As the old saying goes, “if the shoe fits.” And that’s just the case for Brandon, South Dakota’s 70-plus crew members at Pizza Ranch, who will soon be sporting new, custom-made Nike shoes, valued at $125 each, as the winners of this year’s Pizza Ranch “Crew of the Year” award.
Pizza Ranch, the Midwest’s buffet chain featuring pizzas, fresh salads, and the “Country’s Best Chicken,” named the Brandon “ranch hands” the “Crew of the Year” at the company’s recent convention in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. With the honor, Pizza Ranch is investing nearly $10,000 in the crew through the purchase of Pizza Ranch–branded Nike shoes.
“The Brandon restaurant’s crew consistently demonstrates our motto to ‘Be Legendary’ with their selflessness, extraordinary guest service, and exceptional food,” says Adrie Groeneweg, cofounder and president of Pizza Ranch Inc. “The ‘Crew of the Year’ honor shows our sincere appreciation for their outstanding effort.”
More practical than a plaque or medal, the shiny new shoes can be worn proudly while at work or away from Brandon’s Pizza Ranch restaurant.
The location’s crew members and managers have shaped the restaurant into a favorite for local families, school groups, and other community organizations during Pizza Ranch’s 20-plus years in Brandon. In addition, the business has cemented itself as a community ally, becoming involved in several local neighborhood organizations and events.
“Commitment, attitude, and awareness are just some of the many positive qualities that our crew brings to the table each day,” says Darrell Vander Esch, co-owner of Brandon’s Pizza Ranch. “Our team members have made a commitment to each other and to every guest that walks through the door—and it shows.”
A panel of judges reviewed nominations from Pizza Ranch locations contending for the award. The Brandon location’s crew was chosen from a collection of strong candidates for the “Crew of the Year” award.
Regularly one of the top performing restaurants in the Pizza Ranch chain, the Brandon store noted several measured improvements on its nomination form for the award, including comment card scores, secret shopper scores, employee survey results, and store evaluations.