SIZZLER PINS TURNAROUND ON NEW ITEMS, WOMEN: NEW MENU OFFERINGS, ADS PART OF EFFORT TO ATTRACT MORE FEMALES TO CHAIN

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Trying to upgrade its image and food offerings after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last fall, Sizzler International is slated to launch a new line of sandwiches this month called Two-Fisted Feasts.

Sizzler, a value-price steak and salad bar chain, with some 265 U.S. restaurants, will support the sandwiches via local-store marketing efforts.

$7 MIL AD BUDGET

The next TV advertising for the chain, which has budgeted about $7 million for media ads this year, is targeted for spring and is likely to feature steaks.

Evans, Hardy & Young, Santa Barbara, Calif., is the agency for broadcast advertising. Wiley & Associates, Westlake Village, Calif., was recently tapped to handle the $1 million in-store marketing and print portion of the account.

ALL-WOMAN SHOP

Wiley's first project is supporting the sandwiches, aimed at luring more women to the chain and at boosting lunch business.

"We're trying to work toward enticing a younger clientele and more couples and friends out for the evening," said Wiley President Caryn Wiley, while not alienating its core older customers.

Keith Frohreich, VP-marketing for Sizzler, said part of Wiley's appeal as a new agency for the chain was the fact it's an all-women shop.

"Sizzler and steak in general [have] much more of a male slant. We're trying to balance it out because we believe that women have major veto power in restaurant choices," Ms. Wiley said.

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo.

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