Bonefish Grill President Named 2012 Operator of the Year

John Cooper takes home coveted top honors

Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) today announced that John Cooper, President of Bonefish Grill, was recognized at the Nation’s Restaurant News annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators (MUFSO) Conference with the prestigious Operator of the Year Award. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative talent in foodservice operation, and Mr. Cooper was selected for the honor for leading Bonefish Grill’s success in a competitive restaurant industry.

"I am extremely honored to have been chosen as the recipient of this award, particularly from the pool of such accomplished industry leaders and Golden Chain winners,” said John Cooper, President of Bonefish Grill. “The entire Bonefish Grill team is responsible for the success and phenomenal growth of our company."

Mr. Cooper joined Bloomin’ Brands in 1989 as one of Outback Steakhouse’s first Joint Venture Partners that went on to develop 13 restaurants in Orlando, Florida. After 15 years with Outback, he became President of Bonefish Grill in 2001. Under John’s leadership, Bonefish Grill has expanded from three restaurants to more than 160 locations across the country and has been awarded numerous accolades, including “Best Overall Restaurant” from ZAGAT’s and Nation’s Restaurant News’ Golden Chain award.

John Cooper, President
John Cooper,President

For those of us who work with John, this award represents what we know and respect about him – he is a dedicated leader with a passion for Bonefish Grill," said Liz Smith, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bloomin’ Brands. "We are all proud of this well deserved recognition."

With almost 40 years experience in the restaurant hospitality industry, Mr. Cooper has also been recognized by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association for his contributions and was the recipient of their 2011 Restaurateur Hall of Fame Award.

About Bonefish Grill
Founded in 2000 in St. Petersburg, FL, the Bonefish Grill experience is the perfect recipe marrying simplicity, quality and consistency in food, service, ambiance and value. As the "Fresh Fish Experts", Bonefish Grill specializes in market-fresh fish and other wood-grilled specialties. Knowledgeable and attentive Bonefish Grill Anglers (our service staff) provide the best in what we like to call "chef’s coat service." Our Anglers pride themselves on guiding our guests’ journey through our innovative, seasonal menu and specials, which feature only the highest-quality, freshest ingredients, including traditional and unique varieties of fish and seafood as well as numerous non-seafood items. We combine this with a big-city bar that offers bar fresh cocktails and an affordable, interesting wine list.

About Bloomin' Brands, Inc.
Bloomin' Brands, Inc. is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world. The portfolio of five founder-inspired brands is comprised of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy's with more than 1,400 restaurants in 48 states and 20 countries and territories. For more information, visit