Pizza Ranch

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Pizza Ranch, Inc.
Industry Restaurants
Founded Hull, Iowa, U.S. (1981)[1]
Headquarters Orange City, Iowa, U.S.
Key people
Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder[2]
Lawrence Vander Esch, co-founder[3]
Products Pizza, Chicken
Revenue US$138.121 million[4]

The Pizza Ranch, Inc., founded in 1981,[5] is a "fast casual" restaurant chain. Pizza Ranch offers pizza, chicken, a salad bar, and a pizza and chicken buffet.[6] Pizza Ranch has over 200 locations[7] in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Pizza Ranch is the largest regional pizza franchise in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.[8]


The first restaurant opened December 21, 1981, in Hull, Iowa.[9][10] The six original house pizzas were the Roundup (deluxe), Sweet Swine (Hawaiian), Texan Taco, Bronco (meat lover's), Prairie (veggie lover's) and Sagebrush. Initially, Pizza Ranch only offered a Tuesday night buffet, while the rest of the dining hours were for take-out or dine-in orders. The second Pizza Ranch opened in Orange City in 1983,[11] where the first noon buffet was introduced. In 1987, with the addition of a Sioux City restaurant, the menu expanded to offer chicken.[citation needed]

Pizza Ranch has grown over the years and now has franchises in thirteen states. Pizza Ranch's specialties are their pizza and chicken.[12] Their headquarters, formerly located in Hull, Iowa, is currently located in Orange City, Iowa.[13][14]

Pizza Ranch is a Christian-based company.[2][8] The Pizza Ranch vision is "To glorify God by positively impacting the world we live in."[15]

The chain has become a popular stop for conservative presidential candidates during the Iowa caucuses.[16][17]

In 2012, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney refused to eat at Pizza Ranch because of the co-founders history of molesting minors. Romney's strategist David Kochel cited Vander Esch's conviction as the reason why the candidate would not eat at the restaurant[18].

Sexual Assault[edit]

Lawrence Vander Esch, one of the co-founders Pizza Ranch, pleaded guilty in 2001 to molesting at least three teenage boys. It is thought his crimes occurred over a period of at least 19 years[19]. He was denied parole in 2005 after testimony from one of his victims stating that Vander Esch duped young boys by asking them for sperm in an experiment he was conducting[20].


In March 2016, Pizza Ranch was linked to an E-Coli outbreak, stemming from their dessert offerings.[21] Subsequently, lawsuits were filed by victims and their families; one of the victims being an eight-year-old girl from Nebraska.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dreeszen, Dave (September 12, 2012). "Pizza Ranch to add Sioux City location". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Semuels, Alana (December 26, 2011). "Easy as pie: Iowa's campaign trail runs through Pizza Ranch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ Dreeszen, Dave (January 8, 2012). "Why Romney didn't dine at a 'Ranch'". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Pizza Ranch Inc Revenue and Financial". Hoovers. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  5. ^ Askew, John (September 17, 2007). "Meanwhile at the Pizza Ranch…". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, Wally (November 23, 2013). "Range Line to be home of still more pizza". Joplin Globe. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Eggmeier, Pam (January 22, 2017). "Pizza Ranch set to open Monday in Sterling". The Prairie Advocate. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Dreeszen, Dave (January 7, 2012). "Pizza Ranch again blazes trail to White House". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ Viccaro, Eric (May 26, 2010). "In part, Madsen owns local Pizza Ranch spot". Sioux County Index Reporter. New Century Press. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ Turner, Terry (March 4, 2004). "Pizza Ranch opens in Sergeant Bluff". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ Anderson, Doug; Schlak, Tim; Grond, Greta; Kaltenbach, Sarah (2014). Orange City: Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781467111584. 
  12. ^ Korbelink, Jeff (February 27, 2014). "Pizza Ranch offers pizza AND chicken". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Gearino, Dan (November 18, 2005). "Pizza Ranch gets state loan for move". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ Oechslin, Russ (April 27, 2008). "Pizza Ranch grows into eight states". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ Wallenfang, Maureen (July 3, 2013). "The Buzz: Pizza Ranch rounds up its newest restaurant". Post-Crescent. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ Yadron, Danny (December 24, 2011). "Pie in Sky: The Iowa Pizza Circuit". The Wall Street Journal. p. A6. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ Howley, Kerry (March 11, 2011). "The Road to the White House is paved with pizza". New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  18. ^, Dave Dreeszen. "Why Romey didn't dine at a 'Ranch'". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved 2017-08-11. 
  19. ^ "Vander Esch Guilty of Sexual Abuse". KELOLAND News. Retrieved 2017-08-11. 
  20. ^ Times, Quad-City. "Pizza Ranch founder is denied parole". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2017-08-11. 
  21. ^ Leys, Tony (March 16, 2016). "Pizza Ranch linked to E. Coli outbreak in nine states". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  22. ^ Maricle, Kelly (March 30, 2016). "Another Lawsuit Filed in Pizza Ranch E. Coli outbreak". Retrieved March 31, 2016. 

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