While other chains have struggled to fill their restaurants with diners, the challenge for Outback Steakhouse has been fitting in everyone who wants to eat there. The Australian-themed chain of steakhouses has built its reputation on a dinner menu of good prices, big portions and tasty food. It’s been such a winning combination that Outback’s extending its hours and revamping its kitchen for a new lunchtime menu.
All locations nationwide will now open at 11:00 in the morning for lunch on weekends. To make the new lunch menu more appealing to diners, prices will be lower than the dinner menu. Ten entrees on the lunchtime menu are under $10, and many of the restaurant’s signature steaks aren’t too much above that price point. One of the most popular offerings so far is the Perfect Lunch Combo that pairs a soup or salad with one of five luncheon-sized entrees for $7.99, a price low enough to compete with fast casual dining restaurants and even some fast food options.
Outback has also gotten more calorie-conscious with its lunch menu. Items that are under 600 calories feature an icon that lets diners assemble a lower-calorie lunch. More decadent favorites such as the Bloomin’ Onion and the cheese fries piled high with bacon are still on the menu too, but with grilled chicken, Norwegian salmon and big salads to keep lunch lighter, the revamped menu has something for everyone.
Even on weekends, lunch tends to be a more time-sensitive meal than dinner. Workers who are taking a break from the office or the sales floor need to get in and out of a restaurant in an hour or less, so many of Outback’s lunch offerings are designed to hit the table quickly. Salads and sandwiches make the most of a brief lunchtime for diners in a rush.