Buffet vet Kramp tapped to lead Sizzler

Buffet vet Kramp tapped to lead Sizzler

CULVER CITY Calif. Industry veteran Kerry Kramp has been named president and chief executive of the more than 300-unit steak and salad bar concept Sizzler USA, beginning this week.

Kramp replaces Ken Cole, who stepped down in February to head the Quaker Steak & Lube chain, based in Sharon, Pa.

Amember of Sizzler’s advisory board since 2006, Kramp most recently was a franchisee of the Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurants in Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as chief executive of Buffets Inc., parent company to the Old Country Buffet and HomeTown Buffet brands, growing the chains from two to more than 400 locations.

Kramp also has served as chief executive of the home-meal-preparation concept Let’s Dish!, and he co-founded Chicken by George Inc., a company later purchased by the Geo. A. Hormel Co.

Sizzler USA, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is owned by Sydney, Australia-based Pacific Equity Partners, which had planned to sell the chain earlier this year. Last month the sale was postponed because of poor market conditions.

“I am excited to be a part of a concept that has survived and thrived for over 50 years, which is pretty unprecedented in these times,” said Kramp, a 2003 winner of the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain award when he was at Buffets. “Having served on the Sizzler USA advisory board, I have been very impressed with the employees who do such a great job serving the guests each day, the leadership team and the wonderful franchisees who play such an integral part in the brand’s day-to-day execution and innovation.”