Midwest buffet chain Pizza Ranch is giving "branding" a whole new meaning -- one that applies to the feet of their employees. The company has named the Brandon, S.D., "ranch hands" as the Crew of the Year at the company's recent convention in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

That honor will bring the Brandon crew $10,000 worth of Pizza Ranch-branded Nike shoes from the parent company.  The store's 70-plus crew members will soon be sporting the new shoes, valued at $125 each.

“The Brandon restaurant’s crew consistently demonstrates our motto to ‘Be Legendary’ with their selflessness, extraordinary guest service and exceptional food,” said Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder and president of Pizza Ranch Inc. “The ‘Crew of the Year’ honor shows our sincere appreciation for their outstanding effort.”

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.

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.

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