Jeff Smith, president of Outback Steakhouse, has decided to retire, prompting a shift in brand presidents at parent company Bloomin’ Brands Inc., company executives said Friday.
Gregg Scarlett, the president at Bonefish Grill, will take over at Outback. David Schmidt has been named president at Bonefish.
“I want to thank Jeff for all his efforts and the leadership that has made the brand so successful,” Bloomin’ Brands CEO Liz Smith said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call Friday.
Jeff Smith had been with Bloomin’ Brands for 25 years, starting at the original Outback Steakhouse restaurant in Tampa, Fla. The company credited him with starting Outback’s first curbside takeaway service at a restaurant in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Smith held several leadership positions at the company, ultimately becoming vice president of operations at Bonefish in 2004, and then president at Outback in 2007.
Scarlett has been with Bloomin’ Brands since 1994, having been a managing partner with an Outback in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. “No one is better suited to lead Outback in this era of growth,” Liz Smith said.
Schmidt has been with Bonefish since 2006, and has held several positions in operations and finance. “He’s been an integral part of the Bonefish revitalization over the last six months,” Liz Smith said.