Pizza Inn has announced the winner from an internal recipe contest. The new Loaded Baked Potato Pizza features a ranch dressing base; mozzarella, bacon and cheddar mix; sliced potatoes and a finishing sprinkle of chives.

The new item is the winning recipe of Pizza Inn's companywide 2010 Culinary Challenge, a systemwide contest that turned willing employees and franchise owners into one of the largest test kitchens in America. The move seems a variant from recent popular consumer-oriented versions such as Papa John's recent Specialty Pizza Challenge

Chris Cuthbertson, Pizza Inn district manager for two locations in South Carolina, accepted the challenge and combined his love for the all-American baked potato with more than 10 years of knowledge about Pizza Inn's menu. Cuthbertson says he now averages 150 Loaded Baked Potato Pizzas a week on the buffets. The recipe also earned him a trip to the 2010 annual Pizza Inn Franchise Convention in Grapevine, Texas, and $1,000 in cash. His recipe is now served in all Pizza Inn stores.

"Nobody knows our customers and their taste buds better than team members like Chris who serve them every day," said Charlie Morrison, president and CEO of Pizza Inn. "The culinary challenge was our way to honor that talent. And the success of the Loaded Baked Potato Pizza is proof that fantastic ideas can come from within."

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