May 24, 2006 - No one knows Pizza Patrón quite like Raquel Merino-Finley. Her career with the brand started in 1994 and through drive, determination and hard work, she has climbed every level of Pizza Patrón’s ladder from pizza maker to store manager to area supervisor to franchisee.
Raquel started with Pizza Patrón as a pizza maker 12 years ago. Immediately recognizing her talents and rewarding her hard work, Merino-Finley was promoted to the front of house where she became an expert at caring for customers. In 1998, she became co-manager of a Pizza Patrón location and was quickly given her own store to manage in 1999 after demonstrating her leadership and management capabilities. Raquel then moved on to manage Pizza Patrón’s highest-volume store for more than three years before joining the corporate team and opening her own stores.
Merino-Finley’s ties with Pizza Patrón stretch back even further than her 12 years. Her husband, Randy, was Pizza Patrón’s first employee when the first restaurant opened in 1986. He started as a part-time employee at the age of 15 and has worked his way up as well.
Born in a small town in Chihuahua, Mexico, Raquel was raised with the intrinsic drive that has propelled her down the road of success.
“I believe you can achieve anything with hard work,” said Raquel. “It is not easy to run your own business, you have to work very hard and pour your heart into it.”
Raquel would know. Not only has she been the supervisor of the five company-owned, Pizza Patrón restaurants since September 2004, she and her husband also own three Dallas-area Pizza Patrón restaurants of their own.
In addition to her duties as area supervisor for the company-owned stores, she oversees operations for all of the Dallas / Fort Worth area locations, assists with new store openings in various cities, aids with events and special activities and helps rollout new products in the stores.
“I believe very strongly in the brand and the concept. Pizza Patrón has always been about respect. Respecting the community and respecting the employees. I carry that message with me in my stores and every store I visit. When Pizza Patrón sees a good employee they take care of them and empower them within the company,” said Raquel.
“Pizza Patrón’s customers are very loyal,” said Raquel. “They feel comfortable visiting the store - comfortable with the language, with the environment and with the concept. No pizza chain reaches out to connect to the Hispanic community the way Pizza Patrón does and it resonates with the culture of our customers. They appreciate value, service and loyalty. We have shown loyalty to their culture and they have shown loyalty back to us.”
About Pizza Patrón:
Pizza Patrón was founded by Antonio Swad in 1986. Since franchising began in March 2003, the brand has gone from four locations to 141, either open or under development. Pizza Patrón features fun and festive carryout-only pizza stores that are community based in Spanish speaking or predominately Hispanic neighborhoods and recently added its first dine-in location in May 2005. All pizza dough is made fresh throughout the evening; no preservatives are added or needed. The sauce is prepared using only fresh-packed crushed Roma tomatoes and a proprietary blend of spices and herbs, and only 100 percent mozzarella is used. Whole and half pizzas are offered at prices as low as $4.99 for a large pizza with cheese and one topping and $3.49 for the same half pizza. A large “La Patrona” pizza with everything is only $7.99. For more information, visit www.pizzapatron.com.
View Company Website: http://www.pizzapatron.com