“We believe in Fresno. Honestly … we’ve been here many decades. And we think with a new look and a more of a focus on the food … hand-cut choice steaks, that we really have a place here in Fresno,” said Robert Clark, chief growth officer for Sizzler. “We’re invested in in this community for sure. We want to be here.”
The renovation includes new flooring, tables, bathrooms an upgraded salad bar, a new beverage station, and brownies in the dessert bar.
Corporate Sizzler — based in Orange County — recently bought the franchise back from its franchisee, the Reese family. Fresno was the second location to undergo modifications; Visalia, which it also bought from the Reeses, is next.
The menu at Sizzler remains largely the same — steaks, seafood, salads.
Surviving in the New Restaurant World
Sizzler is not affected by a new California law that will raise the minimum wage for most fast food restaurants to $20 an hour. But that doesn’t mean it won’t feel the pressure.
“There’s no question about that. I think what we offer our team members is a wide variety of different jobs … We want to create opportunities for people,” Clark said.
Several other national chains serving similar food — Texas Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steakhouse —are within blocks of Sizzler (3121 W. Shaw Avenue, west of Marks Avenue).
Clark says price and variety set them apart.
“There’s something for everybody. So if you if you want that steak experience, we can we can definitely offer that. If you want something lighter, quicker, you can have a salad bar or you can have both for that matter,” Clark said.
The business model — order up front and have servers bring out the food — also helps keep prices down, Clark said.
“Sizzler invented fast casual,” Clark said. “That’s really our competitive advantage, is that we can manage our labor better by having the guest order at the counter. Come get a seat. And there’s labor savings in that for us.”