Outback Steakhouse is a chain of casual dining restaurants positioned with an Australian theme in the United States, first established in 1988 by Basham, Gannon and Sullivan. Early financing was limited, considering the company did not anticipate extensive expansions and franchising came from limited partnerships from associates, family and friends. However, in 1990, friends approached the three entrepreneurs and asked for a franchise of the Outback Australian theme. These franchises achieved huge success and the owners decided to expand. They organized a joint venture with Carrabbas, leading them into joining the lucrative Italian dining segment of the restaurant industry. The company soon received numerous accolades by which time the restaurant chain had established 164 directly owned restaurants, 6 restaurants that operated through joint ventures and 44 franchised restaurants. At the rate the company was growing, Outback Steakhouse would near the U.S. market's saturation point within the next 4-5 years.
In late 1994, the company acknowledged its ability to expand abroad by appointing Hugh Connerty as president of Outback International. As the company moved toward international expansion, they knew that a strategic plan was essential in order to assure Outback's continuing success as it took on the diverse and new markets abroad. The company's commitment to continue its fast paced growth would require them to develop a strategy for expansion and operations in different global regions throughout the world. In developing a business strategy, Outback Steakhouse would have to create guidelines to ensure success in these diverse and new markets abroad.
Outback Steakhouse's basic problem lies in determining whether the company should utilize international expansion as a major corporate/marketing strategy for long term growth.
* (1) - Apply Domestic Strategies abroad:
Outback International can avoid modifications of their existing strategies that we already know are successful,