Sizzler Goes for a Makeover

As it looks to revamp its image and improve its offerings, Sizzler has hired Kovel/Fuller to help tout the new changes.

The Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based chain of family-style steakhouses last week awarded its ad account to the Culver City, Calif., shop, following a review. The agency will handle creative and media planning, said chief creative officer Lee Kovel. Billings are estimated at $10 million.

The other finalists were The Miller Group in Santa Monica, Calif., and Kalis & Associates in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The account had been handled for nearly two years by Glass/McClure in Sacramento, Calif. Media buying remains with Initiative Partners in Los Angeles.

Kovel/Fuller’s category experience with former clients such as Carrows Restaurants and Honey Baked Ham helped the shop win the account, Kovel said.

Client officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Kovel/Fuller is charged with contemporizing Sizzler’s image while increasing trial and volume, Kovel said. Agency president John Fuller described the chain as “the place you went to when you wanted to do an all-you-can-eat salad bar and pig out.” While Sizzler will continue to have a salad bar, Fuller said the chain is preparing to launch “cravable food items,” but did not disclose specifics.

This revamp is being led by client president and CEO Kenneth Cole, who joined Sizzler in May 2001 from Blue Chalk Cafe Corp.

“[Cole’s] mission is to be the best in the category,” Kovel said. He added that upcoming ads will stress that “Sizzler makes great seafoods, steaks and salads, and it’s much better than you might have expected.”

The 50-person shop is expected to launch its first ads for the client in July. Work will likely include TV, print, radio, outdoor and in-store promotions.

This is Kovel/Fuller’s fourth win this year. In February, it landed more than $5 million in new business combined from Al & Ed’s Autosound, First National Bank of San Diego and Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles.

Worldwide Restaurant Concepts owns, operates or franchises about 350 Sizzler steakhouses worldwide.