The nine remaining Sizzler restaurants in Australia will permanently close, with parent company Collins Foods citing “peak COVID-19 impacts” as one of its primary reasons.

Approximately 600 employees have been offered redundancy packages and Collins Foods says it will look to redeploy staff to its KFC and Taco Bell network.

Sizzler was popular in the days when Australians wanted to get their food from buffets.
Sizzler was popular in the days when Australians wanted to get their food from buffets. (Paul Harris)

“Of the three restaurant brands that Collins Foods operates, Sizzler has been hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement issued to the ASX this morning.

“As a casual dining concept, and unlike Collins Foods’ KFC and Taco Bell restaurants, Sizzler revenues and earnings have been slow to recover from peak COVID-19 impacts.”

The company said the financial performance of Sizzler had been under constant review since 2015.

The Sizzler network is “no longer considered to be core to the company’s strategic growth”.

KFC chicken spilling out of bucket (Getty)
Collins Foods said KFC and Taco Bell had not been hit in the same way by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Getty)

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.

“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.

“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.”

The remaining Sizzler stores will be shut with the loss of 600 jobs. (John Woudstra)

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 Queensland 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.”