SOUTH HUTCHINSON – Gambino’s Pizza in South Hutchinson has been around since 2004 and in 2014 Hank Yoder purchased the franchise with his wife Joan. Their son left his full-time job to be a manager of the restaurant. In 2018, the Yoder’s purchased the Sterling Gambino’s franchise and Jarod became a co-owner with his parents of both locations. What started as a small family business has grown to 2 locations and 49 employees.
Besides having delicious pizzas, sandwiches, and salad bar for the community to enjoy, the Yoder’s believe quality and service are the main attribute of the company. They work on giving the customer what they want, even including making delivery to areas that are typically too far away for that service. They will even run with extra staff just to keep customers from having to wait. For many of their employees, Gambino’s is their first job. They take the time to work with and train them on their job and as well as good work ethic and practices. Gambino’s owns all of their delivery vehicles.
Like most, Covid has been one of the biggest challenges in their business. While the buffet was closed down, they had significantly more walk-in traffic and expanded delivery. Delivery service is one of the fastest growing parts of their business. Food costs and supply chain issues are also challenges, so being part of a franchise has been valuable in these areas. Finding quality employees can also be challenging, but when they do find good ones, often they will bring in or refer others into the business.
Job satisfaction and the value of doing a good job is promoted to their employees, the Gambino’s franchise offers 15 different scholarships to employees. From 2019 – 2021, $26,000 was awarded to employees’ franchise-wide. The Yoder’s also cross-train their employees, preparing them for more responsibility in the business and have been fortunate to have employees stay with them for 5-6 years instead of just one or two years.
Gambino’s faithfully gives back to the community by offering every Friday night as a fundraising night for schools, clubs, or churches, and have had special events for community members struggling with health issues. They provide special pricing for schools and service organizations. They also provide free meals to emergency services. Recently they fed over 100 people during the fires on the east side of Hutchinson.
At the end of the day, the Yoder’s believe good people deserve rewarded and appreciated. They know their success is because of their employees, customers, and community.
Thank you, Yoder family for all you do for your employees and our community!
If you know of a deserving small business, we encourage you to nominate them for this award. Requirements for consideration are Chamber membership, in business for at least three years, and 40 or fewer employees. Call the Chamber of Commerce 620-662-3391 for more information.