North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


July 7, 2011

Pizza restaurant owner gets in the trenches

WARRIOR — John Pugh is the franchise owner of Buck’s Pizza in Warrior. He doesn’t sit in an office with his feet up, though; Pugh comes in and makes pizza and takes orders just like anyone else at a pizza place.

Pugh has worked at the restaurant since 1999. After a few years of work, Pugh bought the place for himself.

“I knew the owner real well and he offered me the store one day,” he said. “I had always had this thought about wanting to own my own restaurant. I couldn’t say no.”

Pugh said being his own boss has been the best reward from owning and running Buck’s. All Buck’s Pizza locations use the same logos and promotional materials, and the corporate office makes suggestions as to recipes, coupons and sale prices. Other than that, Pugh exercises a lot of control over how the business is run. He said he’s added a lot of things to the menu over the years.

“One of the biggest challenges is making sure an order is right and that everything is up and going the way it should be,” he said. He said the last few years’ drooping economy has led to some slumping sales, and he’s had to be creative with his marketing and sales.

A typical day for Pugh finds him preparing the store to open each morning and making food for orders. He said all of Buck’s pizzas are made with real hand-tossed dough (although they offer a thin-crust pizza, too).

“Personally, I’m mainly a meat person. The meat lover’s is probably my favorite,” he said.

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