CULVER CITY, Calif., Feb. 7, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Following a three-year hiatus from new franchise expansion, Sizzler, the 53-year-old family-casual steakhouse, announced a deal with proven restaurateur, Tony Lutfi, to develop five new restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and upgrade and remodel existing locations in Sacramento, Auburn, Pinole, Hayword and Santa Clara.
The agreement marks the first multi-unit deal for the company since CEO Kerry Kramp took the helm in 2008, and as Sizzler looks to continue its development in California and across the nation in a strategic expansion plan also targeting Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis.
Lutfi plans to open his first Sizzler restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area in the next 24 months while he works to renovate the five purchased locations. He has an extensive track record in the franchise industry – owning and operating 72 restaurants with brands such as Jack in the Box, Church's Chicken, Arby's and Little Caesars. The 33-year restaurant veteran will play an integral role in the re-birth of the Sizzler brand – which once had more than 600 locations.
"As someone who has frequented Sizzler for more than 25 years, I'm committed to being a key part of the company's revival in California and across the country," said Lutfi. "We invest in growing companies that have withstood the test of time and remain a relevant part of the fast casual segment, which Sizzler has done for more than 50 years."
This East Bay development agreement is part of a national growth plan led by Kramp. Since coming on board, Kramp and Sizzler's seasoned management team, in collaboration with their franchise partners, have eliminated the company's debt and overhauled the restaurant prototype with a focus on providing value and quality fare that has set the brand apart from the rest of its competitors in the family casual segment. Their turnaround efforts led to three years of same-store sales increases and the remodeled, new generation Sizzler restaurants are seeing exceptional sales gains and strong positive consumer acceptance.
"The relaunch of Sizzler's franchise development is a result of the belief that the brand has broad consumer appeal," said Kramp. "The new generation Sizzler resonates with today's consumer because of its high quality, healthy menu offerings and its strong affordability."
Sizzler is committed to finding the right franchise owners who not only see the opportunity in the economics of developing Sizzler restaurants but also believe in the value of serving their local communities by helping to put people back to work. The executive team is currently scouting multi-unit, multi-concept franchise partners to help grow the brand. Embracing its past while looking towards the future, the revitalized Sizzler offers fresh ingredients and from-scratch meals served in a modern, family-friendly environment featuring guest-directed dining in a bright and comfortable dining area.
From U.S.D.A. Choice steaks cut fresh in-house every day, to fresh salads, soups and baked goods – all created from scratch in real kitchens – Sizzler® is where America comes for great food and value. Innovator of the new "Family Casual" segment, guests order and pay in line, enjoying Sizzler's signature salad bar until their meals are delivered. With a system-wide remodeling program underway and new locations being developed, Sizzler is seeking franchise partners in select markets. Based in suburban Los Angeles, Sizzler® USA was acquired in June 2011 by investors and management. It franchises or owns nearly 170 restaurants in the United States, including Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.sizzler.com.