- Bloomin’ Brands has eliminated its EVP, chief operating officer for casual dining restaurants position, according to a Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
- Gregg Scarlett, the company’s current COO for casual dining restaurants, will leave on March 15. Bloomin’s leadership page does not list another COO, either for the company as a whole or for its relatively small fast casual segment.
- The company declined to comment further on the elimination of the role, so it is unclear which executives will pick up Scarlett’s duties.
While not a common strategic move, other major restaurant brands have recently cut C-suite roles. Starbucks eliminated its chief operating officer position in 2022, with the remaining subordinates reporting directly to then-interim-CEO Howard Schultz and Frank Britt, the chain’s chief strategy and transformation officer. Wendy’s, in January, dissolved its chief commercial officer role.
The 8-K did not contain more information on Scarlett’s departure or on any organizational restructuring related to the elimination of the COO role.
Bloomin’s comparable restaurant sales barely budged from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023, growing 0.8% in the U.S., according to its most recent earnings release. However, David Deno, the company’s CEO, said on the company’s most recent earnings call that those results “continue to validate the strategic and operational framework we outlined for the year.”
He added that this tactic “includes leveraging our leading off-premises business, the addition of sales layers, growing digital capabilities, and improving operational effectiveness and efficiencies.”
In February, Bloomin’ partnered with ezCater to offer all of its brands for catering through the latter’s sizable catering marketplace, a move likely to boost off-premise sales. In September, an activist investor, Starboard Value, took a 9.6% stake in the casual dining conglomerate, with the goal of pushing the company in a more franchised direction and shifting Outback’s brand positioning, according to CNBC.