Just in time to be included in what is turning out to be one of the worst years EVER, Sizzler USA has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. One of the very first casual steakhouse chains in existence, the company was founded in 1958 and has been a staple in cities across America ever since. But they, like a lot of restaurants these days, were forced to change their business model to fit in with the restrictions that have come with the coronavirus pandemic.

According to their website, the company currently has 270 locations and are headquartered in Mission Viejo, California. Most of their restaurants are in the western United States, and they are known for their steaks, seafood, and salad bars. The bankruptcy filing is for their 14 corporate owned locations only, and apparently doesn't affect the 90 franchised locations around the country.

Sizzler President Chris Perkins told CNN "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 abatements". Like so many businesses during the pandemic, Sizzler was finding it difficult for their brick and mortar locations to pay rent. Company officials stated that they would be using the bankruptcy process to re negotiate leases and reduce debt, so that they can return to normal operations within 120 days.

Sizzler was a pioneer in the industry when they opened 62 years ago, but other casual fast eateries like Applebees and TGI Fridays have become their rivals in the last several decades. CNN Business data shows that reservations at restaurants during the pandemic have plummeted 40%, so Sizzler joins many other once thriving restaurants who are struggling in 2020. Wishing them and their employees well.