Sizzler set to raise prices
Pandemic, Ukraine war push up costs
SLRT, the operator of Sizzler steak restaurant under The Minor Food Group Plc, is poised to increase prices of some items by 5-10% today as operating costs continue increasing as a result of the prolonged Covid-19 outbreaks and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Kreetakorn Siriatha, the company's general manager, said operating costs have risen continuously over the last 3-4 months. Prices of vegetables, for instance, doubled since the end of last year while those of pork, chicken and dairy products started increasing early this year.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has aggravated the situation, raising the company's overall operating costs by 20-30%.
"In addition to a sharp rise in oil prices, the persistent Covid-19 outbreaks have also resulted in a shortage of some raw materials. Worse still, some skilled workers were infected. This year is the most challenging for the food industry,'' Mr Kreetakorn said.
Apart from the price increases, the company will also use robots at more Sizzler restaurants to increase accuracy and reduce waste as well as adjust its plan to stock more raw materials at its restaurants to save costs by reducing the frequency of delivering raw materials from the warehouse to its restaurants.
There were 9 million visitors to Sizzler restaurants in 2019 and the number gradually declined to 6-7 million in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The dining restaurant situation is likely to get better because Thais like eating out and we will team up with partners to offer an attractive price to customers,'' he said, citing Sizzler's sales between January and February increased by 44% over the same period last year due to recovering consumer spending as more people were vaccinated.
Currently, the core customers of Sizzler are aged 30-40. The company aims to tap into new generation customers aged below 30 by introducing a new Sizzler restaurant format with a fresh look and feel and more technology to use.
The new format will be launched in the second quarter of this year aimed at young people.
At the same time, the company is set to spend 100 million baht to expand business this year.
The budget will be used to open new Sizzler to-go kiosks and 4-5 new Sizzler restaurants in the second half of this year, bringing total outlets to over 60 in 2022. It also plans to renovate 3-4 existing Sizzler restaurants.
As part of its efforts to stimulate spending, Sizzler has developed its "Loyalty Program E-Member" system of online points collection through its Line Official Account @SizzlerThai and added its latest dishes for customers.
With the business plans, the company expects to grow sales from March to May this year by no less than 30%.