Local Pizza Ranch employee wins Manager of the YearWORTHINGTON — David Hartzler, manager and part-owner of the Pizza Ranch in Worthington, was surprised to learn he was named Manager of the Year for the entire nine-state Pizza Ranch chain.
WORTHINGTON — David Hartzler, manager and part-owner of the Pizza Ranch in Worthington, was surprised to learn he was named Manager of the Year for the entire nine-state Pizza Ranch chain.
“You don’t know you’re going to get these awards until you get there,” Hartzler said. “I was totally caught off-guard.”
Hartzler and his family attended the awards banquet during the chain’s annual meeting at a resort in Wisconsin Dells when his award was announced.
His first inkling about being Manager of the Year came when Scott Groeneweg, one of Hartzler’s co-owners along with Adrie Groeneweg, went up to the podium. Generally, owners or corporate people announce the name of the manager of the year.
Then Scott started reading the accomplishments of an unnamed Pizza Ranch — how it had cut costs and improved service. It all sounded very familiar to Hartzler.
“I’m always asking for feedback and always looking to get better,” Hartzler said. “We’re constantly training, coaching and retraining. We have a great management staff and great kids working here.”
But the real tip-off for Hartzler was when Scott began reading off the exact numbers and statistics from Worthington’s Pizza Ranch, data which Hartzler was extremely familiar with already. Meanwhile, some of the corporate businesspeople were staring at him.
Scott began listing the service clubs and community efforts Hartzler is involved in: Brewster Community Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitor Bureau, 4-H, Noon Kiwanis and many others. Scott even read some of Hartzler’s emails about the business.
Hartzler doesn’t recall exactly what he said when he reached the podium and received his award, but he was ecstatic and a bit overwhelmed as well as grateful.
“We try to always keep improving and treat our guests the best we can, give them the best service, the best product,” Hartzler said.
Two other area stores also received awards for excellence at the Pizza Ranch’s annual meeting — Jackson Pizza Ranch received a second place unEQualed award for its positive comment cards, store evaluations, survey results and low employee turnover, and Jerry and Vel Sandness received the Rookie of the Year award for the Slayton Pizza Ranch.