Iconic restaurant chain Sizzler has announced it is closing another of its Australian branches – leaving just nine stores remaining Down Under.
The American-style restaurant known for its buffets and cold salad bars confirmed its store in Rockhampton in central Queensland will serve its last meal on March 1.
The closure in Sizzler’s Sunshine State heartland is the latest blow for the chain, which launched more than three decades ago and became a cultural symbol of the 1990s.
Sizzler’s parent company Collins Foods Limited said the branch would close for the redevelopment of the Stockland Shopping Centre – where the restaurant is located – but would not reopen after the work was finished.
‘Collins Food Limited has confirmed it will close its Rockhampton Sizzler restaurant with the closure coinciding with the redevelopment of the Stockland shopping centre,’ a spokesperson said in a statement.
‘Sizzler Rockhampton will trade as usual until its last day, Sunday March 1, 2020.
‘The announcement relates to Sizzler Rockhampton only and all other Sizzler restaurants remain open for business.’
Sixty-one members of staff are understood to be affected by the closure, news.com.au reported.
In a bid to save the store, Rockhampton resident Rachel Titmarsh has started a petition directed at Collins Food asking them to reconsider the closure.
‘This is a desperate plea to Collins Foods Limited, please don’t leave Rockhampton, please open somewhere else if Stockland are kicking you out,’ she wrote on the change.org petition.
Sizzler’s latest announcement follows the chain closing four of its stores – Brookside, Toowong, Kogarah and Annerley in Brisbane – in 2017.
The first Sizzler restaurant was opened in California by founders Del & Helen Johnson in 1958.
But it was not until 1985 that it arrived on Australian shores, with its first restaurant Down Under opening in Brisbane’s south-side in Annerley.
Over the years, Sizzler built up an arsenal of 25 restaurants across Australia.
The closure comes during a dire time for the country’s retail market – with more than 170 stores tipped to close this year.
Household names like Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, and Napoleon Perdis dropped like flies in the past year with dozens of stores closing resulting in heavy job losses.