There’s a small, unassuming pizza pub in suburban Chicago called Nick’s Pizza Pub that continues to have a huge impact on its surrounding community. This one of a kind restaurant was founded by Nick Sarillo in 1995, with the purpose of providing his community, “an unforgettable place; to connect with your family and friends, to have fun and to feel at home!”
I’m proud to call Nick a friend and the more that I learn about the evolution of his brand, the greater my appreciation grows for his unique approach. There are countless values that distinguish Nick’s, but three quickly rise to the top for me – first and foremost is the dignified manner in which he treats his employees. To him, each member of his team is a member of his family, and as such, is entitled to be heard. Next is his passionate connection to his community. It’s rare that a week goes at Nicks without some kind of a community celebration – whether it’s a little league team or a new business, Nick wants to contribute.
Finally, its Nick’s openness to sharing his knowledge. Through Nick’s University, every facet of his business becomes a learning opportunity for others to model and internalize. Ask any member of the staff, what it’s like to work at Nicks, and you’ll likely hear the word – “family.” O.C. Tanner’s David Sturt has spend the majority of his professional career studying such work environments. In his book, Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love, he describes how difference makers like Nick think, and it starts with how they reframe their role.