History of the Sizzler Restaurant Chain

The Sizzler restaurant chain is an American casual dining chain that has been in operation for over 60 years. Founded in 1958 by Del and Helen Johnson, Sizzler was one of the first restaurant chains to offer an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Today, the chain has locations in more than a dozen countries around the world and is known for its affordable prices and wide variety of menu options.


The first Sizzler restaurant was opened in Culver City, California in 1958 by Del and Helen Johnson. The restaurant was inspired by a trip the couple took to Europe, where they were impressed by the variety of international cuisines available at local markets. When they returned to the United States, they decided to create a restaurant that offered a similar variety of options at an affordable price.

The original Sizzler menu featured a mix of American and international dishes, including steaks, seafood, and a salad bar. The salad bar was a major selling point for the restaurant and set it apart from other chains at the time. The Johnsons believed that offering a variety of fresh, healthy options would appeal to a wide range of customers, and they were right. The salad bar quickly became a popular feature of the Sizzler experience, and it remains a key part of the restaurant’s identity today.


As the Sizzler chain grew, it expanded beyond California and opened locations in other states. In the 1970s and 1980s, the company experienced rapid growth and became one of the largest restaurant chains in the country. In the 1990s, the company began to expand internationally, opening locations in countries such as Australia, Japan, and Indonesia. Today, Sizzler has over 200 locations in more than a dozen countries around the world.

In addition to its signature salad bar, Sizzler is known for its wide variety of menu options. The chain offers a range of dishes, including steaks, seafood, pasta, and sandwiches. Many Sizzler restaurants also have a grill station where customers can order fresh, made-to-order dishes. The chain also offers a children’s menu and a selection of desserts, including sundaes and ice cream.

Ownership Changes

Over the years, Sizzler has undergone several changes in ownership and management. In the 1990s, the company was purchased by a private equity firm, which later sold it to another private equity firm. In 2014, the chain was acquired by a group of investors led by its current CEO, Kerry Kramp. Under Kramp’s leadership, Sizzler has undergone a number of changes, including the introduction of new menu items and a revamp of the restaurant’s interior design.

Despite its long history and many changes, Sizzler has remained a popular dining destination for families and casual diners. The chain’s affordable prices, wide variety of menu options, and signature salad bar continue to attract customers from all walks of life. While Sizzler may not be as well-known as some of the larger restaurant chains, it has built a loyal following and has remained a fixture of the casual dining landscape for over six decades.