Pizza Sauce in Her Veins

Lily Zboril doesn’t just work at a Pizza Hut® restaurant. It’s her life’s work. And recently, her years of dedication were awarded at Pizza Hut’s Spring Meeting Awards Dinner, where franchisees gathered to learn, network and celebrate the restaurant managers who make the Pizza Hut® brand successful. Zboril won the 2021 Achievement Award for the highest sales volume systemwide for a dine-in Pizza Hut restaurant, known in the business as a “Red Roof,” for the second year in a row. She’s been making an impact for many years.

Zboril’s Pizza Hut career spans five decades. She started in 1986 as a server at the Brenham, Texas Pizza Hut restaurant. After some cross-training, she transferred to the Caldwell, Texas location, operated by Four PZ Pizza, Inc., and became a full-time cook and the restaurant’s certified dough master before stepping into the assistant manager role. In 1996, she took a couple of years off to focus on her children and family before returning to the Caldwell restaurant management team in 1998.

Then, with some encouragement from her coaches, she became the restaurant general manager in 2013, and she hasn’t looked back. Excelling at her work is Zboril’s strong suit, so it’s no surprise that she’s earned 100% of her bonus each year for the last eight years!

How does she do it?

She sets high standards for customer service and makes sure that her team’s products are the best. She increased sales by 50 percent over 12 years in a town of 4,000 people. Zboril is well known in the community as Miss Pizza Hut as she wears her Pizza Hut-branded attire on and off the job. She holds a hay ride each year for a class of special education students and brings them to the restaurant afterward for pizza. She’s even invited elementary school classes into the restaurant to teach them what it’s like to work at a Pizza Hut restaurant.

Franchise Owners of Four PZ Pizza, Inc., Phillip Patranella (left) and Mike Patranella (right) present Lily Zboril (center) with an award earlier in her career

Her work ethic is unmatched. She wants to be at her restaurant every day to make sure the customer gets the best food and service. Zboril has taken on many other challenges helping in other local restaurants, training other managers and leading area training.

Lily, what was it like to attend the conference and win the award?

“It made me feel like I was a big wig for three days! Winning the award put me on cloud nine. I have always wanted to win an award for Mike Patranella and Phillip Patranella (owners of Four PZ Pizza, Inc.), so to win not one but two years in a row, I was speechless. When I walked down any hall, everyone knew my name and was congratulating me, it made me feel so proud to work for Four PZ Pizza and one of their Pizza Hut® restaurants. One of my new goals is to develop a general manager and bring them to the conference to win another award, just like I got to experience. It was so amazing.”

What drives your dedication to your job?   

“The reason I thrive at my job is that I have never had anyone believe in me like Mike and Phillip do. They give me the tools to be successful and encourage me to make it count. I go into each day aiming to make a difference, to go above and beyond, and try to make it a good experience for my guests. If someone says I can’t complete something, it makes me want it even more.”

Still growing

In her new role as an area coach, she will continue to spread the love and care she has for pizza, service, and the Pizza Hut® brand with everyone she meets. What good fortune to have a dedicated brand ambassador like Lily Zboril.

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