Outback Steakhouse customer swears you used to be able to throw peanut shells on the ground.

@dominicksellsla/TikTok JHVEPhoto/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I remember they used to do it’: Outback Steakhouse customer swears you used to be able to throw peanut shells on the ground. What chain restaurant actually did that?

'The ground round did not Outback'


Jack Alban


Posted on Dec 23, 2023   Updated on Dec 24, 2023, 8:08 am CST

The Mandela Effect is a trippy concept: Folks remember a particular feature collectively in a certain way—like Fruit of the Loom underwear featuring a cornucopia in its logo—despite this never being the case.

It seems that a TikTok user named Dominick Whelton (@dominicksellsla) may be experiencing a Mandela Effect of his own, as he swears up and down that the Outback Steakhouse used to not only allow customers to de-shell peanuts and then toss the shells to the floor, but that this practice is actually a trademark of the Australian themed steakhouse chain.

The realtor and model swears up and down that he distinctly remembers the Outback Steakhouse being defined by this feature, but other TikTokers have said that this isn’t the case. Whelton admits from the get-go he’s less than certain, letting viewers know exactly what they’re in for: An “Outback Steakhouse conspiracy.”

“OK, I just found out about something that is killing me. It’s like super devastating that I have to share with you guys. So, if you grew up in the early ’90s, early 2000s, chances are you most likely went to an Outback Steakhouse at some point in your life. Outback steakhouse is the Australian-themed restaurant where you throw peanut shells on the ground,” Whelton says.

“It’s the whole point of Outback Steakhouse,” Whelton says. “You go to throw the peanut shells on the ground. So I’m having a conversation with my friend about this last night. And he’s like, ‘What are you talking about? They don’t do that’ and I was like yes they do, that’s their whole thing. So, I pull out my phone and I call the nearest Outback Steakhouse in Glendale. This lady answers she’s like, ‘Hi, Outback Steakhouse.’ I’m like hi, do you guys still throw peanut shells on the ground? She was like, ‘What are you talking about?'”

It’s at this point that Whelton began to sense that his memory wasn’t so strong after all. “I was like, peanut shells. Do you guys, do you still throw them on the ground? She’s like, ‘What do you mean?’ I’m like, the peanut shells. Like that’s your whole thing do you still throw ’em on the ground? She’s like, ‘Sir, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m gonna transfer you to my manager.’ So I’m like great, someone who will know what’s going on.”

But the manager doesn’t know what he’s talking about either. “Manager answers the phone, ‘Hi, how can I help you?’ I’m like hi, I’m just calling to see if you guys still throw peanut shells on the ground? She’s like, ‘Excuse me?’ I’m like, excuse me—the peanut shells! Like that’s your thing! You still throw them on the ground? She’s like, ‘Sir, we never did.'”

Upon hearing the manager’s reaction, the TikToker was sure that he was being gaslit about the peanut shell phenomenon. “At this point: I’m like OK—we’re not doing this. We’re not making me believe that this is something that I made up in my head. She’s all, ‘They might have done that before my time, like a long time ago, but I’ve never heard about that.’ And I’m thinking—again, this is your whole thing! Like this is what you’re known for! I mean the bread was good and the butter was good, but now my quarrel is with you, Outback Steakhouse,” Whelton says.

He continues, “Because either, one: you’re not training your employees in the history of Outback Steakhouse, and what you’re known for what people like me would come back for. Or two, you’re trying to change the narrative that you never threw peanut shells on the ground and we both know that that is not true. So, I would like an answer. I would like an answer as to why the employees at Outback Steakhouse in Glendale have no idea about the peanut shells, because I know that I’m not going crazy. I know I’m not going crazy. I’m not, right? Somebody please validate this for me.”

@dominicksellsla @Outback Steakhouse can you please clarify?? #fyp ♬ original sound – Dominick Sells Homes

According to Allergy Eats, the peanut shells on the floor was once a popular trend among steakhouse chains. As it turns out, multiple popular steakhouse chains, including Ground Round and Longhorn, followed this same practice, but ultimately suspended this practice as of 2010 in order to accommodate guests with peanut allergies.

However, according to a 2015 Trip Advisor review of a New Jersey Outback Steakhouse location, the establishment would serve guests peanuts and allow them to shell said nuts and toss them onto the floor while they snacked on the little balls of protein as they waited for their orders to arrive. “What a great place to eat. Lots of peanuts. Take them out of the shell and throw the shells on the floor. The Bloomin Onion is a meal in itself. The steak is cooked the way you like it and the beer is cold,” the reviewer wrote.

So it seems that Whelton could very well be correctly remembering Outback Steakhouse as an establishment that once allowed guests to engage in this messy peanut eating habit. At least in some locations.

But it appears that there were other TikTokers who also had different memories of the “No Rules, Just Right” chain themselves. One commenter wrote, “outback NEVER offered peanuts to have the shells on the floor.”

While another user thought that Whelton was ultimately mixing his steakhouses up in his head. “You’re getting Outback mixed up with Texas Roadhouse memories. You had me going too until I thought about it more and saw others comments,” wrote the user.

Others highlighted the Ground Round. One user wrote, “The ground round did not Outback.” Another remarked, “Outback:big steak, bloomin onion. Ground round:peanuts on the floor.”

For others, this describes Logan’s Roadhouse all day. “Logan’s Steakhouse is the chain that throws peanut shells on the floor; not Outback. Thank goodness you’re pretty,” one user penned.

The Daily Dot has contacted Outback Steakhouse to get to the bottom of this peanut conundrum via email and Whelton via Instagram direct message for further comment.

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*First Published: Dec 23, 2023, 7:00 pm CST