Western Sizzlin Posts Profits, Unveils Expansion Plan

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Roanoke, Virginia-Western Sizzlin Corp. overcame a loss in the third quarter that ended September 30 and posted its second straight quarter of gains. Executives said they plan to expand. James Verney, president and CEO of the company, said the steak and buffet chain is working on a five-year strategy to build new franchise stores.

In October, Western Sizzlin Corp. changed its name from Austins Steaks and Saloon after those stores closed. The chain has seven company and 164 franchise stores in 22 states, under the names Western Sizzlin, Western Sizzlin Wood Grill and Great American Steak & Buffet Co. Four of the franchise stores are in the Roanoke Valley.

Western Sizzlin plans to use the next year to rebuild. A proxy battle in 2002 in which shareholders sought to oust board members, including former CEO and president Vic Foti, cost the company at least $450,000. -The Roanoke Times

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