Last Sizzler restaurant to close by next month

Sizzler at Woodbine. Picture: Facebook
Sizzler at Woodbine. Picture: Facebook

It's the end of an era for lovers of cheese toast.

The nine remaining Sizzler restaurants in Australia - including the venue at Woodbine - will close their doors forever by next month.

Collins Foods Limited, which owns the Sizzler brand in Australia, announced this morning that they would be shutting the restaurants down by November 15.

The Campbelltown Sizzler, at Woodbine, was the last remaining venue in NSW. The other stores are in Queensland (Mermaid Beach, Loganholme, Toowoomba, Maroochydore and Caboolture) and Western Australia (Innaloo, Kelmscott and Morley).

Collins Foods decided not to renew the leases on the remaining stores due to slow sales brought on by Covid-19 restrictions.

The company also runs KFC and Taco Bell in Australia, and said Sizzler was hit far harder by the pandemic that the other chains.

Staff were informed of the closures and offered redundancy packages and access to outplacement support.

Collins Foods hopes to redeploy as many affected Sizzler employees as possible into its KFC and Taco Bell network.

Chief executive Drew O'Malley said it was far from easy to close the restaurants.

"This has been an incredibly difficult decision and not one we've made lightly, especially given the impact it will have on our dedicated Sizzler staff and customers in Australia," he said.

"Sizzler has been a much-loved Australian family restaurant for the past 35 years. However, dining trends and consumer preferences have evolved during this time away from Sizzler's casual dining restaurants in suburban locations.

"Collins Foods operates in an intensely challenging and competitive environment and for the past five years we have assessed ways to viably retain our Sizzler Australia restaurants alongside our 255 KFC and Taco Bell outlets in Australia.

"We are extremely grateful to our dedicated staff, suppliers and customers for their support over the past 35 years."

Sizzler is well-loved in the Macarthur area. A pop-up stall selling cheese toast was one of the most popular attractions at Campbelltown's Australia Day celebrations earlier this year.

The Sizzler Australia Facebook page told customers the staff hoped to see them again for one final round of cheese toast.

"Dear Sizzler fans," the post read.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that after 35 years it is time to say goodbye.

"The difficult decision has been made to close all remaining Sizzler Australia restaurants this November.

"We are so very grateful to our dedicated staff and we want to thank each and every one of our customers for supporting us and creating and sharing memories at Sizzler over the past 35 years.

"Our restaurants will remain open until the last day of trade on 15 November 2020, so there is still time to enjoy all your grill and Salad Bar favourites.

"Bookings are required in QLD and NSW, so please remember to call ahead to ensure you don't miss out.

"We hope to see you all for one last slice of Cheese Toast."