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Sizzler declares bankruptcy, citing COVID-19 impact

Restaurants suffer under COVID restrictions
Restaurants suffer under COVID restrictions 05:05

Sizzler USA has declared bankruptcy, with the 62-year-old chain known for its affordable steaks and all-you-can-eat salad bar citing the ongoing coronavirus for its financial woes. 

The pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S., has hurt "fast-casual" restaurant chains like Sizzler burdened with high rent and other operating costs. California Pizza Kitchen and the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese both declared bankruptcy this summer, citing the outbreak's impact on business.

"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatement," Chris Perkins, Sizzler president and chief services officer, said in a statement.

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Sizzlers has 107 restaurants around the U.S., 93 of them franchises. The company said it planned to continue running 14 company-owned restaurants during the restructuring process. Filing for Chapter 11 protection from its debts should give the company breathing room to renegotiate leases, Perkins indicated.

Founded in 1958, California-based Sizzler also sought bankruptcy protection in 1996.

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