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Franchisees bringing Pizza Ranch to Springfield

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Last edited 1:13 p.m., Feb. 26, 2019

A franchisee group is bringing Pizza Ranch to Springfield, years after the Orange City, Iowa-based chain began eyeing the market.

Doug Kissinger, a partner in a 12-member franchise group, said the Springfield restaurant at Battlefield Mall would follow the opening of its Branson location in October 2018. Kissinger said corporate Pizza Ranch employees began targeting the Springfield market three or four years ago.

“Springfield is a great restaurant town,” he said. “There’s a lot of concepts that have used Springfield as a proving ground. If a restaurant can’t make it in Springfield, really they need to look at the concept.”

Kissinger is the managing member over the Branson restaurant at 1464 Highway 248. He said the group — which operates under different LLCs depending on the restaurant — has 20 franchises, including locations in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Kissinger said the franchise group opened the Branson restaurant with plans to add two locations in Springfield. A second spot in the Queen City hasn’t been determined.

The group is planning to open the Springfield restaurant by the holiday season. The eatery will be located on the east side of the mall facing Glenstone Avenue.

It will take up 6,000 square feet of a 12,000-square-foot project constructed by Wichita, Kansas-based The Law Co. Inc. Construction is in the early stages for the building that replaces the former Ethan Allen store, which was demolished earlier this month. A Battlefield Mall news release issued yesterday did not name any other tenants, only saying the new building would add “fresh retail and restaurant options for the Springfield community to enjoy, with additional announcements in the near future.”

“We’re excited to welcome Pizza Ranch to Battlefield Mall and announce the construction on our new retail development,” Battlefield Mall General Manager Michael Martin said in the release. “The opening of Pizza Ranch and the additional new retailer space is part of our ongoing commitment to provide the local community with the diverse dining, retail and mixed-use offerings they’ve come to expect at Battlefield Mall.”

Springfield Business Journal a week ago reported on the demolition and plans for future tenants in a shell building at the mall. A city building permit puts the estimated cost of the project — adjacent to Dillard’s — at $2 million.

Kissinger said Springfield has a “really diverse, strong economy” led by Missouri State University, Bass Pro Shops, Prime Inc. and others.

“The ups and downs that a lot of economies have, Springfield seems to be a little more bulletproof from that,” he said.

Kissinger said Pizza Ranch is known for its pizza and chicken buffets, as well as salad bars. He said customers can request their favorite pizzas when they walk in the door and have the first chance to grab a slice before the meal hits the buffet.

Pizza Ranch, according to the Battlefield Mall release, has 214 corporate-owned and franchise-operated restaurants. It also has Missouri restaurants in Kansas City, Independence, Liberty, Maryville and St. Joseph.

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brendacrebs@missouristate.edu

Why can't we get something a little more diverse and upscale at Battlefield Mall, something that would drive customers in, not just food court feed the ones already there. Like, Cheesecake Factory or Bonefish Grille??? We need some seafood options that aren't all FRIED!

Tuesday, February 26
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