Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN) kicked off its life as a public company with a modest 11.9% gain on Wednesday after the parent of Outback Steakhouse was forced to sharply slash its offering size and valuation.

Late Tuesday Bloomin’ Brands said it sold 16 million shares at $11 each, compared with a target to sell 21 million shares at between $13 to $15.

The offering raised $176 million for Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands, which also owns Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

Bloomin' Brands opened trading late Wednesday morning nder the ticker symbol "BLMN" at $11.60, representing a 5.5% increase from the IPO price. 

However, Wall Street bid the stock higher in the minutes after the trading began, giving the stock a close of $12.41, up 11.91% on the day.

The Bloomin’ Brands IPO comes in the wake of mixed debut performances for other recent restaurant IPOs. Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s Holdings (CHUY) enjoyed a 15.8% leap in its first day of trading, while Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (DFRG), the parent of high-end steakhouses, was flat in its debut.

Founded in 1987, Bloomin’ Brands is best known for its Aussie-themed Outback Steakhouse restaurants, which account for half of its 1,300 U.S. restaurants.

Despite the slowing economy, Bloomin’ Brands generated a 5.3% increase in restaurant sales to $1.05 billion in the first quarter, however its net income dipped to $50 million from $55 million the year before. Overall revenue jumped 5.9% in 2011.

Bloomin’ Brands is set to debut at Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ), which is attempting to recover from reputational damage caused by the flubbed Facebook (FB) IPO in May.

The offering is being run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and Deutsche Bank (DB).

Led by Bloomin’ Brands and British soccer club Manchester United, the U.S. IPO market was expecting its largest week of offerings since the Facebook debacle.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5