Outback Steakhouse has introduced a four-course meal for $15 — an offer that “ups the ante” on 2-for-$20 menus offered by T.G.I. Friday’s and Chili’s Grill & Bar, according to Leslie Kerr, president and founder of restaurant pricing advisor Intellaprice.
The new limited-time offer includes a cup of soup; a house or Caesar salad; an entrée choice of six-ounce Outback Special steak, Chicken on the Barbie, Sweet Glazed Pork Tenderloin over garlic mashed potatoes or Wood-Fire Grilled Shrimp over seasoned rice; and cheesecake or carrot cake for desert.
Upgrades, including a blue cheese pecan chopped salad in lieu of the Caesar or house salad, or a six-ounce Victoria’s Filet for the entrée, are also available on the menu at an additional charge.
Kerr said that part of the reason Outback may be introducing this deal in the fall is that the season can be slow for restaurants. “Typically what we see is once back-to-school and Labor Day hit there’s a little down tick in traffic," she said. "This [offer] could be timed to combat that."
Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, is also launching a combo deal at Roy’s Restaurant. Roy’s is launching a surf-and-turf deal, which includes Misoyaki Butterfish and Tender Braised Beef Short Ribs for $29.95 per person. The Roy’s deal begins Sept. 4 — just in time to catch the post-Labor Day customers.
Generally, the economic downturn has negatively impacted casual dining restaurants, Kerr noted. “This is a way to get around that,” she said of the $15 menu. “They need to make their numbers. They want to drive traffic.”
The deal at Outback Steakhouse, Kerr said, is generally a good one for customers since it's about a 20-percent discount off what the four courses would normally cost.
Kerr also said that rising commodities prices — especially the rising cost of beef — likely also prompted Outback Steakhouse’s four-course promotional strategy. “It combats the notion that you can’t afford to go out for a steak dinner,” she said. “And it also focuses on items that aren’t steak by including the chicken and shrimp entrees.”
Outback Steakhouse's offer began on Aug. 22.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with the date when the promotion began.