10 Things You Didn’t Know About Outback Steakhouse

This popular chain restaurant is anything but Australian

Photo Modified: Flickr / Felipe Valduga / CC BY 4.0

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Outback Steakhouse

What’s the one word you associate with Outback Steakhouse? Considering the accent featured in every Outback commercial it would be Australia, right? Well in fact, Outback’s founders hadn’t ever visited Australia before opening their first location. Read on for these and other facts about the “No Rules. Just Right” chain. 

Outback’s Founders Never Visited Australia

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Yep: When the founders were putting together their business plan, none of them had ever visited the continent and they weren’t even particularly well-versed in its food or customs. Apparently a research trip was proposed but shot down, because all the founders were going for was “American food and Australian fun.”

Outback’s Steak Spice Blend Contains 17 Spices

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That spice blend took a long time to develop, but it wasn’t created for the restaurant; co-founder Tim Gannon actually developed the recipe while working as a chef at a restaurant called Copeland’s in New Orleans. So if anything, Outback’s steaks have more of a Cajun kick than an Aussie one. 

Outback’s Menu Varies Regionally

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The menu at Outback isn’t actually exactly the same across the board. You’ll find crawfish and sweet potatoes in the South, lobster in the East, and Alaskan King Crab in the West. 

Outback’s Steaks are Griddled, not Grilled

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All steaks at Outback are griddled on a flat-top in butter, not grilled or broiled like at many other steakhouses

Outback’s Menu is Pork-Free in Malaysia

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Malaysia is the only primarily-Muslim country the chain operates in, and Bloomin’ Brands removed all pork from the Outback menu there to adhere to dietary laws. 

Outback’s Founders are Major Republican Party Contributors

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Outback steakhouse actually runs its own political action committee (PAC), which is the second-largest donor in the food and beverage sector, second to the National Restaurant Association. According to OpenSecrets.org, the PAC donated $1.3 million in the 2012 election cycle, with 96 percent of donations going to Republicans

Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion is Insanely Unhealthy

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The Bloomin’ Onion, which is an onion that’s been sliced (using a top secret method), battered, and fried in beef tallow, is one of the most famous chain restaurant dishes on earth, and also one of the unhealthiest. It contains 1,954 calories and a whopping 155 grams of fat, along with 56 grams of saturated fat and 3,841 milligrams of sodium. Thankfully, Outback also offers a variety of dishes that contain less than 600 calories

A Kevin Harvick Win = Free Bloomin’ Onions

Outback Steakhouse/Yelp

Any time NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick finishes in the top 10 in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Outback’s diners can get a free Bloomin’ Onion on the Monday following the race, thanks to Outback’s sponsorship of the driver. 

You Can Get Deals and Coupons by Joining the Outback 365 Program

Outback Steakhouse/Yelp

Just sign up and let the offers, which change regularly, start rolling in!

Outback Has the Longest Active Bowl Sponsorship in History

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The Outback Bowl is played every New Year’s Day at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Called the Hall of Fame Bowl from 1986 to 1994, it was renamed the Outback Bowl in 1995 and has retained the name since, making it the longest bowl sponsorship in history. The partnership is expected to extend through at least 2020.