Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

Delivery man

Pizza Hut’s Scheibler comes through for Chamber

January 26, 2006

As Steve Scheibler talked during the mid-afternoon lull at the De Soto Pizza Hut, his eyes kept wandering to two customers in the far corner.

Finally, the restaurant's general manager excused himself to sprint across the room, asking the customers what they wanted to order.

Scheibler's attention to those in need and dedication to service isn't limited to the Pizza Hut, De Soto Chamber of Commerce executive director Sara Ritter said. She remembered a get-together the De Soto Chamber had last summer for other area chambers at Kill Creek Farm. Just as the event was starting, a thunderstorm rolled in.

"Without being asked, Steve escorted women arriving to the barn with his umbrella," she said. "He's been tremendously supportive of the Chamber."

That kind of extra effort earned Scheibler the De Soto Chamber's Business Person of the Year Award Saturday at the organization's annual dinner. In presenting the award, 2005 Chamber President Dustin Baker cited Scheibler's participation with the Chamber's ambassador program, his help with Chamber mixers and other functions and support the local Pizza Hut gave to De Soto schools and civic organizations.

Scheibler didn't see the umbrella incident as anything special. He was at the networking event with an umbrella so it was only natural he would help well-dressed women stay dry, he said.

Scheibler said his service to the Chamber came from his respect for the work it does and the opportunities Chamber events give him to network and keep abreast of community happenings. He appreciated the work the Chamber and De Soto Economic Development Council do to support economic development.

Economic development and growth pay off at his restaurant, Scheibler said, as new industry and rooftops bring more customers, he said.

"Construction workers especially," Scheibler said of his noon customers. "My day workers have regulars who keep coming back. Heike (Goleman) has customers who come back day after day."

Those kinds of relationships were part of the safe, family atmosphere the restaurant nurtures, Scheibler said.

"My socialization in De Soto is hanging out with my customers," he said.

In the seven years since the De Soto Pizza Hut opened under Scheibler's management, growth has also made a noticeable difference in the restaurant's delivery business that extends west to Eudora and east to K-7, Scheibler said.

"You can really tell the difference with all the houses going up," he said.

Growth can also bring competition. But Scheibler said he was secure enough in Pizza Hut's recognition and product to welcome competition.

"Competition is fun and makes us better," he said. "My crew tries to make each pizza the most important thing. We're not perfect, but we try to improve.

"I love working with kids, and these kids here are really, really good to work with."

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