Skip navigation

A look at Golden Chain winner Liz Smith’s initiatives at Bloomin’ Brands

Smith will receive the leadership award at the upcoming MUFSO conference

Elizabeth Smith, who will be stepping down April 1 after nearly 10 years as CEO of Bloomin’ Brands Inc., has been named to the 2019 class of Golden Chain Award winners. The others will be announced over the next few weeks.

The annual Golden Chain Awards celebrate the best in the restaurant industry — those who are running industry-leading operations, mentoring top teams and creating opportunities for others.

Liz Smith to be honored with 2019 Golden Chain Award >>

The 2019 award winners will be celebrated during a gala at Nation’s Restaurant News’ Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators conference, scheduled for Oct. 14-16 in Denver. The winners will also participate in a leading CEO panel at the event.

liz-smith-bloomin-brands-headshot-square.pngSmith, who has led the Tampa, Fla.-based parent to the Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar for nearly 10 years, will become Bloomin’s executive board chairman and will be succeeded by David Deno, chief financial and administrative officer.

Under Smith’s leadership since November 2009, the company has met the challenges of the growing off-premise market, introduced a cross-brand hybrid Outback-Carrabba’s format for takeout and delivery, amped up digital offerings and created a cross-platform loyalty program. The accompanying gallery provides details on some Bloomin’s major initiatives.

To attend MUFSO and the award gala register at

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.