Sizzler reveals recipe for restaurant favourite as stores close

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Description

For decades it proved an Aussie family favourite, but in just over a week, Sizzler will close for good for good.

The popular chain burst onto the Australian scene in 1985 after first opening as a steakhouse in California in 1958.

"When Sizzler first arrived back in Australia back in 1985 it was just such a unique and different concept, the whole serve yourself approach meant that you didn't have to make your menu selection right up front, you could take your time, pick and graze,"  Head of Operations for Sizzler Australia, Don Crilly, told A Current Affair.

For decades it proved an Aussie family favourite, but in just over a week, Sizzler will close its last remaining restaurants, for good. (A Current Affair)

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Aussies devoured the "all you can eat" concept, leading to more than 70 Sizzler restaurants eventually opening across the country.

"It helped Australians to try different foods particularly the younger generation, it helped kids to learn about portion control and to try different things and to be explorative whereas they'd usually just have to sit down to whichever meal mum or dad bought for them," Mr Crilly said.

For more than two decades the buffet bustled before things took a turn and clientele numbers began to wane.

For more than two decades the buffet bustled before things took a turn and clientele numbers began to wane. (A Current Affair)Head of Operations for Sizzler Australia, Don Crilly said ""When Sizzler first arrived back in Australia back in 1985 it was just such a unique and different concept." (A Current Affair)

By 2015 there were just 26 restaurants left Australia-wide with that number dwindling this year to just nine.

"It was a place to take the kids, it worked well as a concept for casual dining in the nineties, but unfortunately it got stuck in a time warp," Associate Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School, Jana Bowden said.

COVID-19 saw Sizzler buffets close, with restaurants offering just takeaway, before most eventually re-opened under strict no self-serve restrictions. 

But it was the final nail in the coffin for a chain that sold itself on customers, helping themselves.

Associate Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School, Jana Bowden said the Sizzler had worked in the 1990s. (A Current Affair)

Parent company, Collins Foods, decided last month, time was up for Sizzler, announcing plans to close the last remaining restaurants by November 15.

"What we were facing was the unknown, we are not sure on when restrictions will be eased," Mr Crilly said.

"There's been multiple factors that have contributed to our closure, look our sales had slowly started to recover since our dining rooms reopened after the COVID restrictions but they haven't quite rebounded as quickly as we wanted to."

Collins Foods, decided last month, time was up for Sizzler, announcing plans to close the last remaining restaurants by November 15. (A Current Affair)

"Look it is definitely toast for Sizzler, the fundamental facts is that consumer preferences have changed, they have become much more sophisticated, consumers want a quality dining experience and Sizzler just hasn't kept up," Ms Bowden said.

Sizzler said the 600 workers who have been left without a job have been offered opportunities at other Collins Foods brands such as KFC and Taco Bell.

Many Aussies will miss the famous 'Cheesy Toast', but Sizzler's Mr Crilly said for anyone wanting to make it at home, the recipe is simple.

"Look it's not a secret at all, there's a few tips and tricks you need to know about when it comes to cooking it and preparing it, but the two simple ingredients is margarine and Pecorino cheese," he said.

Period6 Nov 2020

Media contributions

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Media contributions

  • TitleSizzler reveals recipe for restaurant favourite as stores close
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletA Current Affair
    Media typeTelevision
    CountryAustralia
    Date6/11/20
    DescriptionFor decades it proved an Aussie family favourite, but in just over a week, Sizzler will close its last remaining restaurants, for good.

    The popular chain burst onto the Australian scene in 1985 after first opening as a steakhouse in California in 1958.

    "When Sizzler first arrived back in Australia back in 1985 it was just such a unique and different concept, the whole serve yourself approach meant that you didn't have to make your menu selection right up front, you could take your time, pick and graze," Head of Operations for Sizzler Australia, Don Crilly, told A Current Affair.


    For decades it proved an Aussie family favourite, but in just over a week, Sizzler will close its last remaining restaurants, for good. (A Current Affair)
    Related

    Popular restaurant chain's dramatic change after buffets cancelled by COVID-19

    Sydney restaurant targeted by 'wannabe social media influencers'

    Business owners at centre of 100 case cluster defend their actions
    READ MORE: Sizzler sends cease-and-desist to fast food chain over cheese-bread burger

    Aussies devoured the "all you can eat" concept, leading to more than 70 Sizzler restaurants eventually opening across the country.

    "It helped Australians to try different foods particularly the younger generation, it helped kids to learn about portion control and to try different things and to be explorative whereas they'd usually just have to sit down to whichever meal mum or dad bought for them," Mr Crilly said.

    For more than two decades the buffet bustled before things took a turn and clientele numbers began to wane.


    For more than two decades the buffet bustled before things took a turn and clientele numbers began to wane. (A Current Affair)

    Head of Operations for Sizzler Australia, Don Crilly said ""When Sizzler first arrived back in Australia back in 1985 it was just such a unique and different concept." (A Current Affair)
    READ MORE: Sizzler restaurant closes early as customers rush to chain for the final time

    By 2015 there were just 26 restaurants left Australia-wide with that number dwindling this year to just nine.

    "It was a place to take the kids, it worked well as a concept for casual dining in the nineties, but unfortunately it got stuck in a time warp," Associate Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School, Jana Bowden said.

    COVID-19 saw Sizzler buffets close, with restaurants offering just takeaway, before most eventually re-opened under strict no self-serve restrictions.

    But it was the final nail in the coffin for a chain that sold itself on customers, helping themselves.


    Associate Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School, Jana Bowden said the Sizzler had worked in the 1990s. (A Current Affair)
    READ MORE: Sizzler closes another restaurant, leaving only nine in Australia

    Parent company, Collins Foods, decided last month, time was up for Sizzler, announcing plans to close the last remaining restaurants by November 15.

    "What we were facing was the unknown, we are not sure on when restrictions will be eased," Mr Crilly said.

    "There's been multiple factors that have contributed to our closure, look our sales had slowly started to recover since our dining rooms reopened after the COVID restrictions but they haven't quite rebounded as quickly as we wanted to."


    Collins Foods, decided last month, time was up for Sizzler, announcing plans to close the last remaining restaurants by November 15. (A Current Affair)
    "Look it is definitely toast for Sizzler, the fundamental facts is that consumer preferences have changed, they have become much more sophisticated, consumers want a quality dining experience and Sizzler just hasn't kept up," Ms Bowden said.

    Sizzler said the 600 workers who have been left without a job have been offered opportunities at other Collins Foods brands such as KFC and Taco Bell.

    Many Aussies will miss the famous 'Cheesy Toast', but Sizzler's Mr Crilly said for anyone wanting to make it at home, the recipe is simple.

    "Look it's not a secret at all, there's a few tips and tricks you need to know about when it comes to cooking it and preparing it, but the two simple ingredients is margarine and Pecorino cheese," he said.
    URLhttps://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/sizzler-reveals-recipe-for-restaurant-favourite-as-stores-close-down-across-australia/a25608a0-91ea-4c83-99df-48597c7cf510
    PersonsJana Bowden