KOLO ATE: Pizza Plus
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Pizza Plus is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
“It really is about community,” said CEO Daniel Blake. “And a lot of people that come in now are former customer’s kids. With their kids.”
They’ve become a local favorite for their pizza and chicken wings.
“The combo of selling the pizza with the wings I think is really what’s brought a lot of people to us,” added Blake.
They go through a lot of them, averaging about 1,800 large pizzas alone every weekend at their Oddie Boulevard location in Sparks. And they may just have the biggest pizza in town.
“As soon as they see the pizza come out, one person carrying it and puts it in the middle of the table, you can see everybody’s face,” said Sal Garcia, the Head of Operations.
The “Monster Mondo” pizza is 24 inches, and weighs between 10-12 pounds, depending on the toppings. There’s even a challenge: If two people can finish it in an hour, they get it for free.
“The record is held by a lady, who ate it by herself in 28 minutes,” exclaimed Blake.
Those that do finish it get a t-shirt and their picture hung on the wall.
But their chicken wings are just as big of a draw, earning awards for the sauces. They go through about 700,000 pounds per year at the four locations combined.
“People just rave about the ranch,” pointed out Blake. “They love the ranch.”
Customers typically buy extra ranch, sold in 8 oz. containers. They went through over eight thousand of them on Super Bowl Sunday alone.
“What makes it better is our secret ingredient,” added Garcia. “That’s what makes it better, you know.”
That ingredient remains a secret. All that’s been revealed is it was found in Las Vegas thirty years ago and added to the recipe.
It’s the beloved food and loyal customers that have kept Pizza Plus profitable during a difficult 2020.
“We were very fortunate to already have a model that worked with this pandemic,” explained Blake.
“We hired delivery drivers. We offered curbside pickup,” added Garcia. “Customers didn’t even need to come in.”
“We were set up for it; we were fortunate. A lot of businesses were not,” continued Blake. “We kept busy whole time; kept all of our employees.”
They’re also currently hiring. The Reno restaurant is located on Mae Anne Avenue, while their three Sparks locations are at Oddie Boulevard, Prater Way and Vista Boulevard.
They also give back to the community, providing “Fundraiser Cards” to local youth sports teams and organizations. They have raised $155,000 for them in just the last four years.
“We’ve always had that connection with Pop Warner, Tee-ball and soccer,” said Blake. “We’re part of the community.”
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