Jai Knarston with dad Matt excited to celebrate his seventh birthday at Sizzler Maroochydore.
Jai Knarston with dad Matt excited to celebrate his seventh birthday at Sizzler Maroochydore.

Kids devastated as Coast loses a bit of its sizzle

After 35 years, the days of cheesy bread and creative desserts will soon come to an end as Sizzler prepares to permanently close the doors of their nine remaining Australian restaurants, including the much-loved Maroochydore store.

Collins Foods Limited, which owns the Sizzler brand, will not renew the leases of its remaining Australian restaurants after sales were slow to recover from peak COVID-19 impacts.

All remaining Sizzler restaurants will close by Sunday, November 15 – including Sizzler Maroochydore.
All remaining Sizzler restaurants will close by Sunday, November 15 – including Sizzler Maroochydore.

News of the upcoming closure of the Coast restaurant was a shock for the Coast-based Cameron family whose two boys both celebrated their birthday parties there this year.

Kian Cameron, 9, said it was "very sad" and didn't understand why his favourite restaurant was coming to an end.

"How come it had to close?" he said.

"I liked that I got to choose my own dinner and the cheesy bread."

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For younger brother Oliver, the six-year-old enjoyed the freedom he was not afforded at home.

"I get to have Coke here," he said.

For mum Melanie, seeing her two boys enjoy a fun-filled birthday dinner with their friends at Sizzler reminded her of her own childhood.

"This place is iconic, I used to do it as a kid," she said.

"You make crazy desserts and spiders - you're like a kid in a candy store.

"You just pile up whatever you like, it's become a tradition."

Dad Tom said he would miss seeing his boy's faces light up as they created their food masterpieces

"Corn chips, with salad and spaghetti bolognese, I love seeing them enjoy it" he said.

Collins Foods has announced the remaining nine Sizzler restaurants will all close their doors by November 15.

But for Brisbane resident Matt Knarston, who was dining at Sizzler Maroochydore on Friday to celebrate his son Jai's seventh birthday, he believed the buffet-style restaurant was on the way out before coronavirus hit.

"It's not a shock, they were knocked down before that," he said.

"There is only one left in Brisbane."

The restaurants to close include Mermaid Beach, Loganholme, Toowoomba, Maroochydore, and Caboolture in southeast Queensland, Campbelltown in South-West Sydney, and Innaloo, Kelmscott and Morley in suburban Perth.

Collins Foods, which also owns the KFC and Taco Bell brands, have informed Sizzler staff of the decision to close and is looking to redeploy as many affected Sizzler employees as possible to its other brands.

"This has been an incredibly difficult decision and not one we've made lightly, especially given the impact it will have on our dedicated Sizzler staff and customers in Australia," Collins Foods CEO Drew O'Malley said.

"Sizzler has been a much-loved Australian family restaurant for the past 35 years.

"However, dining trends and consumer preferences have evolved during this time away from Sizzler's casual dining, restaurants in suburban locations.

Sunshine Coast Daily contacted management at Sizzler Maroochydore and they advised they were too emotional to make comment.


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