Sizzler, the iconic steakhouse that is largely credited with starting today’s popular fast casual segment and introducing the salad bar internationally, is coming home to the city where it was born.
Sizzler USA Chief Executive Kerry Kramp announced today that a management-led group has completed the acquisition of Sizzler’s U.S. interests from Australia’s Pacific Equity Partners (PEP), which had owned both Sizzler’s United States and international operations since 2005. Sizzler USA currently owns or franchises 178 restaurants in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Terms of the sale – which excludes the international operations – were not disclosed.
Kramp, who joined Sizzler as chief executive in June 2008, has spearheaded a turnaround effort that has resulted in three years of same-store sales increases. The chain, which was founded in Culver City in 1958, has revamped its menu, now making almost all of its food in-house from fresh ingredients. Sizzler also is in the midst of a system-wide remodeling program.
“On the business side, we have turned around sales and eliminated our debt and underperforming units,” Kramp said. “In the restaurants, with the support of our franchise partners, we have dramatically improved the entire dining experience, serving fresh food with compelling flavors at reasonable prices with great hospitality.”
The ownership group includes Kramp, who will continue as CEO and president, Kevin Perkins as non-executive chairman, Jim Collins, who originally purchased Sizzler from founder Del Johnson in 1967, and a management team that Kramp describes as “some of the most talented, passionate and engaged leaders in the industry.”
“I am fortunate to have Kerry Kramp, his team and Jim Collins as partners. The combination of Kerry’s proven industry talent and Jim’s wisdom makes for a powerful force to continue Sizzlers recent prosperity and to take it into a new era of growth,” Perkins observed.
Kramp added, “We are charting a new course that honors Sizzler’s past, while positioning it for the next 50 years.”
Jim Collins, 84, who is credited with growing the chain in the United States and overseas, said, “I believed that Sizzler was very important to consumers back in the 1960s, and I believe it is just as important – and maybe more important – today. Along with helping to grow the Sizzler brand, I am excited about helping the next generation of small-business owners create jobs for their communities.”
PEP acquired Sizzler USA, along with Sizzler’s international operations and other interests, from Worldwide Restaurant Concepts, which traded on the New York Stock Exchange.