Austin wrangles in Pizza Ranch

Published 8:25 am Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pizza Ranch officials have announced plans to move into the building in Austin previously occupied by Cash Wise. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin’s busiest retail district will likely welcome another player in June.

Pizza Ranch, a Midwest chain of buffets with 155 stores throughout nine states, will add another store when it opens for business in the old Cashwise building.

Ryan Achterhoff, chief administrative officer of Pizza Ranch, is excited about the location in Austin and believes it offers several benefits to all businesses there.

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The location — near businesses like Applebee’s, Target and Walmart — should expose the buffet to a lot of traffic. And it also gives consumers another option for food. Achterhoff thinks that’s a benefit for all businesses because people would be more likely to go to that area of town when hungry.

The only hurdle the company is facing at this point is construction costs. Achterhoff said it’s a little too early to release every detail about the upcoming venue. If things go smoothly, however, they should select a construction company and get things underway by early March.

“We’re really excited in being part of revitalizing that area,” Achterhoff said about the vacant portion of the retail district. “We’re excited to be one of the first ones to step up and be there. It may bring in some new retailers.”

Achterhoff also mentioned how Pizza Ranch is different from other places. Although it’s a pizza buffet, one of its biggest draws is its chicken.

“We just really have an outstanding chicken product,” he said. The company also delivers food and has a drive-up window.

Operation will likely be similar to other Pizza Ranches, with lunch hours from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., dinner hours from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., and delivery from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. And with its location and customer base, Achterhoff said they will likely employ 6 to 7 full timers and roughly 50 part timers.

Although Achterhoff wants the business to be open in mid-May, he is banking on everything to be ready sometime in June.