Baseball. Cowboys. The US Navy. Construction workers. Carousels. Steak. Shrimp. AMERICA. Sizzler. Yes, Sizzler.
Yes, in case you weren’t aware, in the early 90’s Sizzler buffets apparently represented the pinnacle of American freedom.
Remember, Sizzler is what separates us from the terrorists.
If you’ve never heard of Sizzler (what are you, one of those communists?) then here’s a little backstory from your friend Wikipedia:
The chain was founded in 1958 as Del’s Sizzler Family Steak House by Del and Helen Johnson in Culver City, California. The chain is composed of more than 270 locations throughout the U.S. Most of Sizzler’s U.S. locations are in the West.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sizzler promoted mainly steak and combination steak dinners with an optional salad bar. The restaurant wanted to give the customer the feel of a full-service restaurant, but at a price just slightly more than that of a fast food chain. To keep costs down, many of the restaurants had their own in-house meat cutters where they would cut their own steaks and grind their own hamburgers. Heading into the mid 1980s, competition began to appear from other casual-dining restaurants.
After promotions such as all-you-can-eat fried shrimp, the chain decided to expand its popular salad bar into a full buffet promoted as the “Buffet Court.” Patrons began to use the buffet as their meal instead of an add-on to an entree. In response, Sizzler began to lower the quality of food in other areas of the menu. Customers took notice and Sizzler’s reputation suffered. Sizzler filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996 (“primarily to void leases”), closed 140 of 215 stores and changed its logo. The company reemerged from chapter 11 in 1997.
During the late 1990s, new management upgraded the quality of food but also increased prices. Twenty one locations were closed in 2001. Sizzler began an image makeover around 2002. A new restaurant concept was created featuring a lighter and more open dining room. The changes were accompanied with a new menu. In an effort to return to its roots, steaks, seafood, and the salad bar are now being reemphasized while the all-you-can-eat buffet is being phased out.
I hope you enjoyed this trip back to the early 90’s, back to simpler time where we all played baseball, went jogging and then ate a metric ton of meat at Sizzler.