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OUR VIEW: Congratulations Johnny’s Pizza in West Point

The restaurant business is one of the toughest, most competitive businesses in the free market. With the amount of options, any restaurant must stand out in a crowd. From food quality, service, ambiance and overall appeal, the standards have been set high for what makes a restaurant great and what determines whether or not you want to return.

As we approach what some would refer to as award season, one local business just received its 2019 award.

As we reported in our Saturday edition, Ben Hamilton and his team at Johnny’s Pizza in West Point was honored with a visit from franchise owner Luke Jackson. Jackson made his way to West Point to surprise Hamilton and other Johnny’s team members with the 2019 Store of the Year award.

Franchise awards are usually given out in March, but due to COVID-19 the annual franchise meeting canceled, and the makeup date for the meeting was also canceled in September. That’s why the award is just now being given out, just weeks before we start a new year.

Regardless of the timing, the most important thing is that our little slice of life was on top of more than 70 stores nationwide.

“We can’t do this without the staff,” Hamilton said. “I don’t take credit for this. I put this all on our staff. Without them, this doesn’t happen. Some people have congratulated me, and it’s not a me award. This is a Johnny’s award, so this is a Johnny’s Pizza in West Point award. Without them, it’s impossible.”

Johnny’s in West Point celebrated its 10 year anniversary earlier this year. The franchise was started in 2010 by Hamilton’s parents. At the time, West Point was a smaller town and restaurants struggled to stay in business on the square. Now, Johnny’s is a staple in downtown West Point.

“It really is very rewarding, and I’m honored to receive it,” Hamilton said. “When we opened in 2010, this was something that we dreamed of, but definitely thought was unattainable because of where we were. We’re in a small town, we’re not able to do the sales that some stores do, and we’re only open six days a week. For us to get that, it means a lot, it truly does. It shows what a small town can do.”

The year 2020 was especially challenging for restaurants across the country. Hamilton and his staff at Johnny’s stayed proactive to make sure his staff and the community remained safe while still being able to enjoy some of the best food in West Point, so to us, it’s not surprising that Johnny’s Pizza in West Point is the best there is.

Johnny’s in West Point also won the award for the highest customer feedback rating, which the store has won four years in a row.

Many of our staff members here at Valley Times-News frequent Johnny’s, and it is clear why that is, not just because of its proximity to this office, but the food quality, excellent service and friendly dining setting.

While we doubt anyone reading this has not taken in a meal from Johnny’s, if there happens to be someone out there, please, take a trip into West Point and see what the rest of the Johnny’s world is now striving to be.

Congratulations to Hamilton and the entire staff of Johnny’s Pizza in West Point. We wish you nothing but continued success.