Five years after this commercial, Sizzler filed for bankruptcy.
Nevertheless, the promotional video acts as an interesting time capsule, showing that 1991 was longer ago than you may have realized. Big hair was still in, apparently so was camp.
Sizzler revealed to the Huffington Post that this video was meant to sell franchises and was played at the company’s annual board meetings. Still, at first glance it’s not entirely clear if their selling restaurants or America. The company’s patriotic sentiments were echoed by Kristina Van Bruggen, Sizzler USA’s vice president of marketing.
“Sizzler is and has always been a special place for American families. We are thrilled this video is touching so many people and stirring such positive feelings about our country. Sizzle on, America, sizzle on!”
Sizzler made this promotion just as the family sitcom Full House was peaking in the ratings. The people had spoken, and big smiles and warm fuzzy feelings were in.
That wasn’t enough to save Sizzler though.
In 1996, the franchise went bankrupt, according to the Washington Post.
Today’s Sizzler is really a shadow of its former self, with only 20 percent of the locations it had in late 1980s.
Mary Chapman, a senior director at the research firm Technomic, explained to the Washington Post that the company was simply making the wrong bet, putting too much emphasis on the buffet.
“I think that they were trying to find a niche. They probably thought they could take advantage by offering all of the things competitors were, but in a buffet.”
Whatever their misstep was, their cheesy commercial and sunny patriotism have earned the Sizzler franchise a few fans some 20 years later.
[Image Credit: Youtube/Sizzler]