PIERRE (SD) – The South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA) has recognized the Pizza Ranch restaurant on 41st Street in Sioux Falls with its annual Community Service Award. Presented in conjunction with the organization’s 125th annual meeting in Pierre, the award recognizes a business that goes above and beyond to give back to the residents of the community it serves.
This enterprising restaurant has consistently been the top Pizza Ranch in the nation, and enjoys a reputation for community service, including weekly community fundraisers. When a tornado destroyed the business in September 2019, the owners knew they would be closed for an extended period. A good insurance package meant they could continue paying their staff of 105 during the rebuild. Wanting to keep the team engaged during the downtime, the owners decided to boost their volunteer efforts in the community.
“We took a bad situation of being closed and said we’re not going to be able to see each other, but let’s get together once a month and do something for the community,” says co-owner Todd Pharis.
Volunteer projects included blood drives, packaging food for Feeding South Dakota, serving meals at St. Francis House, assisting the Laundry with Love program, delivering food and toys for Sioux Falls Cares, and building homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Getting employees to turn up was easy, says co-owner Mark Moeller.
“We would just send out messages on Facebook or Hot Schedules - where we do our scheduling and we would get 30 or 40 people in a heartbeat.”
Giving back to the community is one of the pillars of the Pizza Ranch franchise. That effort increased during the 15 months the Sioux Falls restaurant was closed, and they have continued those efforts since re-opening.
“We really saw how positive it is not just for the community but for our crew,” said co-owner Mike Pharis. “It’s a great way for us to go beyond pizza and chicken and really give back to the community.”
The South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA) is one of the nation’s oldest and largest trade organizations, operating as the South Dakota Restaurant, Grocers, and Hospitality associations and representing more than 4,000 businesses. Learn more about SDRA’s support for South Dakota’s business community online at sdra.org or find them on Facebook.