Former restaurateur sues Bloomin’ Brands for breach of contract
January 13, 2021 - Bloomin’ Brands, the Tampa-based parent company of Outback Steakhouse and several other restaurant chains, has been hit with a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. The suit was filed by Dennis Hood of Charlotte, N.C., who developed more than 50 Outback Steakhouse restaurants over a 25-year career with Bloomin’. He left the company in 2015 but retained an ownership stake in 11 Outback locations. In 2019, Hood, 73, pleaded guilty to a trespassing charge that was downgraded from a felony burglary charge — an incident that Bloomin’ said violated Hood’s partnership agreement with the company, forcing him to divest his shares. Hood’s complaint alleges that Bloomin’ assessed the value of his shares at zero, denying him millions of dollars.