy sessions, free counseling and tools and resources in order to improve mental health and the well-being of our Team Members.
•All salaried Team Members are eligible to participate in company sponsored retirement plans with access to financial wellness resources. Eligible Team Members participating in the 401(k) receive matching contributions.
•Employee discounts when dining at any one of our brands.
•All levels of the organization, including hourly Team Members that meet certain service criteria, can qualify for paid time off for the purpose of rest, relaxation and planned time away from the workplace.
Company Response to COVID-19 - During 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the lives of our Team Members, we offered educational resources to inform their vaccination decision. We also provided paid time off for hourly Team Members who elected to be vaccinated. In 2020, we did not furlough any Team Members and provided $44.9 million of relief pay, excluding the benefit of employee retention tax credits earned, for our Team Members who were impacted by closed dining rooms. We also paid the employee portion of benefits premiums for Team Members who received relief pay. In addition, Team Members who were quarantined or who had a personal illness related to COVID-19 received pay.
Employee Support and Community Engagement - Our commitment to our Team Members does not stop with competitive salaries, development and benefits. In 1999, we created a trust (the “Trust”) to support our Team Members in times of personal hardship. All contributions to the Trust are voluntary, employee-funded and are not solicited from suppliers, customers or friends. Due to the incredible generosity and caring nature of our Team Members, the Trust is able to make meaningful monetary support to our Team Members who experience very difficult, often unexpected and catastrophic issues, in their lives. Since 2017, the Trust has paid approximately $1.9
million to the benefit of over 1,400 Team Members who applied for support, including support to Team Members impacted by Hurricane Ian during 2022.
We are inspired by the generosity of our Team Members and encourage them to give back to their communities. To facilitate this community engagement, field Team Members volunteer within their communities and RSC Team Members participate in an annual Community Service Day. In 2022, its 14th year, Team Members volunteered nearly 800 hours of service at 15 non-profit organizations in the Tampa Bay area.
In addition, during 2022 we implemented a matching gift and volunteer grant program for eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and provided a limited dollar-for-dollar match or grant for full-time RSC Team Members who made a personal charitable donation or volunteered for a minimum of ten hours during non-working hours.
Information About Our Executive Officers - Below is a list of the names, ages, positions and a brief description of the business experience of each of our executive officers as of February 16, 2023:
|David J. Deno||65||Chief Executive Officer|
|Christopher Meyer||51||Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer|
|Kelly Lefferts||56||Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary|
|Gregg Scarlett||61||Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Casual Dining Restaurants|
|Patrick Murtha||64||Executive Vice President, Fleming’s and International|
|Philip Pace||48||Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer|
|Suzann Trevisan||51||Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer|
David J. Deno has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2019. Mr. Deno previously served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer from October 2013 to April 2019 and as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from May 2012 to October 2013. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Deno was Chief Financial Officer of the international division of Best Buy Co., Inc. from December 2009 to May 2012. Mr. Deno has also previously served as Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Operating Officer of Yum! Brands, Inc.
Christopher Meyer has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since April 2019. Mr. Meyer previously served as Group Vice President, Finance, Treasury and Accounting from November 2017 to April 2019 and Group Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis and Investor Relations from September 2014 to November 2017.
Kelly Lefferts has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer since July 2019. Ms. Lefferts served as Group Vice President and U.S. General Counsel of Bloomin’ Brands from September 2015 to July 2019 and Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Bloomin’ Brands from January 2008 to September 2015. She has also served as Secretary of Bloomin’ Brands since February 2016.
Gregg Scarlett has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Casual Dining Restaurants since February 2020. Mr. Scarlett previously served as Executive Vice President, President of Outback Steakhouse from July 2016 to February 2020; Executive Vice President, President of Bonefish Grill from March 2015 to July 2016; Senior Vice President, Casual Dining Restaurant Operations from January 2013 to April 2015; and Senior Vice President of Operations for Outback Steakhouse from March 2010 to January 2013.
Patrick Murtha has served as Executive Vice President, Fleming’s and International since September 2022. Mr. Murtha previously served as Executive Vice President, Fleming’s, International & Human Resources from April 2021 to September 2022 and Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer from February 2021 to April 2021. He also served as Interim Chief Human Resources Officer from September 2020 to February 2021 and Executive Vice President and President, International from November 2013 to January 2018. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Murtha was the Principal Consultant of Murtha Consulting from January 2018 to December 2020.
Mr. Murtha also previously served as Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of KFC, Japan, Ltd., Chief Operating Officer of Pizza Hut and Chief People Officer of Yum! Restaurants International.
Philip Pace has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer since July 2022. Mr. Pace previously served as the Company’s Group Vice President and Controller from October 2015 to July 2022 and Vice President, Corporate Controller from July 2013 to October 2015.
Suzann Trevisan has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer since September 2022. Prior to joining Bloomin’ Brands, Ms. Trevisan held a number of leadership positions with Owens Corning, including Vice President of Human Resources for the composites business from March 2018 to August 2022 and Vice President of Human Resources, Centers of Excellence from June 2015 to March 2018.
We are making a conscious and collective effort to minimize our Company’s environmental impact and are encouraging our Team Members to do the same. Addressing climate change and other ESG issues is a complex and constantly evolving process, and we rely significantly on the efforts, learning, tools and recommendations of scientists, partners and our communities to guide our ongoing emissions reduction efforts. During 2022, we continued our assessment of our greenhouse gas (“GHG”) footprint in our U.S. Company-owned restaurants for operational emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) based on 2019 usage, establishing a baseline inventory to guide our emissions reduction efforts moving forward. See additional details regarding our GHG footprint assessment by visiting our website at www.bloominbrands.com and clicking first on “Our Commitment” and then on “Our Environment”.
We recognize that actions to reduce emissions cannot be limited to our own operations. We must also take steps to address GHG emissions where they are most challenging, including within our supply chain. Through engagement with our suppliers and our extended supply chain (e.g., food processors and distributors, transportation, and logistics partners, etc.), we will continue work to reduce and mitigate the climate impact of our raw materials.
Additional Information - We make available, free of charge, through our internet website www.bloominbrands.com, our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statements and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such material with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our reports and other materials filed with the SEC are also available at www.sec.gov. The reference to website addresses in this Report does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the websites and should not be considered part of this Report.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
The risk factors set forth below should be carefully considered. The risks described below are those that we believe could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations, however, they are not the only risks facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or those we currently view to be immaterial may also materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
Food safety and food-borne illness concerns in our restaurants or throughout the industry or supply chain may have an adverse effect on our business by reducing demand and increasing costs.
Regardless of the source or cause, any report of food-borne illnesses and other food safety issues, whether at one of our restaurants or in the industry or supply chain, generally could have a negative impact on our traffic and sales and adversely affect the reputation of our brands. Food safety issues could be caused by suppliers or distributors and, as a result, be out of our control and this risk may be exacerbated by current supply chain issues, which could delay deliveries and necessitate alternative sourcing on short notice. Health concerns or outbreaks of disease in a food product could also reduce demand for particular menu offerings. Even instances of food-borne illness, food tampering or food contamination occurring solely at restaurants of other companies could result in negative publicity about the food service industry generally and adversely impact our sales. There is also the risk of allergen cross contamination in our restaurants despite precautionary measures to minimize the risk. Social media has dramatically increased the rate at which negative publicity, including as it relates to food-borne illnesses, can be disseminated before there is any meaningful opportunity to respond or address an issue. The occurrence of food-borne illnesses or food safety issues could also adversely affect the price and availability of affected ingredients, resulting in higher costs and lower margins.
We are subject to various federal and state employment and labor laws and regulations.
Various employment and labor laws and regulations govern our relationships with our employees throughout the world and affect operating costs. These laws and regulations relate to matters including employment discrimination, minimum wage requirements, scheduling, overtime, tip credits, unemployment tax rates, workers’ compensation rates, working conditions, immigration status, tax reporting and other wage and benefit requirements. Any significant additional government regulations and new laws governing our relationships with employees, including minimum wage increases, regulations relating to union organizing rights and activities, mandated benefits or other requirements that impose additional obligations on us, including any temporary or permanent measures implemented in response to COVID-19, could increase our costs and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
As a significant number of our food service and preparation personnel are paid at rates related to the applicable minimum wage, federal, state and local proposals related to minimum wage requirements or similar matters could, to the extent implemented, materially increase our labor and other costs. As minimum wage increases continue to be implemented in states in which we operate, we expect our labor costs will continue to increase. In addition, there have been in the past, and may be in the future, legislative efforts to significantly increase the federal minimum wage, which, if implemented, would materially increase our labor and other costs. Our distributors and suppliers could also be affected by higher minimum wage, benefit standards and compliance costs, which could result in higher costs for goods and services supplied to us. In addition, several U.S. jurisdictions have implemented fair workweek or “secure scheduling” legislation, which impose complex requirements related to scheduling for certain restaurant and retail employees, and additional jurisdictions are considering similar legislation. Several jurisdictions also have implemented sick pay/paid time off legislation, which requires employers to provide paid time off to employees, and “just cause” termination legislation, which restricts companies’ ability to terminate employees unless they can prove “just cause” or a “bona fide economic reason” for the termination. We also rely on our employees to accurately disclose the full amount of their tip income, and we base our FICA tax reporting on the disclosures provided to us by such tipped employees. Inaccurate employee FICA tax reporting could subject us to monetary liabilities, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Failure to recruit, train and retain high-quality leadership, restaurant-level management and hourly team members may inhibit our ability to operate and grow successfully.
Our success will continue to depend, to a significant extent, on our leadership team and other key management personnel. The “great resignation” trend that began in 2021 in the United States has further strained and could continue to strain our ability to keep our restaurants fully staffed. If we are unable to attract and retain sufficiently experienced and capable management personnel, our business and financial results may suffer.
Our restaurant-level management and team members are largely responsible for the quality of our service. Our guests may be dissatisfied and our sales may decline if we fail to recruit, train and retain managers and team members that effectively implement our business strategy and provide high quality guest service. There is active competition for quality management personnel and hourly team members, and such competition could require us to pay higher wages or incur higher costs for retaining and incentivizing our management personnel and hourly team members. If we experience high turnover, we may experience higher labor costs and have a shortage of adequate management personnel required for future growth. A shortage of team members also could cause our restaurants to operate with reduced staff, which could adversely affect our ability to provide high quality guest service.
Challenging economic, political and social conditions may have a negative effect on our business and financial results.
Challenging economic, political and social conditions may negatively impact consumer spending and thus cause a challenging sales environment in the casual dining sector and a decline in our financial results. For example, international, domestic and regional economic conditions, continued economic downturn or recession, or slowing or stalled recovery therefrom, unemployment levels, consumer income levels, financial market volatility, credit conditions and availability, consumer debt levels, inflation, increased energy prices, weakness in the housing market, stock market performance, rising interests rates, tariffs and trade barriers, pandemics or public health concerns, population growth, changes in government and central bank monetary policies, social unrest and governmental, political and budget matters may have a negative effect on consumer confidence and discretionary spending, which the restaurant industry depends upon. In addition, the effects on the global economy from the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine, particularly if it escalates or broadens, are uncertain. Terrorist attacks, heightened security requirements, attack of critical infrastructure, protests, demonstrations, riots, civil disturbance, disobedience, insurrection, customer intimidation, mass shootings or social and other political unrest, such as those seen in recent years, have and may continue to result in restrictions, curfews or other actions and give rise to significant changes in regional and global economic conditions. If such events or disruptions persist for a prolonged period of time, our overall business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
In addition, it is difficult to predict what impact, if any, changes in federal policy, including tax, economic and monetary policies, will have on our industry, the economy as a whole, consumer confidence and discretionary spending. As a result, the nature, timing and impact on our business of potential changes to the current legal and regulatory frameworks are uncertain. It is also difficult to predict what the long-term economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may be.
A decline in economic, political or social conditions or negative developments with respect to any of the other factors mentioned above, or a perception that such decline or negative developments are imminent, generally or in particular markets in which we operate, and our consumers’ reactions to these trends could result in increased pressure with respect to our pricing, traffic levels, commodity and other costs and the continuation of our innovation and productivity initiatives, which could negatively impact our business and results of operations. Further, poor economic conditions may force nearby businesses to shut down, which could cause our restaurant locations to be less attractive.
The restaurant industry is highly competitive and consumer options for other prepared food offerings continue to expand. Our inability to compete effectively could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
A substantial number of restaurant operators compete directly and indirectly with us with respect to price, service, location and food quality, some of which are well-established with significant resources. There is also active competition for management, team members and other personnel, and attractive suitable real estate sites. Consumer tastes, nutritional and dietary trends, traffic patterns and the type, number and location of competing restaurants often affect the restaurant business, and our competitors may react more efficiently, creatively and effectively to those conditions. In addition, our competitors may generate or better implement business strategies that improve the value and relevance of their brands and reputation, relative to ours. For example, our competitors may more successfully implement menu or technology initiatives, such as remote ordering, social media or mobile technology platforms that expedite or enhance the customer experience. In addition, our competitors may more successfully implement delivery and off-site initiatives or implement other measures to better address COVID-related business risks. Further, we face growing competition from quick service and fast-casual restaurants, the supermarket industry and meal kit and food delivery providers, with the improvement of prepared food offerings, “ghost” or “dark” kitchens where meals are prepared at a separate takeaway premises rather than a restaurant, and the trend towards convergence in grocery, deli, delivery, retail and restaurant services. Further, if this competitive environment and the breadth of alternatives results in a decline in casual dining customer traffic, it could make our financial operations dependent on our ability to increase our market share within the hyper-competitive casual dining segment. We believe all of the above factors have increased competitive pressures in the casual dining sector in recent periods and we believe they will continue to present a challenging competitive environment in future periods. If we are unable to continue to compete effectively, our traffic, sales and margins could decline and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Cyber security breaches of confidential consumer, personal employee and other material information and other threats to our technological systems may adversely affect our business.
A cyber incident that compromises the information of our consumers or employees, whether affecting our technological systems or those of third-party service providers that we rely on, could result in widespread negative publicity, damage to the reputation of our brands, a loss of consumers, an interruption of our business and legal liabilities.
The majority of our restaurant sales are by credit or debit cards, and we maintain certain personal information regarding our employees and confidential information about our customers, franchisees and suppliers. Although we segment our card data environment and employ a cyber security protection program based upon industry frameworks, as well as scan and improve our environment for any vulnerabilities, perform penetration testing and engage third parties to assess effectiveness of our security measures with oversight by our Audit Committee, there are no assurances that such programs will prevent or detect all potential cyber security breaches or technological failures.
Our operations and corporate functions rely heavily on information systems, including point-of-sale processing in our restaurants, management of our supply chain, payment of obligations, collection of cash, data warehousing to support analytics, finance and accounting systems, payroll and human resource systems, mobile technologies to enhance the customer experience and other various processes and procedures, some of which are handled by third parties. Our ability to efficiently and effectively manage our business depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of these systems. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, system maintenance problems, upgrading or transitioning to new platforms, or any cyber incident relating to these systems could expose our systems or information to cyber threats, result in delays in consumer service, reduced efficiency in our operations or result in negative publicity. Despite our security measures, our technology systems may be vulnerable to damage, disability or failures due to physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or other catastrophic events, as well as from internal and external security breaches, employee error or malfeasance, denial of service, hacking, “phishing” attacks, social engineering, malware, ransomware, viruses, worms and other attacks or disruptive
problems, which have increased in sophistication, frequency and duration in recent years. We have been, and will continue to be, the target of attempted cyber and other security threats, including those common to most industries and those targeting us due to the confidential consumer information we obtain through our electronic processing of credit and debit card transactions. Like other restaurants and retailers, we are also susceptible to claims for purportedly fraudulent transactions arising out of actual or alleged theft of credit or debit card information. A security breach or even a perceived security breach or failure to appropriately respond to a cyber incident could result in litigation or governmental investigation, as well as damage to our reputation and brands.
A claim or investigation resulting from a cyber or other security threat to our systems and data may have a material adverse effect on our business and distract the management from running the business. Responses to cyber security also has the potential of incurring significant remediation costs, to the extent such costs are not covered by our applicable insurance policies. As cyber security risk and applicable laws and regulations evolve, we may incur significant additional costs in technology, third-party services and personnel to maintain systems designed to anticipate and prevent cyber-attacks.
We are subject to a variety of continuously evolving laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection and data security at federal, state and international levels. The California Consumer Privacy Act, for example, became effective January 1, 2020 and provides a new private right of action to California residents related to data breaches and imposes new disclosure and other requirements on companies with respect to their data collection, use and sharing practices as they relate to California residents. Other states and countries in which we operate have enacted, or are proposing to enact, similar laws or the laws expanding existing privacy rights. New areas of litigation related to privacy rights continue to emerge. Compliance with newly developed laws and regulations, which are subject to change and uncertain interpretations, may cause us to incur substantial costs.
Increased commodity, energy and other costs could decrease our profit margins or cause us to limit or otherwise modify our menus or increase prices, which could adversely affect our business. Further, if our suppliers or custom distributors are unable to fulfill their obligations under their contracts or we are unable to develop or maintain relationships with these or new suppliers or distributors, if needed, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs.
The performance of our restaurants depends on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in the price and availability of food commodities. Our business also incurs significant costs for energy, utilities, insurance, health care, labor, marketing and real estate over which we have little control. We have experienced and continue to experience the impact of inflation and fluctuations in costs on our operating expenses and anticipate the inflationary conditions will continue in the near future. We are anticipating mid single digits inflation for both commodities and labor during 2023, but there can be no assurance it will not be greater than that or that we will be able to pass through increased costs in our prices. Increased prices or shortages could affect the cost and quality of the items we buy or require us to raise prices, limit our menu options or implement alternative processes or products. In response, customers may be less willing to patronize our restaurants in favor of our competitors or lower-priced alternatives. Prices may also be affected by supply, market changes, increased competition, changes in laws, shortages or interruptions in supply due to weather, disease or other conditions beyond our control, labor shortages or other reasons. As a result, these events, combined with other more general economic and demographic conditions, could impact our pricing and negatively affect our sales and profit margins.
We depend on frequent deliveries of fresh food products that meet our specifications, and we have a limited number of suppliers and distributors for our major products, such as beef. These factors subject us to the risk that shortages or interruptions in products could adversely affect the availability, quality or cost of products or require us to incur more costs to obtain adequate products if we are unable to manage supply chain risk. During 2022, we purchased: (i) more than 95% of our U.S. beef raw materials from four beef suppliers that represent more than 80% of the total beef marketplace in the U.S. and (ii) more than 95% of our Brazil beef raw materials from four beef suppliers that represent more than 50% of the total beef marketplace in Brazil. Our dependence on a small number of suppliers subjects us to the risks of ingredient shortage, supply interruption, animal disease outbreak, and price volatility. An external disruption or an internal dispute that forces us to sever ties with our suppliers may not enable us to find a suitable replacement in a timely or cost-efficient manner. Beef is a significant cost to us, and we may also incur higher costs to secure adequate suppliers or make substantial changes to our menu offerings, at the risk of materially
adverse harm to our business. Due to the nature of our industry, we expect to continue to purchase a substantial amount of our beef from a small number of suppliers. Global economic factors continue to place significant pressure on suppliers, making the supply environment more expensive and causing supply chain issues. Supply shortages or disruptions caused by inclement weather, climate change, natural disasters, pandemics (including COVID-19), armed conflict, sanctions, financial or solvency issues of our suppliers or distributors, fuel increases or other conditions beyond our control could adversely affect our operations and operating results. In recent years, climate-related issues such drought and flooding in our key supplier region have led to volatility in the prices of our ingredients, such as produce and meats. In addition, if any of our suppliers or distributors were unable to fulfill their responsibilities or we were unable to maintain current purchasing terms or ensure service availability and we were unable to locate substitutes in a timely manner, especially given the prolonged effects of COVID-19, we may encounter supply shortages, lose consumers and experience an increase in costs in seeking alternative supplier or distribution services. The failure to develop and maintain supplier and distributor relationships and any resulting disruptions to the provision of food and other supplies to our restaurant locations could adversely affect our operating results.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and may continue to disrupt our business, and could continue to materially and adversely affect our business, revenues, financial condition and results of operations for an extended period of time.
The COVID-19 pandemic and related preventative and protective measures have negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, our business globally. Preventative and protective measures in the United States and in foreign countries in which we operate, which have varied significantly across the jurisdictions where our restaurants are located, impacted our ability to operate our business and created a rapidly changing and complicated system for ensuring compliance and predicting our revenues and cost structure. The enhanced health and safety procedures of our operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have had and may continue to have adverse effects on our operating costs.
During the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to close our dining rooms, were limited to off-premises sales or were subject to capacity limitations. Depending on the future course of the COVID-19 pandemic and variants of the virus, we could face additional closures or limitations on our services or capacity for our restaurant dining rooms. If we revert to solely or primarily off-premises sales, there can be no assurance that our off-premises sales will grow or remain at levels experienced while our dining rooms were previously closed and we could face liquidity challenges and would need to seek additional sources of liquidity. There can be no guarantee that additional liquidity will be readily available or available on favorable terms, especially the longer the COVID-19 pandemic lasts.
If our employees or customers become ill, a significant percentage of our or our suppliers’ or distributors’ workforce is unable to work, or if there are similar disruptions in the supply chain generally for certain products, whether because of illness, quarantine, limitations on travel or other government restrictions in connection with COVID-19, we could face disruptions to restaurant operations, cost increases and shortages of food or other supplies, or reputational harm or negative publicity directed at our brands that causes customers to avoid our restaurants, potentially materially adversely affecting our operations and sales.
In addition, the operations of our franchisees are subject to the same risks discussed above with respect to our business, and the COVID-19 pandemic has and may continue to cause financial distress to our franchisees. We have deferred or permanently waived certain of our franchisees’ payment obligations as a result, which deferments or waived payments may not be sufficient if resurgences of COVID-19 or other factors result in additional financial distress. In some cases, we are contingently liable for franchisee lease obligations, and a failure by a franchisee to perform its obligations under such lease could result in direct payment obligations for us.
To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this Report, including but not limited to, asset impairment.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and other countries have experienced, or may experience in the future, outbreaks of other viruses, such as norovirus, the bird/avian flu or other diseases. As we have experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic, if a regional or global health pandemic occurs, depending upon its location, duration and severity, our business could be severely affected. In the event a health pandemic occurs, customers might avoid public places, and local, regional or national governments might limit or ban public gatherings to halt or delay the spread of disease. Jurisdictions in which we have restaurants may impose mandatory closures or impose restrictions on operations. If a virus is transmitted by human contact or respiratory transmission, our employees or guests could become infected, or could choose, or be advised, to avoid gathering in public places, any of which would adversely affect our restaurant guest traffic or perform functions at the corporate level. A regional or global health pandemic might also adversely affect our business by disrupting or delaying production and delivery of materials and products in our supply chain and by causing staffing shortages in our stores.
Our inability or failure to recognize, respond to and effectively manage the accelerated impact of social media could have a material adverse impact on our business.
Social media allows individuals to access a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. The availability of information on social media platforms is virtually immediate as is its impact, and users can post information often without filters or checks on the accuracy of the content posted. Adverse or inaccurate information concerning our Company or concepts may be posted at any time, and such information can quickly reach a wide audience. Social media has also been utilized to target specific companies or brands as a result of a variety of actions or inactions, or perceived actions or inactions, and such campaigns can rapidly accelerate and impact consumer behavior. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction, and it is challenging to monitor, anticipate and promptly respond to such developments. These factors could have a material adverse effect on our business. Regardless of its basis or validity, any unfavorable publicity could adversely affect public perception of our brands.
Our failure to use social media responsibly in our marketing efforts may further expose us to these risks. As part of our marketing efforts, we rely on search engine marketing and social media platforms to attract and retain guests. We need to continuously innovate and develop our social media strategies in order to maintain broad appeal with guests and brand relevance. We also continue to invest in other digital marketing initiatives that allow us to reach our guests across multiple digital channels and build their awareness of, engagement with, and loyalty to our brands. These initiatives may not be successful, resulting in expenses incurred without the benefit of higher revenues, increased employee engagement or brand recognition. In addition, a variety of risks are associated with the use of social media, including the improper disclosure of proprietary or personal information and negative publicity. The inappropriate use of social media vehicles by our guests or employees could increase our costs, lead to litigation or result in negative publicity that could damage our reputation.
We face a variety of risks associated with doing business in foreign markets that could have a negative impact on our financial performance.
We have a significant number of restaurants outside of the United States, and we intend to continue our efforts to grow internationally. There is no assurance that international operations will be profitable or international growth will continue. In addition, if we have a significant concentration of restaurants in a foreign market, the impact of any negative local conditions can have a sizable impact on our results.
Our foreign operations are subject to all of the same risks as our U.S. restaurants, as well as additional risks including, among others, international economic, political, social and legal conditions and the possibility of instability and unrest, differing cultures and consumer preferences, diverse government regulations and tax systems, corruption, anti-American sentiment, the ability to source high quality ingredients and other commodities in a cost-effective manner, uncertain or differing interpretations of rights and obligations in connection with international franchise agreements and the collection of ongoing royalties from international franchisees, the availability and costs of land, construction and financing, and the availability of experienced management, appropriate franchisees and area operating partners.
Local or regional events or conditions in our international markets could disrupt our business operations and affect our results. In recent years, there were protests in cities throughout the U.S. as well as globally, including in Hong Kong and Brazil, in connection with civil rights, liberties, and social and governmental reform.
Currency regulations and fluctuations in exchange rates could also affect our performance. We have operations in many foreign countries, including direct investments in restaurants in Brazil, Hong Kong and China, as well as international franchises. As a result, we may experience losses from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates or any hedging arrangements that we enter into to offset such fluctuations, and such losses could adversely affect our overall sales and earnings.
We are subject to governmental regulation of our foreign operations, including antitrust and tax requirements, anti-boycott regulations, import/export/customs regulations and other international trade regulations, the USA Patriot Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Any new regulatory or trade initiatives could impact our operations in certain countries. Failure to comply with any such legal requirements could subject us to monetary liabilities and other sanctions, which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we fail to adequately address environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) matters, including those related to climate change and sustainability, it could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results and may damage our reputation.
In recent years, there has been an increasing focus from certain investors, customers, consumers, employees and other stakeholders concerning ESG matters. Companies across all industries are facing increasing scrutiny relating to their ESG practices. We are also subject to ESG rules and regulations promulgated by self-regulatory organizations, including the Nasdaq Stock Market. Changing consumer preferences may result in increased demands regarding our products and supply chain and their respective environmental and social impact, including on sustainability. These demands could require additional transparency, due diligence, and reporting and could cause us to incur additional costs or to make changes to our operations to comply with such demands. We may also determine that certain changes are required in anticipation of further evolution of consumer preferences and demands. Increased focus and activism related to ESG may also result in investors reconsidering their investment decisions as a result of their assessment of a company’s ESG practices. Further, concern over climate change and other environmental sustainability matters, has and may in the future result in new or increased legal and regulatory requirements to reduce or mitigate impacts to the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions regulations, alternative energy policies, water consumption and sustainability initiatives. If we fail to achieve any goals, targets, or objectives we may set with respect to ESG matters, if we do not meet or comply with new regulations or evolving consumer, investor, industry, or stakeholder expectations and standards, including those related to reporting, or if we are perceived to have not responded appropriately to the growing concern for ESG matters, we may face legal or regulatory actions, the imposition of fines, penalties, or other sanctions, adverse publicity, and decreased demand from consumers, or the price of our common stock could decline, any of which could materially harm our reputation or have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or operating results.
The food service industry is affected by consumer preferences and perceptions. Changes in these preferences and perceptions may lessen the demand for our products, which would reduce sales and harm our business.
Food service businesses are affected by changes in consumer tastes and demographic trends. For instance, if prevailing health or dietary preferences cause consumers to avoid steak and other products we offer in any of our concepts in favor of foods or ingredients that are perceived as healthier or otherwise reflect popular demand, our business and operating results would be harmed. Various factors such as menu labeling rules, nutritional guidelines and academic studies, whether issued by government agencies, research institutions, or advocacy organizations, may impact consumer choice and cause consumers to select foods other than those that are offered by our restaurants. Consumer preference on sourcing, or in response to environmental and animal welfare concern may also cause some groups of consumers to select foods other than those that are offered by our restaurants. If we are unable to anticipate or successfully respond to changes in consumer preferences, our results of operations could be adversely affected, generally or in particular concepts or markets.
Our relationships with third-party delivery services and ability to grow sales through delivery orders are subject to risks.
We maintain relationships with various third-party delivery apps and services. Our ability to efficiently manage our business, service our customers and process digital orders through third-party delivery partnerships depends significantly on the reliability and performance of our systems and those managed by our service providers. Our sales may be negatively affected if these platforms are damaged or interrupted through technological failures, power loss, user errors, cyber-attacks, other forms of sabotage, inclement weather or natural disasters or otherwise. This could cause reputational harm or adversely impact sales and customer satisfaction.
Our sales through these services may also depend on the availability of delivery drivers, who are generally independent contractors. These drivers may make errors, fail to make timely deliveries, damage our food or poorly represent our brands, which may lead to customer disappointment, reputational harm and unmet sales expectations. Our sales may also be adversely impacted if there is a shortage of drivers that are willing and available to make deliveries from our restaurants. If the third-party aggregators that we utilize for delivery cease or curtail their operations, fail to maintain sufficient labor force to satisfy demand, materially change fees, access or visibility to our products or give greater priority or promotions on their platforms to our competitors, our business may be negatively impacted.
Changes in tax laws and unanticipated tax liabilities could adversely affect the taxes we pay and our profitability.
We are subject to income and other taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Our effective income tax rate and other taxes in the future could be adversely affected by a number of factors, including changes in the mix of earnings in countries with different statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, “ownership change” as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, changes in U.S. or foreign tax laws including the impact of Base Erosion and Profits Shifting (“BEPS”) model rules, comprehensive tax reform measures or other legislative changes and the outcome of income tax audits and tax litigation. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits and tax litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. These results could have a material effect on our results of operations or cash flows in the period or periods for which these determinations are made. In addition, our effective income tax rate and our results may be impacted by our ability to realize deferred tax benefits, including our FICA tip credit carryforwards, and by any increases or decreases of our valuation allowances applied to our existing deferred tax assets.
Our failure to comply with government regulation related to our restaurant operations, and the costs of compliance or non-compliance, could adversely affect our business.
We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign laws affecting our business. Each of our restaurants is subject to licensing and regulation by a number of governmental authorities, which may include, among others, alcoholic beverage control, food safety, nutritional menu labeling, health care, sanitation, hazardous material, building, zoning, land use, traffic, environmental and fire agencies in the state, municipality or country in which the restaurant is located. Our suppliers are also subject to regulation in some of these areas. Any difficulties or inabilities to retain or renew licenses, or increased compliance costs due to changed regulations, could adversely affect operations at existing restaurants. Additionally, difficulties in obtaining or failing to obtain the required licenses or approvals could delay or prevent the development of new restaurants. We are subject to various U.S. federal, state and international laws and regulations related to the offer and sale of franchises. Failure to comply with these laws could adversely affect the results we generate from franchises or otherwise impose costs on us. Alcoholic beverage sales represent 11% of our consolidated restaurant sales and are subject to extensive state and local licensing and other regulations. The failure of a restaurant to obtain or retain a liquor license would adversely affect that restaurant’s operations. In addition, we are subject to “dram shop” statutes in certain states. These statutes generally provide a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. We may also incur costs of and challenges in ensuring compliance with measures implemented in response to COVID-19, such as requirements for physical barriers or other preventative measures in restaurants or vaccination or testing requirements for our employees, which can vary by the location of the restaurant and may continue to change. We are subject to laws relating to information security, cashless payments and consumer credit, protection and fraud. Compliance with these laws and
regulations can be costly, and any failure or perceived failure to comply with these laws or any breach of our systems could harm our reputation or lead to litigation, which could adversely affect our financial condition.
Risks associated with our remodeling, relocation and expansion plans may have adverse effects on our operating results.
As part of our business strategy, we intend to continue to remodel, relocate and expand our current portfolio of restaurants. Our 2023 development schedule calls for the construction of approximately 30 to 35 new system-wide locations, with approximately 20 in Brazil. A variety of factors could cause the actual results and outcome of those plans to differ from the anticipated results, including among other things, the availability and terms on which we can lease attractive sites for new or relocated restaurants, availability and terms of funding, recruiting, training and retaining skilled management and restaurant employees, construction or other delays, the availability of construction materials or restaurant equipment, construction and renovation costs and consumer tastes and acceptance of our restaurant concepts and awareness of our brands in new regions. Governmental regulations or other health guidelines concerning operations of stores, including due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other public health emergencies may also cause disruptions in our plans.
It is difficult to estimate the performance of newly opened restaurants and whether they may attract customers away from other restaurants we own. If new or existing restaurants do not meet targeted performance, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, including any impairment losses that we may be required to recognize.
Some of the challenges described above could be more significant in international markets in which we have more limited experience, either generally or with a particular brand. Those markets are likely to have different competitive conditions, consumer tastes, discretionary spending patterns and brand awareness, which may cause our new restaurants to be less successful than restaurants in our existing markets or make it more difficult to estimate the performance of new restaurants.
In addition, in an effort to increase same-restaurant sales and improve our operating performance, we continue to make improvements to our facilities through remodels and relocations and close underperforming restaurants. We incur significant lease termination or continuation expenses and asset impairment and other charges when we close or relocate a restaurant. If the expenses associated with remodels, relocations or closures are higher than anticipated, we cannot find suitable locations or remodeled or relocated restaurants do not perform as expected, these initiatives may not yield the desired return on investment, which could have a negative effect on our operating results.
Failure to achieve projected cost savings from our efficiency initiatives could adversely affect our results of operations and eliminate potential funding for growth opportunities.
In recent years, we have identified strategies and taken steps to reduce operating costs and free up resources to reinvest in our business. These strategies include improved supply chain management, implementing labor scheduling tools and integrating restaurant information systems across our brands. In addition, during 2020, we implemented certain measures to reduce costs and preserve liquidity in response to the impacts of COVID-19. If we were required to implement similar measures in the future, they may not be sustainable or may be detrimental to continued operations. We continue to evaluate and implement further cost-saving initiatives. However, the ability to reduce our operating costs through these initiatives is subject to risks and uncertainties, such as our ability to obtain improved supply pricing and the reliability of any new suppliers or technology, and we cannot assure that these activities, or any other activities that we may undertake in the future, will achieve the desired cost savings and efficiencies. Failure to achieve such desired savings could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and curtail investment in growth opportunities.
Our success depends substantially on the value of our brands and our ability to execute innovative marketing and consumer relationship initiatives to maintain brand relevance and drive profitable sales growth.
Our success depends on our ability to preserve and grow our brands. Our brand value and reputation are especially important to differentiate our concepts in the highly competitive casual dining sector to achieve sustainable same-restaurant sales growth and warrant new unit growth. Brand value and reputation are based in large part on consumer perceptions, which are driven by both our actions and by actions beyond our control, such as new brand strategies or their implementation, business incidents, ineffective advertising or marketing efforts, or unfavorable mainstream or social media publicity involving us, our industry, our franchisees, or our suppliers. A failure to innovate and extend our brands in ways that are relevant to consumers and occasions in order to generate sustainable same-restaurant traffic growth, and produce non-traditional sales and earnings growth opportunities, could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Additionally, insufficient focus on our competition or failure to adequately address declines in the casual dining industry, could adversely impact results of operations.
If our competitors increase their spending on advertising, promotions and loyalty programs, if our advertising, media or marketing expenses increase, or if our advertising, promotions and loyalty programs become less effective than those of our competitors, or if we do not adequately leverage technology and data analytic capabilities needed to generate concise competitive insight, our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
We have limited control with respect to the operations of our franchisees, which could have a negative impact on our business.
Our franchisees are contractually obligated to operate their restaurants in accordance with our standards and we provide training and support to franchisees. However, franchisees are independent third parties that we do not control, and these franchisees own, operate and oversee the daily operations of their restaurants. As a result, the ultimate success and quality of any franchise restaurant rests with the franchisee. If franchisees do not successfully operate restaurants in a manner consistent with our product and service quality standards and contractual requirements, our image and reputation could be harmed, which in turn could adversely affect our business and operating results.
A significant portion of our financial results are dependent upon the operational and financial success of our franchisees. If sales trends or economic conditions worsen for franchisees, their financial results may worsen and our royalty, rent and other fee revenues may decline. In addition, we may also incur expenses in connection with supporting franchise restaurants that are underperforming. As small businesses, some of our franchise operators may be negatively and disproportionately impacted by strategic initiatives, capital requirements, inflation, increased interest rates, labor costs, employee relations issues, or other causes. When Company-owned restaurants are sold to a franchisee, one of our subsidiaries is often required to remain responsible for lease payments for the sold restaurants to the extent the purchasing franchisees default on their leases. During periods of declining sales and profitability of franchisees, the incidence of franchisee defaults for these lease payments may increase and we may be required to make lease payments and seek recourse against the franchisee or agree to repayment terms.
Significant adverse weather conditions and other disasters or unforeseen events and our ability to execute or success in executing a comprehensive business recovery plan at our restaurant support center for these events could negatively impact our results of operations and have a material adverse impact on our business.
Adverse weather conditions and natural disasters and other unforeseen events, such as winter storms, severe temperatures, thunderstorms, floods, drought, fires, hurricanes and earthquakes, terrorist attacks, war and widespread/pandemic illness, and the effects of such events on economic conditions and consumer spending patterns, could disrupt our operations or supply chain and negatively impact our results of operations. These events may result in lost restaurant sales, as well as property damage, lost products, interruptions in supply, and increased costs, temporary and prolonged restaurant closures may occur and consumer traffic may decline due to the actual or perceived effects from these events. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic, severe winter weather conditions and hurricanes have impacted our traffic, and that of our franchises, and results of operations in recent years. Although
we cannot predict when or where we will be negatively impacted by adverse weather events, to the extent that climate change or other factors result in more frequent, widespread or severe events, it could adversely impact our results. U.S. and foreign governmental officials also have placed an increasing focus on environmental matters, including climate change, reduction of greenhouse gases and water consumption. This increased focus could lead to legislative, regulatory or other efforts to combat these environmental concerns. These efforts could result in further increases in taxes, cost of supplies, transportation and utilities, which could increase our operating costs and those of our franchisees and require future investments in facilities and equipment. There may also be increased pressure for us to make commitments, set targets or establish goals to take actions to meet them, which could expose us and our franchisees to market, operational, execution and reputational costs or risks.
Many of our corporate systems and processes and corporate support for our restaurant operations are centralized at one location in Tampa, Florida. We have disaster recovery procedures and business continuity plans in place to address crisis-level events, including hurricanes and other natural disasters, and back up and off-site locations for recovery of electronic and other forms of data and information, and the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a limited test of our ability to manage our business remotely. However, if we are unable to fully implement our disaster recovery plans, we may experience delays in recovery of data, inability to perform vital corporate functions, tardiness in required reporting and compliance, failures to adequately support field operations and other breakdowns in normal communication and operating procedures that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operation and exposure to administrative and other legal claims. In addition, these threats are constantly evolving, which increases the difficulty of accurately and timely predicting, planning for and protecting against the threat. As a result, our disaster recovery procedures and business continuity plans security may not adequately address all threats we face or protect us from loss.
There are risks and uncertainties associated with initiatives that we may implement.
From time to time, we consider various initiatives in order to grow and evolve our business and brands and improve our operating results. These initiatives could include, among other things, acquisitions, development or dispositions of restaurants or brands, new joint ventures, new franchise arrangements, restaurant closures and changes to our operating model. There can be no assurance that any such actions or initiatives will be successful or deliver their anticipated benefits. We may be exposed to new and unforeseen risks and challenges, particularly if we enter into markets or engage in activities with which we have no or limited prior experience, and it may be difficult to predict the success of such endeavors. If we incur significant expenses or divert management, financial and other resources to any initiative that is unsuccessful or does not meet our expectations, our results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. We may also incur significant asset impairment and other charges in connection with any such initiative. Regardless of the ultimate success of any initiative, the implementation and integration of new business or operational processes could be disruptive to our current operations. Even if we test and evaluate an initiative on a limited basis, the diversion of management time and resources could have an adverse effect on our business.
Our failure or inability to enforce our trademarks or other proprietary rights could adversely affect our competitive position or the value of our brand.
Our trademarks, including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Bloomin’ Onion, and other proprietary rights are important to our success and our competitive position. The protective actions that we take may not be sufficient to prevent unauthorized usage or imitation by others, which could harm our image, brand or competitive position. Furthermore, our ability to protect trademarks and other proprietary rights may be more limited in certain international markets where we operate.
Litigation could have a material adverse impact on our business and our financial performance.
We are subject to lawsuits, administrative proceedings and claims that arise in the regular course of business. These matters typically involve claims by consumers and others regarding issues such as food borne illness, food safety, premises liability, personal injury, discrimination, “dram shop” statute liability, promotional advertising and other
operational issues common to the food service industry, as well as environmental, data privacy, contract disputes and intellectual property infringement matters. We are also subject to employee claims against us based on, among other things, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, disability, or violation of wage and labor laws. We are also subject to the risk of being named a joint employer of workers of our franchisees for alleged violations of labor and wage laws. These claims may divert our financial and management resources that would otherwise be used to benefit our operations. The ongoing expense of or diversion of management attention due to any resulting lawsuits, any substantial settlement payment or damage award against us and any damage to our reputation could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Significant legal fees and costs in complex class action litigation or an adverse judgment or settlement that is not insured or is in excess of insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Indebtedness
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and operating lease obligations, and we may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness and operating lease obligations, which may not be successful. If we fail to meet these obligations, we would be in default under our debt agreements and the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under them to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on our debt obligations and to satisfy our operating lease obligations depends upon our financial condition and operating performance, which is subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. We cannot be certain that we will maintain a level of cash flow from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or to pay our operating lease obligations. For example, if COVID-19 capacity restrictions reoccur, inflation persists, or our financial position deteriorates, our revenues and liquidity position may decline. If our cash flow and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations and operating lease obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. In the absence of sufficient operating results and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations or take other actions to meet our debt service and other obligations. Our debt agreements restrict our ability to dispose of assets and how we may use the proceeds from the disposition. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain the proceeds that we could otherwise realize from such dispositions and any such proceeds that are realized may not be adequate to meet any debt service obligations then due. The failure to meet our debt service obligations or the failure to remain in compliance with the financial covenants under our debt agreements would constitute an event of default under those agreements and the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under them to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit.
Our leverage could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations or limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry.
As of December 25, 2022, our total net indebtedness was $833.3 million and we had $550.0 million in available unused borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facility, net of undrawn letters of credit of $20.0 million. In May 2020, we issued $230.0 million of 5.00% convertible senior notes due in 2025 (the “2025 Notes”), of which $105.0 million in aggregate principal of the 2025 Notes remain outstanding as of December 25, 2022, and in April 2021 we issued $300.0 million of 5.125% senior notes due in 2029 (the “2029 Notes”).
Our leverage could have important consequences, including:
•making it more difficult for us to make payments on indebtedness;
•increasing our vulnerability to general economic, industry and competitive conditions and the various risks we face in our business;
•increasing our cost of borrowing or limiting our ability to obtain additional financing if needed;
•reducing our ability to use our cash flow to fund our operations, capital expenditures, dividend payments, and future business and strategic opportunities; and
•limiting our ability to adjust to changing market conditions and placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors who may not be as highly leveraged.
We may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, subject to the restrictions contained in our credit agreement. If new indebtedness is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could increase.
We cannot be certain that our financial condition or credit and other market conditions will be favorable when our credit agreement matures in 2026, or at any earlier time we may seek to refinance our debt. Further, turmoil in global credit markets could adversely impact the availability and cost of credit. If we are unable to refinance our indebtedness on favorable terms, our financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Our debt agreements contain restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business.
Certain of our debt agreements limit our and our subsidiaries’ abilities to, among other things, incur or guarantee additional indebtedness, pay dividends on, redeem or repurchase our capital stock, make certain acquisitions or investments, incur or permit to exist certain liens, enter into transactions with affiliates or sell our assets to, merge or consolidate with or into, another company. Our debt agreements require us to satisfy certain financial tests and ratios. Our ability to satisfy such tests and ratios may be affected by events outside of our control.
If we breach the covenants under our debt agreements, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under the agreements to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit. If we are unable to repay those amounts, the lenders could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure that indebtedness. We have pledged substantially all of our assets as collateral under our credit agreement. If our lenders accelerate the repayment of borrowings, we cannot be certain that we will have sufficient assets to repay them.
Risks Related to Our Common Stock
Our ability to raise capital in the future may be limited, which could make us unable to fund our capital requirements.
Our business and operations may consume resources faster than we anticipate. In the future, we may need to raise additional funds through the issuance of new equity securities, debt or a combination of both. Additional financing may not be available on favorable terms or at all. If adequate funds are not available on acceptable terms, we may be unable to fund our capital requirements. If we issue new debt securities, the debt holders would have rights senior to common stockholders to make claims on our assets, and the terms of any debt could restrict our operations, including our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. If we issue additional equity securities, existing stockholders may experience dilution, and the new equity securities could have rights senior to those of our common stock. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings.
Thus, our stockholders bear the risk of our future securities offerings reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting their interest.
Our stock price is subject to volatility.
The stock market in general is highly volatile. As a result, the market price of our common stock is similarly volatile. The price of our common stock could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to a number of factors, some of which may be beyond our control. These factors include actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results, changes in or our ability to achieve estimates of our operating results by analysts, investors or management, analysts’ recommendations regarding our stock or our competitors’ stock, sales of substantial amounts of our
common stock by our stockholders, actions or announcements by us or our competitors, the maintenance and growth of the value of our brands, litigation, legislation or other regulatory developments affecting us or our industry, widespread/pandemic illness, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, terrorist acts, war or other calamities and changes in general market and economic conditions.
Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law may discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our management and, therefore, may depress the trading price of our stock.
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws include certain provisions (including provisions related to our classified board structure through 2024) that could have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change of control of our company or changes in our management. These provisions may discourage, delay or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of the Company that is in the best interests of our stockholders. Even in the absence of a takeover attempt, the existence of these provisions may adversely affect the prevailing market price of our common stock if they are viewed as discouraging future takeover attempts.
Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may affect the ability of an “interested stockholder” to engage in certain business combinations, including mergers, consolidations or acquisitions of additional shares, for a period of three years following the time that the stockholder becomes an “interested stockholder.” An “interested stockholder” is defined to include persons owning directly or indirectly 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of a corporation. Although we have elected in our certificate of incorporation not to be subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law our certificate of incorporation contains provisions that have the same effect as Section 203.
General Risk Factors
An impairment in the carrying value of our goodwill or other intangible or long-lived assets could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Along with other intangible assets, we test goodwill for impairment annually and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that its carrying value may not be recoverable. We also evaluate long-lived assets on a quarterly basis or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. We cannot accurately predict the amount and timing of any impairment of assets. A significant amount of judgment is involved in determining if an indication of impairment exists. Unforeseen events, for example the COVID-19 pandemic, could make developing forecasts for, and the accounting of, valuation of goodwill and certain other assets slower and more difficult. Should the value of goodwill or other intangible or long-lived assets become impaired, there could be an adverse effect on our financial condition and consolidated results of operations.
Failure to maintain effective systems of internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to provide accurate financial information. If we are unable to adequately maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results. Furthermore, we cannot be certain that our internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures will prevent all possible error and fraud, including through cyber-attacks. Because of inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of error or fraud, if any, in our company have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur because of a simple error or mistake, which could have an adverse impact on our business. A significant financial reporting failure or a lack of sufficient internal control over financial reporting could cause a loss of investor confidence and decline in the market price of our common stock, increase our costs, lead to litigation or result in negative publicity that could damage our reputation.
Future changes to existing accounting rules, accounting standards, new pronouncements and varying interpretations of pronouncements, or the questioning of current accounting practices may adversely affect our reported financial results. Additionally, our assumptions, estimates and judgments related to complex accounting matters could significantly affect our financial results. Generally accepted accounting principles and related accounting pronouncements, implementation guidelines and interpretations with regard to a wide range of matters that are relevant to our business, including but not limited to, revenue recognition, impairment of long-lived assets, leases and related economic transactions, derivatives, intangibles, self-insurance, income taxes, property and equipment, unclaimed property laws and litigation, and stock-based compensation are highly complex and involve many subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments by us. Changes in these rules or their interpretation or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates or judgments by us could significantly change our reported or expected financial performance.
Our insurance policies may not provide adequate levels of coverage against all claims, and fluctuating insurance requirements and costs could negatively impact our profitability.
We carry insurance programs with specific retention levels or high per-claim deductibles for a significant portion of our risks and associated liabilities with respect to workers’ compensation, general liability, liquor liability, employment practices liability, property, health benefits, cyber security and other insurable risks. However, there are types of losses we may incur that cannot be insured against or that we believe are not commercially reasonable to insure. These losses, if they occur, could have a material and adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Additionally, if our insurance costs increase, there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully offset the effect of such increases and our results of operations may be adversely affected.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
We had 1,507 system wide full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens located across 47 states, Guam and 13 countries as of December 25, 2022. The following is a summary of our restaurant and kitchen locations by country and territory as of December 25, 2022:
|United States||1,011 ||United States||153 |
|Brazil (1)||154 ||Argentina||2 ||Japan||9 |
|China (Mainland)||1 ||Australia||8 ||Mexico||5 |
|Hong Kong||20 ||Canada||3 ||Qatar||5 |
|Total international Company-owned||175 ||Costa Rica||2 ||Saudi Arabia||11 |
|Dominican Republic||1 ||South Korea||121 |
|Total international franchised||168 |
|Total Company-owned||1,186 ||Total franchised||321 |
(1)The count for Brazil is reported as of November 30, 2022 to correspond with the balance sheet date of this subsidiary.
We lease substantially all of our restaurant properties from third parties. As of December 25, 2022, our Company-owned restaurants were located on the following sites by segment:
|U.S.||INTERNATIONAL ||TOTAL||PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL|
|Company-owned sites||26 ||— ||26 ||2 ||%|
|Land, ground and building leases||693 ||1 ||694 ||59 ||%|
|Space and in-line leases||292 ||174 ||466 ||39 ||%|
|Total Company-owned restaurant sites||1,011 ||175 ||1,186 ||100 ||%|
We also lease corporate offices in Tampa, Florida and São Paulo, Brazil.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
For a description of our legal proceedings, see Note 22 - Commitments and Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Report.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information - Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “BLMN”.
Dividends - In February 2022, our Board of Directors (our “Board”) reinstated quarterly dividends after a temporary suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future dividend payments will depend on continued compliance with our financial covenants, as well as our earnings, financial condition, capital expenditure requirements, surplus and other factors that our Board considers relevant.
Holders - As of February 16, 2023, there were 109 holders of record of our common stock. The number of registered holders does not include holders who are beneficial owners whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans - The following table presents the securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans as of December 25, 2022:
|(shares in thousands)||(a)||(b)||(c)|
NUMBER OF SECURITIES TO BE ISSUED UPON EXERCISE OF OUTSTANDING OPTIONS, WARRANTS AND RIGHTS (1)
WEIGHTED AVERAGE EXERCISE PRICE OF OUTSTANDING OPTIONS, WARRANTS AND RIGHTS (2)
NUMBER OF SECURITIES REMAINING AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE ISSUANCE UNDER EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS (EXCLUDING SECURITIES REFLECTED IN COLUMN (a)) (3)
|Equity compensation plans approved by security holders||4,719 ||$||21.43 ||7,936 |
(1)Includes 1,531 shares issuable in respect to restricted stock units and performance-based share units (assuming target achievement of applicable performance metrics).
(2)Amounts in this column relate only to options exercisable for common shares.
(3)The shares remaining available for issuance may be issued in the form of stock options, restricted stock units or other stock awards under the 2020 Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan. See Note 7 - Stock-based and Deferred Compensation Plans of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for details regarding the plan.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers - The following table provides information regarding our purchases of common stock during the thirteen weeks ended December 25, 2022:
|REPORTING PERIOD||TOTAL NUMBER OF SHARES PURCHASED||AVERAGE PRICE PAID PER SHARE||TOTAL NUMBER OF SHARES PURCHASED AS PART OF PUBLICLY ANNOUNCED PLANS OR PROGRAMS||APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF SHARES THAT MAY YET BE PURCHASED UNDER THE PLANS OR PROGRAMS (1)|
|September 26, 2022 through October 23, 2022||558,359 ||$||19.70 ||558,359 ||$||33,000,386 |
|October 24, 2022 through November 20, 2022||356,949 ||$||23.11 ||356,949 ||$||24,750,618 |
|November 21, 2022 through December 25, 2022||455,628 ||$||21.40 ||455,628 ||$||15,000,648 |
|Total||1,370,936 ||1,370,936 |
(1)On February 8, 2022, our Board authorized the repurchase of up to $125.0 million of our outstanding common stock as announced in our press release issued on February 18, 2022 (the “2022 Share Repurchase Program”). Subsequent to December 25, 2022, we repurchased the remaining $15.0 million of our common stock authorized under the 2022 Share Repurchase Program under a Rule 10b5-1 plan. On February 7, 2023, our Board approved a new share repurchase authorization of up to $125.0 million of our outstanding common stock as announced in our press release issued February 16, 2023 (the “2023 Share Repurchase Program”). The 2023 Share Repurchase Program will expire on August 7, 2024.
Stock Performance Graph - The following graph depicts total return to stockholders from December 29, 2017 through December 25, 2022, relative to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Consumer Discretionary index, a peer group. The graph assumes an investment of $100 in our common stock and in each index on December 29, 2017 (the last business day of the fiscal year of investment), and the reinvestment of dividends paid since that date. The stock price performance shown in the graph is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.
|Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (BLMN)||$||100.00 ||$||83.85 ||$||105.34 ||$||93.07 ||$||102.90 ||$||105.56 |
|Standard & Poor’s 500||$||100.00 ||$||94.79 ||$||126.03 ||$||146.68 ||$||189.83 ||$||156.96 |
|Standard & Poor’s 500 Consumer Discretionary||$||100.00 ||$||99.73 ||$||129.72 ||$||168.59 ||$||213.05 ||$||135.06 |
Item 6. [Reserved]
BLOOMIN’ BRANDS, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes. For discussion of our consolidated and segment-level results of operations, non-GAAP measures, and liquidity and capital resources for fiscal year 2020, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 26, 2021, filed with the SEC on February 23, 2022.
We are one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world with a portfolio of leading, differentiated restaurant concepts. As of December 25, 2022, we owned and operated 1,186 full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens and franchised 321 full-service restaurants and off-premises only kitchens across 47 states, Guam and 13 countries. We have four founder-inspired concepts: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
Financial Highlights - Our financial highlights for 2022 include the following:
•U.S. combined and Outback Steakhouse comparable restaurant sales of 4.0% and 2.8%, respectively;
•Increase in Total revenues of 7.1%, as compared to 2021;
•Operating income and restaurant-level operating margins of 7.5% and 15.6%, respectively, as compared to 7.5% and 16.5%, respectively for 2021;
•Operating income of $330.4 million as compared to $309.0 million in 2021; and
•Diluted earnings per share of $1.03 as compared to $2.00 in 2021.
Business Strategies - In 2023, our key business strategies include:
•Enhance the 360-Degree Customer Experience to Drive Sustainable Healthy Sales Growth. We plan to continue to make investments to enhance our core guest experience, upgrade kitchen equipment and technology, increase off-premises dining occasions, remodel and relocate restaurants, invest in digital marketing and data personalization and utilize the Dine Rewards loyalty program and multimedia marketing campaigns to drive sales.
•Drive Long-Term Shareholder Value. We plan to drive long-term shareholder value by reinvesting operational cash flow into our business, improving our credit profile and returning excess cash to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.
•Enrich Engagement Among Stakeholders. We take the responsibility to our people, customers and communities seriously and continue to invest in programs that support the well-being of those engaged with us.
•Accelerate Growth Opportunities. We believe a substantial development opportunity remains for our concepts in the U.S. and internationally through existing geography fill-in and market expansion. We will continue to pursue U.S. fill-in opportunities in key states such as Florida and Texas with Outback Steakhouse, and California and Florida with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. We will also focus on geographic regions in South America, with strategic expansion in Brazil, and pursue global franchise opportunities.
We intend to fund our business strategies, drive revenue growth and margin improvement, in part by reinvesting savings generated by cost savings and productivity initiatives across our businesses.
BLOOMIN’ BRANDS, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued
Macroeconomic Conditions - The combination of macroeconomic and other factors have put considerable pressure on the casual dining industry. The ongoing impacts of inflation, rising interest rates, reduced disposable consumer income, access to credit, other national, regional and local regulatory and economic conditions and consumer confidence have had a negative effect on discretionary consumer spending.
Should the macroeconomic and other conditions persist, we will continue to face increased pressure with respect to our pricing, traffic levels and commodity costs. We believe that in this environment, we need to maintain our focus on value and innovation as well as refreshing our restaurant base to continue to drive sales.
Key Financial Performance Indicators - Key measures that we use in evaluating our restaurants and assessing our business include the following:
•Average restaurant unit volumes—average sales (excluding gift card breakage and the benefit of value added tax exemptions in Brazil) per restaurant to measure changes in customer traffic, pricing and development of the brand;
•Comparable restaurant sales—year-over-year comparison of the change in sales volumes (excluding gift card breakage and the benefit of value added tax exemptions in Brazil) for Company-owned restaurants that are open 18 months or more in order to remove the impact of new restaurant openings in comparing the operations of existing restaurants;
•System-wide sales—total restaurant sales volume for all Company-owned and franchise restaurants, regardless of ownership, to interpret the overall health of our brands;
•Restaurant-level operating margin, Income (loss) from operations, Net income (loss) and Diluted earnings (loss) per share—financial measures utilized to evaluate our operating performance.
Restaurant-level operating margin is a non-GAAP financial measure widely regarded in the industry as a useful metric to evaluate restaurant-level operating efficiency and performance of ongoing restaurant-level operations, and we use it for these purposes, overall and particularly within our two segments. Our restaurant-level operating margin is expressed as the percentage of our Restaurant sales that Food and beverage costs, Labor and other related expenses and Other restaurant operating expenses (including advertising expenses) represent, in each case as such items are reflected in our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss). The following categories of our revenue and operating expenses are not included in restaurant-level operating margin because we do not consider them reflective of operating performance at the restaurant-level within a period:
(i)Franchise and other revenues which are earned primarily from franchise royalties and other non-food and beverage revenue streams, such as rental and sublease income;
(ii)Depreciation and amortization which, although substantially all of which is related to restaurant-level assets, represent historical sunk costs rather than cash outlays for the restaurants;
(iii)General and administrative expense which includes primarily non-restaurant-level costs associated with support of the restaurants and other activities at our corporate offices; and
(iv)Asset impairment charges and restaurant closing costs which are not reflective of ongoing restaurant performance in a period.
Restaurant-level operating margin excludes various expenses, as discussed above, that are essential to support the operations of our restaurants and may materially impact our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Loss). As a result, restaurant-level operating margin is not indicative of our consolidated results of operations and is presented exclusively as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, Net income (loss) or Income (loss) from operations. In addition, our presentation of
BLOOMIN’ BRANDS, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued
restaurant-level operating margin may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies in our industry; and
•Adjusted restaurant-level operating margin, Adjusted income from operations, Adjusted net income and Adjusted diluted earnings per share—non-GAAP financial measures utilized to evaluate our operating performance, which definitions, usefulness and reconciliations are described in more detail in the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section below.
Selected Operating Data - The table below presents the number of our full-service restaurants in operation as of the periods indicated:
|Number of restaurants (at end of the period):||DECEMBER 25, 2022||DECEMBER 26, 2021|
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill|
|Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar|
|Company-owned||7 ||5 |
|U.S. total||1,163 ||1,167 |
|Outback Steakhouse - Brazil (1)||139 ||122 |
|Other (1)(2)||36 ||33 |
|Outback Steakhouse - South Korea||86 ||78 |
|Other (2)||47 ||54 |
|International total||308 ||287 |
|System-wide total - Company-owned||1,185||1,165|
|System-wide total - Franchised||286||289|
(1)The restaurant counts for Brazil, including Abbraccio and Aussie Grill restaurants within International Company-owned Other, are reported as of November 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively, to correspond with the balance sheet dates of this subsidiary.
(2)International Company-owned Other included four and two Aussie Grill locations as of December 25, 2022 and December 26, 2021, respectively. International Franchised Other included four and three Aussie Grill locations as of December 25, 2022 and December 26, 2021, respectively.
BLOOMIN’ BRANDS, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued
The table below presents the number of our off-premises only kitchens in operation as of the periods indicated:
|Number of kitchens (at end of the period) (1):||DECEMBER 25, 2022||DECEMBER 26, 2021|
|Company-owned||1 ||3 |
|Company-owned||— ||1 |
|Franchised - South Korea||35 ||40 |
|System-wide total||36 ||44 |
(1)Excludes virtual concepts that operate out of existing restaurants and sports venue locations.
Results of Operations
The following table sets forth the percentages of certain items in our Consolidated Statements of Operations in relation to Total revenues or Restaurant sales for the periods indicated:
|Restaurant sales||98.6 ||%||98.5 ||%|
|Franchise and other revenues||1.4 ||1.5 |
|Total revenues||100.0 ||100.0 |
|Costs and expenses|
|Food and beverage costs (1)||31.8 ||30.3 |
|Labor and other related (1)||28.2 ||28.4 |
|Other restaurant operating (1)||24.5 ||24.8 |
|Depreciation and amortization||3.8 ||4.0 |
|General and administrative ||5.3 ||6.0 |
|Provision for impaired assets and restaurant closings||0.1 ||0.3 |
|Total costs and expenses||92.5 ||92.5 |
|Income from operations||7.5 ||7.5 |
|Loss on extinguishment and modification of debt||(2.5)||(0.1)|
|Loss on fair value adjustment of derivatives, net||(0.4)||— |
|Other (expense) income, net||(*)||*|
|Interest expense, net||(1.2)||(1.4)|
|Income before provision for income taxes||3.4 ||6.0 |
|Provision for income taxes||0.9 ||0.6 |
|Net income||2.5 ||5.4 |
|Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests||0.2 ||0.2 |
Net income attributable to Bloomin’ Brands
|2.3 ||%||5.2 ||%|
(1)As a percentage of Restaurant sales.
*Less than 1/10th of one percent of Total revenues.
BLOOMIN’ BRANDS, INC.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued
Following is a summary of the change in Restaurant sales for the period indicated:
|(dollars in millions)||2022|
|For fiscal year 2021||$||4,061.1 |
|Comparable restaurant sales (1)||245.3 |
|Restaurant openings (1)||65.7 |
|Effect of foreign currency translation||11.6 |
|Restaurant closures (1)||(31.0)|
|For fiscal year 2022||$||4,352.7 |
(1)Summation of quarterly changes for restaurant openings, closures and comparable restaurant sales will not total to annual amounts as the restaurants that meet the definition of each will differ each period based on when the restaurant opened or closed.
The increase in Restaurant sales in 2022 as compared to 2021 was primarily due to: (i) higher comparable restaurant sales, (ii) the opening of 64 new restaurants not included in our comparable restaurant sales base and (iii) the effect of foreign currency translation of the Brazilian Real relative to the U.S. dollar. The increase in Restaurant sales was partially offset by the closure of 25 restaurants since December 27, 2020.
Average Restaurant Unit Volumes and Operating Weeks
Following is a summary of the average restaurant unit volumes and operating weeks for the periods indicated:
|(dollars in thousands)||2022||2021|
|Average restaurant unit volumes:|
|Outback Steakhouse||$||3,949 ||$||3,822 |
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill||$||3,406 ||$||3,283 |
|Bonefish Grill||$||3,213 ||$||3,036 |
|Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar||$||5,845 ||$||5,208 |
|Outback Steakhouse - Brazil (1)||$||3,067 ||$||2,286 |
|Operating weeks:|| || |
|Outback Steakhouse||29,308 ||29,415 |
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill||10,328 ||10,348 |
|Bonefish Grill||9,056 ||9,318 |
|Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar||3,331 ||3,321 |