Coronavirus: Sizzler restaurants file bankruptcy, citing COVID-19

Sizzler restaurants file for bankruptcy

Sizzler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, citing forced restaurant closures and strained finances resulting directly from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 62-year-old California-based steakhouse chain said in a statement that the voluntary step will allow the company to reduce debt and renegotiate leases with landlords, USA Today reported.

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“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,” stated Chris Perkins, president and chief services officer for Sizzler.

According to Fox Business, the steakhouse attempted to refocus efforts on takeout, delivery and outdoor dining, but none of those alternatives capitalize on the chain’s signature salad bar, which accounts for more than 40% of its restaurants' revenue.

“These unprecedented times and resulting economic damage to the American restaurant and hospitality industry have not spared” Sizzler despite its efforts to cut costs and maximize sales, Perkins said in court documents.

Founded in 1958 as Del’s Sizzler Family Steak House, the chain currently operates 107 locations and employs 485 people across 10 states, USA Today reported.