BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia – Sizzler stores nationwide will be closed next month having been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Owner, Collins Foods Limited, say the stores have been running at a loss during the pandemic.
Whilst enjoying success in its early years, the Sizzler concept has been waning in Australia in recent years. High cost of lease rentals compounded with the pandemic has sounded the death knell for the once-popular brend that first swept to success across Queensland.
Nineteen restaurants however have fallen by the wayside in the years since the restaurant chain’s peak.
Collins now says because of the ramifications of the pandemic, it cannot foresee a pathway back to profitability.
The nine remaining Sizzler restaurants in Australia will permanently close by 15 November 2020.
In announcing the closure, Collins Foods said that the financial performance of its network of Sizzler restaurants has been under constant review since 2015.
Hampton, Queensland-based Collins Foods operates three restaurant chains but says Sizzler has been hardest hit during the pandemic. Based around a casual dining concept, and unlike the group’s KFC and Taco Bell restaurants, Sizzler revenues and earnings have been slow to recover from peak Covid-19 impacts, and the overall Sizzler business has continued to operate at a loss since the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
The Sizzler restaurants closing are located in Queensland at Mermaid Beach, Loganholme, Toowoomba, Maroochydore and Caboolture; in Western Australia in Innaloo, Kelmscott and Morley; and in New South Wales in Campbelltown, in suburban Sydney. These restaurants are all company-owned leasehold sites. As all nine leases are due for renewal over the next four months, costs associated with lease breaks will be minimal, the company said.
Sizzler’s approximately 600 dedicated employees have been offered redundancy packages and access to outplacement support, though Collins Foods says it is looking to redeploy as many affected Sizzler employees as possible to its KFC and Taco Bell network, which continues to grow.
Collins say they will continue to license the Sizzler brand in Asia as it has done for the past 29 years, and there is no change envisioned to those operations.
“This has been a difficult decision for Collins Foods, especially given the impact it will have on our dedicated Sizzler employees and customers in Australia,” Collins Foods’ CEO Drew O’Malley said Friday.
“As a casual dining concept, Sizzler has been the brand in our portfolio most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ongoing impact of Covid-19 on revenues has meant that unfortunately, these restaurants have not established a clear path to profitability in the foreseeable future.”
“Closing restaurants is not something we do often and not a decision we take lightly, especially for a brand as beloved as Sizzler which has been such an important part of the Collins Foods’ history. We are extremely grateful to our dedicated employees, suppliers and customers for their support and look forward to engaging with them through our other brands as Collins Foods’ overall growth story continues,” O’Malley said.