Sizzler knows it slipped up, as today CEO Kerry Kramp spends a minute chewing the fat with Orange County’s “Fast Food Maven,” Nancy Luna. Having just moved its headquarters out of Culver City and into Mission Viejo to lighten the company’s commute, Kramp is totally aware that you’ve probably come to think of the surf-and-turf chain as tired and old-fashioned. But on the verge of bringing another 20 locations in the state over the next five years, the exec has some shrimp tricks up his sleeves to bring you back.
This time, the big push doesn’t involve food trucks, though it will embrace a way of eating that’s equally trendy and possibly even more marketable: farm-to-table ingredients. Yes, the fried shrimp chain is finally going all gaga for locavorism, a move that has Kramp boasting, “It’s not your grandfather’s Sizzler anymore.” Or maybe it is, considering G-Paw probably preceded ammonia-sprayed meat and propyl gallate-infused cooking oil. Anyway, no offense Sizzler, but our’s was always more of a Cracker Barrel fan anyway.
Considering the changes made at 55 of Sizzler’s 170 locations (and probably coming soon to a Sizzler near you), Kramp admits, “Now, we’re looking at farm to table and sustainability. We’re retraining our grill cooks as grill masters. We embraced all the core original Sizzler ingredients, but make the flavors relevant to today. We make everything from scratch.”
The big changes mean the prices have ticked up slightly at the chain, surely an acceptable price to pay to know where your shrimp is coming from. We admit, we haven’t been to a Sizzler since shortly after we got over our Pac-Man fever. Could the new approach swing you back to its golden fried convenience or is this just big talk from a big company? Let us know your thoughts in our comments.