A buffet style restaurant is one that entices customers easily with its wide array of food with unlimited servings. With that in mind, if it’s a buffet style franchise you’re looking for that’s out of the ordinary, check out Pizza Ranch. This chain of restaurants is known for its pizza buffet with a salad bar, dessert station, and unlimited helpings of fried chicken.

How much does it cost to open Pizza Ranch? You’re in for a treat because this buffet style pizza chain is open for franchising. You’ll need a liquid capital of $297,000 to $465,000 and a net worth of $1,000,000. The investment range to expect for this pizza chain is $1,135,500 to $3,947,500 and has a franchise fee of $30,000.

Still interested in opening a Pizza Ranch location? Read on to better understand the advantages, challenges, and process to franchise with this pizza buffet. Take our 7-minute franchise quiz to be matched with the right opportunity for your situation. 

Financial Requirements and Fees

Below are the financial requirements that Pizza Ranch is looking for in their interested franchise applicants:

Fees / Expenses Financial Amount
Liquid Capital $297,000 to $465,000
Net Worth $1,000,000
Total Investment $1,135,500 to $3,947,500
Franchise Fee $30,00

For the liquid capital, Pizza Ranch requires minimum liquid cash assets depending on the store that you choose:

  • Retrofit/Leased Space – $297,000 to $406,000
  • Retrofit and owning an existing building and/or new construction ground-up model store – $325,000 to $465,000

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the investment:

Type of Expenditure Low High
Franchise Fee $30,000 $30,000
Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment $622,500 $694,000/td>
Arcade Games $330,000 $360,000
Leasehold Improvements $0 $1,037,100
Construction Costs $1,672,000
Architect / Engineering Fees $46,000 $110,000
Land $900,000
Pre-Opening Training Expenses $51,500 $74,000
Food Used During Team Member Training $7,000 $9,000
Startup Costs $23,500 $43,500
Interest on Pre-Opening Loans $5,000 $35,000
Working Capital (3 months) $20,000 $20,000
Total Initial Investment $1,135,500 $3,947,500

In addition to these requirements, Pizza Ranch also charges for royalty fees and ad royalty fees. The royalty fees are 4% of gross revenues and National Marketing & Production Fund Fees are 2.25%. The term of agreement is 10 years and the franchise is renewable.

Average Sales / Revenue per Year

According to Restaurant Business Online, Pizza Ranch saw revenues of $279 million in the year 2021. The pizza chain has seen an increase in their revenue which was $189 million in 2020.

Pizza Ranch Franchise Facts

Total Units 211
Incorporated Name Pizza Ranch
Franchising Since 1984
Industry Quick Service
Subsector Pizza

Pizza Ranch started in Hull, Iowa in the early 1980s. Founder Adrie Groeneweg was working full time at a welding shop and part time at a pizza place back then when he noticed that there were a lot of people dining at the pizza shop where he worked. He shared the observation with his dad which led them to ask for a loan so that they could buy $16,000 worth of secondhand equipment and a 4,000 square foot building they could renovate into a pizza place of their own.

Though both father and son had no formal experience in the restaurant business, the first Pizza Ranch location was a success and they opened another one in Orange City, Iowa. After two and a half years, a businessman inquired if they were open to franchising. This led them to open a Pizza Ranch in 1984 in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

Pizza Ranch is known for their buffet but it was only being offered one night per week in the early days. According to an interview, Adrie Groeneweg said that a Pizza Ranch owner in South Dakota kept on serving the buffet every night despite being given instructions not to do so. But after seeing the buffet’s success, Groeneweg allowed for the buffet to be served every day. According to him, 80% of Pizza Ranch’s revenue comes from the buffet.

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Pizza Ranch has an extensive pizza menu that’s out of the ordinary. Instead of your usual pepperoni pizza, they offer unique pizza flavors like Chicken Bacon Ranch, BLT, Mac and Cheese, and Chicken Broccoli Alfredo although you might have to check with your nearest Pizza Ranch location since some flavors may not be a regular. They also offer a Create Your Own Pizza that allows customer to choose their crust size, sauce, and toppings. Gluten-Sensitive pizza options are also available.

Pizza Ranch’s chicken is also famous and dubbed as The Country’s Best Chicken. They also offer salads, wings, sides, and desserts like their best-selling Cactus Bread which is cinnamon streusel and icing on a pizza crust. You can also find all of these options on Pizza Ranch’s buffet.

2019 pizza food truck

Did you vote for your favorite pizza?

To franchise Pizza Ranch, fill out the inquiry form here or call them to inquire at 800 321 3401. Once the form is submitted or a call has been made, you can discuss the franchise details with their Franchise Development team and if both you and Pizza Ranch find each other as a good fit, you’ll get to discuss the business and view their Franchise Disclosure Document.

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The confirmation of financial requirements follows. The last steps to franchising a Pizza Ranch includes speaking to one of their franchise owners so you can understand how the business works from the management side of things. You’ll attend their Discovery Day which is all about meeting the leadership team. And if all else is approved, you’ll finally sign the franchise agreement that shows you’re an official Pizza Ranch owner.

According to their website, the qualities that Pizza Ranch is looking for in their franchisees are:

  • Business experience and know-how (restaurant background preferred, but not required)
  • Enthusiasm, people skills, and high energy
  • Sufficient finances and access to funds
  • Alignment with their Vision and Mission which is “To glorify God by positively impacting the world.” and “To give every guest a legendary experience.”
  • Trust and willingness to follow a proven system

Adrie Groeneweg is still Pizza Ranch’s president. The headquarters are still located in Orange City, Iowa.

Is Pizza Ranch a Christian-based Company?

Yes, Pizza Ranch does not shy away from the fact that they believe in and support traditional Christian values. This is one reason they do so much work supporting the local community. Pizza Ranch frequently references the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 10:31 on their website:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. — 1 Corinthians 10:31

You can also submit prayer requests through their website if someone you know is struggling or would like to be prayed for. The restaurant blog also publishes devotional content to individuals who share are religious.

How Much Does Pizza Ranch Make in Profit?

According to Sharpsheets, a Pizza Ranch franchise makes $170,116 on average in profit annually. This has a 13.6% EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) margin.

Advantages of a Pizza Ranch Franchise

A buffet style restaurant like Pizza Ranch that serves unlimited pizza slices and more can bring so many advantages once you franchise with them. Here are a few you can look forward to.

Buffet Style

There is an appeal to customers when it comes to a buffet-style setup. The thought that customers can get as much as they want for a fixed price only can get them to become regulars. Pizza Ranch having a pizza buffet is pretty interesting. Coupled with other items on the menu such as chicken, sides, salad, and dessert seems like a good deal and can rake in more people to dine with them.

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FunZone Arcade

Although not every Pizza Ranch has a FunZone Arcade, many branches do and it’s one of the reasons why people enjoy going to Pizza Ranch. The FunZone Arcade also makes Pizza Ranch a place where not only the adults can enjoy but also where kids can come and have fun.

Build-out Options

Pizza Ranch has flexible build-out options for their franchisees. They have an option to choose a freestanding restaurant or an in-line or end cap one. The size of a Pizza Ranch location is around 4,800 to 6,200 square feet that can seat up to 300 guests. If you would like to add a FunZone arcade to your location, an additional 1,000 to 2,900 square feet is required.


Pizza Ranch isn’t squarely focused on the bottom line. They’re also about giving back to the community. For instance, they have packaged over 500,000 meals for the Kids Against Hunger program. Alongside with Coca Cola, Pizza Ranch has raised $138,000 in scholarships for 84 youth and counting. They also encourage their customers to join the number of fundraising options that they have.


Pizza Ranch has a number of awards to their name. They were featured in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 for the year 2022. They’re also Newsweek’s America’s Best Customer Service in the Buffet Category in 2022.

They’re also the Top Franchise for Franchisee Satisfaction by Franchise Business Review for the year 2023. Aside from being featured by these national brands, they’re also known to be featured locally. For instance, their Hendersonville branch is rated as Best Buffet by Hendersonville Standard. Their Fort Pierre and Red Oak locations are also known for Best Chicken. With these awards and features, you can be sure that Pizza Ranch will be recognized in your town too.

Challenges of a Pizza Ranch Franchise

Does a successful business like Pizza Ranch still pose some challenges? They sure do. Here are a few to expect so you can be prepared for them.


Is a pizza buffet profitable? The answer depends on a variety of factors including the local economy and operations and marketing plan of the buffet. You will need to closely follow policies and work with management and employees to strategically replenish the buffet so you reduce food waste and keep costs low.

Fortunately, Pizza Ranch is doing quite well as of the moment. Before the health crisis, 80% of business sales came from the buffet while 20% were from delivery and carryout orders. The numbers have changed after the pandemic. In 2022, 73% came from sales while 33% came from carryouts due to a shift in some consumer preferences.

pizza on buffet

Pizza on a buffet.

Bad Reviews

Pizza Ranch has suffered from bad reviews from customers. Common complaints include long wait times at the buffet or that pizza or chicken was cold. One even pointed out that the chicken they served was not cooked long enough. Hopefully Pizza Ranch can correct these lapses on their service so that they can provide a better buffet experience. It’s a daily challenge for all restaurants to maintain the quality and cleanliness of food on their buffet.


Pizza Ranch isn’t found everywhere in the United States. They’re located mostly in the Midwest. But if they could branch out to more states and even internationally, they could increase their revenue. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to open a location on the West or East Coasts. The brand recognition for Pizza Ranch is not strong among diners in these parts of the country. As a result, you will need to rely more on your personal marketing and branding efforts.


The total investment to franchise a Pizza Ranch is expensive. As mentioned above it’s $1,135,500 to $3,947,500 and you will need a net worth of $1,000,000. There are also a number of ongoing expenses such as royalty fees to take note of. So unless you don’t have generational wealth or any means to finance this business, the price to franchise a Pizza Ranch is very steep.

Is the Pizza Ranch Franchise Right For You?

A pizza buffet can be appealing to customers and Pizza Ranch looks like it’s the real deal. Not only do they have pizza options but many also praise the chain for its fried chicken, sides, and a soft-serve ice cream bar with a variety of toppings.

If you’re looking for a franchise with this setup, Pizza Ranch can be for you. However, do note that this franchise can be expensive and their locations can be very limited. It’s also best to have a financial advisor or legal advisor to check out the chain’s Financial Disclosure Document with you before signing anything.

What is an alternative Pizza Ranch franchise?

One pizza buffet you can check out is Cici’s Pizza. They have an affordable pizza buffet and a game room as well. They have over 297 locations and have been around since 1987.

To franchise a Cici’s Pizza, expect investments to be around $688,365 to $1,008,415. The franchise fee is $30,000. To know more about how to franchise a Cici’s Pizza, check out our full guide here.

Pizza Ranch looks to be an ideal franchise and we hope this guide was able to help you decide in signing up for one today.