FOOD & BEVERAGE | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Orchard Gateway welcomes the second outlet of Outback Steakhouse

The store construction costs US$1.5million.

Outback Steakhouse, which bills itself as the largest steakhouse chain in the world with more than 1,000 restaurants in 22 countries has opened its second outlet in Singapore at Orchard Gateway last June 30. The 150-seater new outlet is found at the mall’s fourth floor, decked in a warm palette with contemporary wood furnishing.

Established in 1988, Outback Steakhouse is inspired by an American casual dining concept. The Southeast Asian operations of this global chain is operated by the franchise owner, Universal Success Enterprises (USE) Group, a multi-billion dollar conglomerate with businesses across power, infrastructure, port, energy trading etc.

The Millenia Walk outlet in Singapore, which opened in 2000, was the first Outback Steakhouse concept in Southeast Asia. Outback Steakhouse at the newly-launched Orchard Gateway shopping mall marks the chain’s second Singapore outlet.

In an interview with Mr. Prasoon Mukherjee, founder and CEO of USE Group, he shared that his vision is about serving people the right food at the right price with impeccable service. “The aim of restaurant business should not be just creation of wealth but a pool of satisfied people – everyone from customers to staff, business partners, and vendors. That s our recipe for success,” he said.

The restaurant bills itself as embodying the spirit of the Australian Outback with ‘flavourful’ food, ‘excellent’ service, and ‘attentive’ staff. According to Prasoon, the new outlet design incorporates this Australian Outback influence through subtle touches; for instance at the Orchard Gateway outlet, an overhead ceiling-to-wall backdrop fashioned from zinc showcases an Aboriginal art-inspired wave-like design, and the booth seat upholstery bears Aboriginal dot motifs. Cuisine-wise, Outback Steakhouse assures that they remains very much American, still with hearty portions.

As Prasoon traced back Outback Steakhouse’s humble beginnings, he said that he started the business with a very little capital.

“It was very difficult to get credit terms from suppliers, and almost impossible to convince bank that we could pay back our debts! Getting suppliers and bank partners to trust was one of the biggest challenges. Overtime we managed to build the trust and confidence and we consider that as one of our key asset,” said Prasoon.

Prasoon discovered the restaurant when he went to Los Angeles for some work in 1999 and he was recommended to try Outback Steakhouse during his trip. He went there for three consecutive nights but couldn’t get a table. And once he tried the brand he was convinced that this brand could be successful in SEA.

And after they have opened a new outlet, Prasoon claims that they want to build 3-4 Outback Steakhouse outlets every year until the region is saturated. Bloomin Brands (the parent company of Outback) has other brands which they are keen on bringing to SEA and thy are already ready in discussions with the franchisor. Prasoon also shared that on average, they spend about 1.5 million USD per store.

The founder

Prasoon Mukherjee is the founder of the USE group, the Southeast Asia franchise owner for Outback Steakhouse. He is a business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

In 1995, Parsoon ventured into energy trading, his first initiative as an entrepreneur. In 2000, he established the USE Group and brought the world renowned Outback Steakhouse chain of restaurants to Southeast Asia. Over the years, USE’s vision, under Parsoon’s leadership, has been to develop world-class infrastructure in the areas of Industrial Parks, Townships, Power and Ports using state-of-the-art technology, design and architecture and keeping in view the need for protecting the environment and the needs of the communities where the Group operates.

An intrinsic feature of Parsoon’s vision has been giving back to the community. He has been instrumental in setting and contributing to various philanthropic causes in India and abroad. His focus has been on empowering society through education of the girl child and he has built several schools for the underprivileged in India and Southeast Asia. Besides this, he has been actively involved in providing relief and rehabilitation to the affected during natural calamities – specifically Hurricane Aila in eastern India in 2009 and Typhoon Haian in the Philippines in 2013.

He has received several awards and honours over the years and these include the Outback Steakhouse Franchisee of the Year Award in 2010, the North American Bengali Association’s Person of the Year award in 2008 as well as several awards in India and Asia for his contributions to society. He was the President of the India Club, Jakarta – the largest association for Indians in Indonesia. Mr. Mukherjee is also associated with several international chambers of commerce, such as the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Menu highlights

Signature dishes include the slow-roasted Seasoned and Seared Prime Rib, hand-carved upon order, thick-cut New York Strip, the beautifully-marbled Ribeye.

The menu at Outback Steakhouse encompasses more than steaks, counting the likes of Spinach Artichoke Dip, fork-tender Baby Back Ribs, Tilapia with Pure Lump Crab Meat, and the flame-grilled Alice Springs Chicken among their hot favourites.

The cocktails menu is decidedly fruit-forward, using fresh fruit ingredients in tempting concoctions such as Strawberry Basil Lemonade, Watermelon Margarita and Apple Mojito. Beers are available on tap and in bottles, and Outback Steakhouse has even thoughtfully sourced for a non-alcoholic Erdinger beer, as well as a drinks list of mocktails, to cater to customer shying away from alcohol! 

Do you know any restaurant which recently opened or will open soon? We'll be glad to hear from you. Just send us a message through Lee Anne Babierra at research@charltonmediamail.com.

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Orchard Gateway welcomes the second outlet of Outback Steakhouse

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