Why Sizzler may never be the same again: how the popular buffet chain made massive changes to survive the coronavirus crisis and now has a more sophisticated set-up
- Iconic restaurant Sizzler announced during the coronavirus crisis that she would be eating
- Waiters now serve patrons of the buffet in Australian restaurants
- Change is to slow down the spread of COVID-19 to prevent germs from contracting
- Don Crilly, Sizzler’s Head of Operations, said stores and customers are adapting
Restaurant chain Sizzler has announced a massive change that will help it survive the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the restaurant industry.
The all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant has been forced to change since the outbreak of the crisis, as concerns about self-service could spread the virus.
With nine restaurants remaining in Australia, guests are now served by buffet waiters to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
With nine more restaurants across Australia, guests are served by waiters from the buffet to slow down the spread of COVID-19 (shown, staff serving customers at a Sizzler)
Sizzler’s chief of surgery, Don Crilly, said it was an important change to slow down the spread of the virus.
“It’s a full table service, almost like a silver Sizzler service, you might say,” he said A current affair.
“This is not the end of Sizzler at all, we will adapt. We make every effort to ensure that we can continue to serve guests for many years to come. ‘
Germ expert Glenn Pinna said it is highly unlikely that buffets will return to self-service due to fears of the spread of the deadly virus.
COVID-19 is spread from person to person, and if diners continue to use the same forceps as others, it increases the risk of contracting the disease.
Wes Lambert, CEO of Restaurant & Catering Australia acknowledged that “buffets are off the menu for the time being” as the industry adjusts.
“Ultimately, dining in Australia is unlikely to ever return to what it used to be,” he said.
Sizzler’s chief of surgery, Don Crilly (pictured), said it was a significant change to slow down the spread of the virus
Dinners are served by waiters at the all-you-can-eat buffet to slow down the spread of the corona virus (photo, a salad bar at Sizzlers)
Earlier this year, the chain announced another closure of its Rockhampton store in central Queensland.
“Collins Food Limited has confirmed that it will close its Rockhampton Sizzler restaurant with the closure coinciding with the redevelopment of the Stockland shopping center,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Sizzler Rockhampton will continue until the last day, Sunday, March 1, 2020.
“The announcement only concerns Sizzler Rockhampton and all other Sizzler restaurants will remain open.”
Sizzler’s final store closure follows the closure of four of its stores – Brookside, Toowong, Kogarah and Annerley in Brisbane – in 2017.
The first Sizzler restaurant was opened in 1958 by founders Del & Helen Johnson in California.
But it wasn’t until 1985 that it arrived on the Australian coast, with the first Down Under restaurant opening in Annerley on the south side of Brisbane.
Over the years, Sizzler has built up an arsenal of 25 restaurants across Australia.