Pizza Ranch Franchisee Goals to Create Alternatives for Native Individuals

  • Dennis Johnson, a longtime Pizza Ranch buyer, has opened his first franchise location of the model in Bemidji, Minnesota, and is constructing a second one in Kearney, Nebraska.
  • Johnson believes franchising can open up new financial improvement and job alternatives to Native Individuals.

Might pizza chain franchising be the long run for some Native American entrepreneurs? Dennis Johnson, a member of the Purple Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in northern Minnesota, thinks so.

Johnson is the chief funding officer of Ho Chunk Integrated, an financial improvement agency owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. “We’ve a objective of offering financial improvement and job alternatives to tribal members and diversify earnings for tribes which have [come] to depend on gaming as a essential income supply,” Johnson informed Nation’s Restaurant Information (NRN) lately.

Representing Ho-Chunk, Johnson meets with Native American tribes across the nation to assist them discover new financial alternatives. After assembly with the Purple Lake Nation in Minnesota, he determined to open a Pizza Ranch franchise in Bemidji, 35 miles south of the Purple Lake reservation.

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He’s a longtime buyer of Pizza Ranch, a midwestern model with 211 areas in 14 states. “Bemidji is a bustling financial city and a hub of exercise for north-central Minnesota,” Johnson informed Franchise Occasions. “I might be there for enterprise journeys and lengthy weekends and ask, ‘Why isn’t there a Pizza Ranch right here?’”

The brand new Pizza Ranch location spans 8,400 sq. toes and contains each a restaurant and a FunZone arcade. Johnson stated the restaurant will make use of 60 folks.

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Along with the Purple Lake Nation, there are two different Native American reservations within the Bemidji space—the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the White Earth Nation. Johnson sees his first Pizza Ranch franchise as a place to begin for creating new jobs and alternatives for Native Individuals past the gaming business. He additionally desires to prepare an funding fund to launch extra Native-owned companies.

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Johnson has additionally began development on a further Pizza Ranch retailer in Kearney, Nebraska.

Johnson defined his longterm plan to NRN. “I envision having the ability to assist different tribes comply with this franchising mannequin, as a result of…probably the most frequent questions that the majority of those tribes come right here [with] are, ‘What alternatives do now we have? What may we do? What widget would we promote?’”

“I like franchising,” he informed NRN, “as a result of it takes all of that questioning and thought course of, and it provides you that improvement system and processes and a enterprise mannequin you can simply actually execute and comply with.”

Johnson added that he envisions “having tribal companions sooner or later and serving to tribes develop, whether or not it’s by way of a Pizza Ranch franchise or different areas too. I believe tribes all through the U.S. have a possibility right here to have the ability to execute on a franchise mannequin and take a variety of the danger and unknowns out of the equation.”