The Australian-themed restaurant which had its first location in Florida, recently shuttered its Costa Mesa, Newport Blvd location
In February of last year, the Costa Mesa Outback Steakhouse on Newport Blvd. continued to make announcements about its home delivery service. A month later they shared that they had safely reopened the dining room with curbside takeaway and delivery continuing as usual. Then April came, and so did the announcements that they were hiring. At first, it was just a couple of ads, but by May 2021 up until last month, September 2022, the “now hiring” announcements continued, almost on a weekly cycle. Why would a restaurant looking for workers, appear to make a complete turn around and close completely?
Bloomin’ Brands Inc. the parent company of Outback Steakhouse announced that they would be closing 43 stores in 2018, following an overall decline in profits. With sales beginning to slip in 2016, and a pandemic forcing closures and creating caution in potential customers from 2019, the recipe for further decline was in the mix.
Was the lack of staff and the inability to recruit workers responsible for the Costa Mesa closure? Given the continued need for personnel and the year-long weekly notices for hiring, it would be a reasonable guess. Perhaps, this was one of the locations already carded for closure because of a decline in profits, though, given the hiring ads into September 2022, it appears that there were customers to be served, but no one to serve them.
Whatever the circumstances, the steakhouse is now permanently closed. Residents of Costa Mesa still looking for the flavors of Down Under can satisfy their pallets at other Orange County locations in Westminster and Laguna Hills.
The changes in what we eat and how we acquire our food, brought on by the isolation of the pandemic, is sure to continue to affect the restaurant industry. Pair that with public caution, state assistance and more selective taste for job options like remote employment being offered, it’s more likely that the downsizing of restaurant holdings could continue.