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Pizza Ranch at 930 Fleetfoot Dr. in Waukesha, courtesy of Tom Strauss[/caption]
Orange City, Iowa-based restaurant chain Pizza Ranch Inc. on Monday opened the doors of its 21st Wisconsin location with a new Waukesha eatery.
Pizza Ranch, which operates over 200 franchise locations in 14 states, is know for its extensive buffet, offering a wide variety of pizza, crispy fried chicken, salads, sides and desserts.
The newly constructed 6,000-square-foot building sits on a once-vacant plot of land at 930 Fleetfoot Dr., just south of the Highway 59/164 and Racine Ave. intersection. The restaurant joins Kwik Trip and a Waukesha State Bank branch as new developments in the area.
With a seating capacity of over 230, the Waukesha restaurant is about a third larger than the nearest Pizza Ranch locations in West Bend and Elkhorn, said Tom Strauss, an owner of the location. He owns the franchise with four other partners, including a consulting firm that is part owner of other Wisconsin-based Pizza Ranch locations.
"We wanted to open a Pizza Ranch because we thought it would be really good fit for Waukesha," Strauss said. "Our real focus is to get involved in the community."
The restaurant houses two event spaces that will be used for community gatherings, business events or other private parties, he said.
As a Christian-based company-- with "to glorify God by positively impacting the world" as its vision statement-- Pizza Ranch franchises frequently hold fundraisers to benefit local community groups such as youth sports teams or nonprofit organizations. During its soft opening last week, Waukesha's Pizza Ranch collected donations for Waukesha-based nonprofit Hope Center, Strauss said.
"Its not just a restaurant, it's so much more, and it's about making an impact on the community," Strauss said.
On a corporate level, Pizza Ranch partners with Minneapolis-based nonprofit Tesfa Foundation, which financially supports literacy and education programs for children in Ethiopia. If you order a cup of coffee at any Pizza Ranch location, a portion of the cost will benefit that cause.
Strauss said additional Pizza Ranch locations are in the works for southeastern Wisconsin, but he couldn't disclose specific details. Plans for those new locations will be rolled out within the next year, he said.
Waukesha's Pizza Ranch is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It joins a handful of restaurants located in or around the greater Milwaukee area in Sheboygan, West Bend, Watertown and Elkhorn.