From 17th Street, drivers can see the well-known chain restaurant Pizza Ranch, where patrons have an opportunity to try the famous broasted chicken, various types of pizza and other sides.
Hutchinson’s Pizza Ranch constitutes unique compared to other franchised locations; as for the company as a whole, Hutchinson’s Pizza Ranch holds the record for opening sales out of every site in the nation, spanning 15 states and more than 50 individual restaurants.
In December, the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce named Hutchinson’s Pizza Ranch as Small Business of the Month, noting its commitment to serving their community and employee retention.
A Midwest chain focused on its community
Chico Lopez, the general manager and one of the location owners, said employees enjoy working for the business. Often, employees’ family members will work after they’ve moved to other companies.
“The philosophy that Dick, Dianne and myself have is we want people to be successful,” Lopez said. “Sometimes, our best employees move onto bigger and better things, so if we want them to be successful, sometimes that’s not in pizza.”
Pizza Ranch opened in Hutchinson in March 2013. After purchasing the location where Red Lobster used to stand, Dianne Kovarna and her husband, Dick Kovarna, began building a Pizza Ranch for Hutchinson.
Dick Kovarna enjoyed the franchise in his hometown, and after he and his wife moved to Hutchinson, they saw an opportunity to begin a franchise in Kansas.
“The broasted chicken was a first for Hutchinson, but our family atmosphere sets us apart from others,” Dianne Kovarna said.
Lopez said community involvement was essential to Pizza Ranch from day one; after purchasing the location and planning a demolition project, Lopez and the Kovarnas partnered with the fire science program and Hutchinson Community College to train firefighters in roof entrance practice.
Roof entrance can be difficult to practice with, as the necessary components involve a building where firefighters can tear the roof apart to enter the structure to save people.
Today, Pizza Ranch partners with local community organizations, like providing pizza lunches for schools in the region and the Hutchinson Food Pantry, Lopez said, continuing their commitment to community service.