Bloomin’ Brands announced in a filing Tuesday it’s implemented “organizational design changes” that will result in the elimination of its EVP, chief operating officer of Casual Dining Restaurants position. The transition period is slated to end March 15, 2024. Gregg Scarlett, who currently holds the role, entered into an agreement to leave the company at that time. He’ll receive a lump sum severance payment of $1.485 million and “certain other benefits.”
Scarlett was named to the role and placed in charge of Outback, Carrabba’s, and Bonefish (in the U.S.) in February 2020. Previously, the roles were managed by three seperate executives. Jeff Carcara and Michael Kappitt, EVP of Bonefish and Carrabba’s, respectively, departed with the change.
At the time, Scarlett served as president of Outback, a role Brett Patterson stepped into and holds today.
Bloomin’ could be in line for more changes. Activist investor Starboard Value, known for leading turnaround efforts in the restaurant segment, recently emphasized its desire to fix Bloomin’ by adding a restaurant consultant connected to Darden’s comeback about a decade ago. The company reported in an SEC filing it hired industry veteran Dave George as an adviser in connection with its recent investment in Bloomin’.
George worked at Darden for nearly 17 years, serving as COO from January 2018 to August 2020. Prior to that, he worked as president of Longhorn Steakhouse for 10 years and as president of Olive Garden for five years.
Starboard in August revealed it took a 9.9 percent stake in Bloomin’. The Wall Street Journal reported the move made Starboard one of the public company’s top five investors. Not too long after Starboard unveiled its investment, Bloomin’ named R. Michael Mohan—who previously served as president and COO of Best Buy—chairman after serving on the board since 2017. He succeeded Jim Craigie, who retired after 10 years of service. The company’s board also added Rohit Lal, executive vice president and CIO of trucking company Saia. When announcing the changes, Bloomin’ praised both men’s expertise in digital operations.
Bloomin’s U.S. same-store sales rose slightly at 0.8 percent in the second quarter. Traffic declined 4.2 percent, but CEO David Deno said this was in line with expectations. He added that the company’s traffic outperformed the industry by 110 basis points. For Outback, there was a 0.6 percent rise in domestic same-store sales during the second quarter, but it saw a 5.4 percent decline in traffic compared to the previous year.