In 1961-1962, Nicholas Pascarella was traveling the US in search of cheap land on which to build a restaurant. His car had a flat tire in Augusta, Georgia. The employees at the tire repair shop convinced Pascarella that he should purchase land there to build his restaurant.
The first Western Sizzlin Buffet restaurant opened in Agusta, Georgia, in February 1962. Today, the company has about 46 franchises in 13 states and is best known for its unique steaks.
Pascarella believed that “If searing the bottom of the steak made it juicy, adding flames to the top would make them twice as good.” This lead to the company’s renowned searing process trademarked as the FlameKist steak.
Due to the coronavirus, some franchisees were forced to close permanently in 2020.
The company operates as a subsidiary of Biglari Holdings, which is owned by the current CEO Sardar Biglari. Biglari Holdings also owns the Steak N Shake restaurant chain.
Western Sizzlin maintains a corporate office in Roanoake, Virginia.