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Sizzler President Blames Bankruptcy on Landlords’ Refusal to Provide Rent Abatement

Sizzler Restaurant

Sizzler President Chris Perkins said in a statement. "Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements." Sizzler estimated both its debts and assets at less than $10 million in papers filed in the U.S Bankruptcy Court. The bankruptcy filing on Monday was the second for the restaurant who sought Chapter 11 protections in 1996.

American Steakhouse, Sizzler, opened on January 27, 1958, in Culver City, California. The steakhouse was one of the first casual dining experiences that offered affordable steak dinners at just a whopping $0.99. Sizzler pioneered the fast-casual dining industry, which later added chain restaurants like Applebee’s and T.G.I Friday’s. As inflation occurred, Sizzler maintained a crowd for over 60 years but is now seeking bankruptcy and the renegotiation of current leases.

Maintaining its current dining experience during the coronavirus pandemic, Sizzler has now joined the lengthy list of restaurants filing for bankruptcy. The restaurant owners filed for bankruptcy on Monday in a Northern District of California court.

Headquartered in Mission Viejo, California, Sizzler, known for its steak, seafood, and salad bar, has locations mainly in California, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The restaurant attributed the filing to the decline in sales due to a lack of in-person dining during the coronavirus pandemic. As restaurants cannot provide indoor dining at full capacity, they have to rely on delivery or take out to cover their costs. It also is important to note the change in sanitation concerns from customers that are no longer visiting buffet-style dining due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The company currently has more than 90 franchised locations, which they report won’t be affected by the bankruptcy filings. Sizzler plans to keep the 14- company-owned locations open and operating during the bankruptcy process, aiming at renegotiating leases. The company hopes to support its employees and franchisees amid bankruptcy and build a stronger future.

A recent survey from the National Restaurant Association found that nearly 100,000 restaurants have closed across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic, according to reports from Business Insider. And the companies behind chains like Maison Kayser, Pizza Hut, and California Kitchen have filed for bankruptcy in recent months.

Sizzler aims to complete the Chapter 11 process within roughly 120 days.  Are you looking to fill a potential Sizzler vacancy with a growing restaurant? Let Retailsphere to help you find the perfect tenant to fill your vacancy with a no-obligation demo today.

Written by Alicia Williams