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Sizzler still smoldering

Updated on June 19, 2013

Endless Salad Bar


Casual Dining

Sizzler was another one of my favorite lunch spots last century. The cheese bread is to die for. The salad bar was a buffet by itself. The salad bar included pasta, marinara sauce, chicken wings, baked potatoes, tacos, tostadas, vegetables, and fruit. This was quite a bargain for the average price of $5.99.

Back in the day


Brief history of Sizzler Restaurant

The Sizzler chain was founded in 1958. In the late 70s and early 80s, Sizzler featured steak and steak combination dinners. The salad bar was an optional add on. When Sizzler began receiving competition from other restaurants they add “all-you-can-eat” friend shrimp to their menu. Sizzler expanded the salad bar offerings and named it the “Buffet Court.” The higher priced steak and steak combinations were rejected in favor of the Buffet Court and profits dropped significantly.

Restart after bankruptcy

Sizzler management developed a new prototype design and report a year over year surge in sales since 2008. The refreshed Sizzler prototype features vibrant lighting, brighter colors, contemporary furniture and guest-directed dining. Sizzler is partnering with Tony Lufti, a proven restaurateur to develop five new restaurants in the San Francisco area.

My recent dining experience

Last week I went to Sizzler for the first time in eight years. I stepped into the newly designed restaurant with no expectations. The first thing I noticed was that the prices had almost tripled. The Endless Salad Bar is now $16 per person. There were subtle but favorable changes in the ambience. The restaurant was packed as it had been in the past. The food on the salad bar was plentiful and fresh. The cheese bread is just as good as it was 30 years ago. My cousin ordered a sirloin burger and fries. Obviously there are fewer servers because we had to look around and flag one down for service. When we needed a takeout container I had to get the manager to send our server to the table. So much for guest-directed dining.

Sizzler Surf

I received an email requesting that I take down the Sizzler menu because it was for Australia! Wow! Someone from Sizzler is obviously patroling to see what people are saying. I'm sure all companies do this to some degree. Possibly the United States prices are less than Australian prices. I am shocked but glad that companies care about our reviews!

Sizzler Still Smoldering

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    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      I like it in California! I'm sure Australia has a great Sizzler's. I wish I could go! Thank you for reading and comment LongTimeMother.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 5 years ago from Australia

      Sizzler is alive and active here in Australia. I haven't been to one for about 20 years, but I drive past them and think "One day I should go there again." Their food used to be good. Hopefully it still is. :)

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Nell, you don't have anything similar in your country. I bet you have MacDonald's! lol! Yes, charmike4, back in the day it didn't seem so expensive.

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Bought some memories back Diane. My father's favourite restaurant was Sizzler with their innovative 1980s all you can eat concept. They were closed down in the 1990s in our market due to low partonage. Cheers Michael

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi diane, I had never heard of Sizzlers before, sounds amazing. I am not surprised at the price hike its the same everywhere. Funny how they knew about the menu! lol! Obviously they are definitely watching the internet!