In 1957 young restaurateurs in California, Del & Helen Johnson decided to try an idea for a new restaurant which they had read about in the Wall Street Journal – a ‘self service budget steakhouse’, so the first Sizzler Restaurant opened on January 27, 1958.
The menu was simple – two types of steak plus a small salad and bread rolls. By the early sixties, Del and Helen added a hamburger sandwich and had expanded to three locations in Los Angeles.
Sizzler’s rapid growth continued through the seventies and with this growth, the concept evolved, changing from being totally self-serve to the ‘Sizzler Service’ concept, which combines the best features of self-service and service-to-the-customer at their table.
In 1984 Collins Foods International (who by now controlled the Sizzler franchise) moved Sizzler into the Australian market by acquiring Link Foods Pty Ltd, owners of five Bonanza restaurants and four Taco Den restaurants. The acquisition was made with the intention of converting the Bonanza restaurants into Sizzler Restaurants.
The first conversion occurred at Annerley, a suburb of Brisbane in July 1985 and by November 1986 Carindale and Aspley (both suburbs of Brisbane) had also been converted to become new Sizzler Restaurants.
There are now 13 Australian Sizzler restaurants, with rapid expansion continuing in Asian markets.