THE COLONY, Texas, Oct. 11, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pizza Inn, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZI) is celebrating National Pizza Month this October with a new item on its menu: the Loaded Baked Potato Pizza.
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An instant hit with customers, the Loaded Baked Potato Pizza features Pizza Inn's signature made from scratch dough; a ranch dressing base; a mozzarella, bacon and cheddar mix; sliced potatoes and a finishing sprinkle of chives when it delivers fresh out of the oven.
The culinary sensation is also the winning recipe of Pizza Inn's companywide 2010 Culinary Challenge – a contest unveiled this year that turned willing employees and franchise owners into one of the largest and most innovative test kitchens in America.
Chris Cuthbertson, of Greenville, S.C., accepted the challenge and combined his love for the All-American baked potato with more than 10 years of knowledge about Pizza Inn's menu. Cuthbertson, who began his career a decade ago as a dishwasher at Pizza Inn, admits he learned to cook at an early age. But he never entered a contest in his life . . . until now.
Over the years, Cuthbertson worked his way up to assistant manager, general manager and now serves as district manager over two locations in South Carolina. He also saw what worked on the menu with Pizza Inn's customers.
"I love baked potatoes," Cuthbertson said. "I thought to myself, why don't we have a baked potato pizza?" With access to some savory ingredients and the ability to test recipes on the buffets in his stores, the experiment was set.
Today, Cuthbertson said he now averages 150 Loaded Baked Potato Pizzas a week on the buffets. The recipe also earned him a trip to the 2010 annual Pizza Inn Franchise Convention in Grapevine, Texas, bragging rights as the contest winner and $1,000 in cash. He can hardly believe his recipe is now served at all Pizza Inn stores.
"Nobody knows our customers and their taste buds better than team members like Chris who serve them every day," said Charlie Morrison, president and CEO of Pizza Inn. "The culinary challenge was our way to honor that talent. And the success of the Loaded Baked Potato Pizza is proof that fantastic ideas can come from within."
About Pizza Inn
Headquartered in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, TX, Pizza Inn, Inc., is an international pizza chain featuring traditional and specialty pizzas, as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches, and desserts. Founded in 1958, publicly traded Pizza Inn (Nasdaq:PZZI) franchises approximately 315 restaurants and directly owns and operates four restaurants. For more information, please visit .
Pizza Inn is seeking single- and multi-unit franchisees to help grow the company's network of restaurants in the region. More information on franchise opportunities with Pizza Inn is available at or by contacting Dino Chavez, Director of Franchise Development, at (800) 284-3466.
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