Nick Sarillo

Entrepreneur, Speaker & Author Of "A Slice Of The Pie: How To Build A Big Little Business"
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Program Descriptions

Have you ever tipped your server a $1000 for a $35 restaurant bill? At Nick’s Pizza and Pub restaurants this has happened four times. Nick Sarillo’s compelling and surreal “It’s A Wonderful Life” story about an everyday business that was able to rally and unite an entire community serves as a great example of how clearly defining your company’s purpose and values can create a world-class culture of customer service in any organization and any industry. Enhancing customer service starts with turning your employees into leaders rather than followers. At Nick’s, the word “customer” is actually not part of the language; instead the goal is to create meaningful “guests” relationships and experiences that go beyond a single monetary transaction. Similarly, Nick’s does not have a “staff” hired to perform mind-numbing tasks. Instead Nick’s dynamic “team” of leaders work together as a dedicated family, utilizing their purpose and set of values to find solutions on their own. In this session, gain Nick’s real-life examples of how to set your team up for success and provide “Unforgettable Guest Experiences.”

Today’s ever-changing business environment requires a new type of leader to be more effective in the way we communicate and develop our people. In this session, be inspired to shift from the dated command-and-control style of leadership and join the Trust and Track Leadership™ movement. The restaurant industry is known for having 150-200 percent employee turnover rates. With almost 200 team members, Nick’s Pizza & Pub maintains less than a 25 percent turnover annually. How can that be? Being a Trust and Track Leader means operating in an environment of trust and having the ability to lead company culture, not just tell people what to do. Using real life experiences, Nick shares how to create a meaningful place to work where leaders are coaches that build and inspire their team.

Millennials and Gen Z (under the age of 19) has brought unique workforce opportunities. They expect to “feel” heard and want a spot at the table. They expect to be mentored and recognized. At Nick’s Pizza & Pubs restaurants, millennials lead the way – not only do they represent more than 70% of the workforce, they are great leaders and strongly contribute to the bottom line. Nick’s operates a “Business as a School” with processes based on company purpose and values for hiring, onboarding/training, feedback, recognition and more. Come and learn how you too can successfully integrate millennials into your workforce.


Biography Read more

Nick Sarillo is the founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub and Nick’s University. Founded in 1995, Nick’s Pizza & Pub is one of the top ten busiest independent pizza companies in per-store sales in the United States. Nick’s Pizza & Pub has margins nearly twice that of the average pizza restaurant. In an industry in which the average annual turnover rate is more than 150 percent, Nick’s Pizza and Pub boasts a less than 25 percent employee turnover rate. Incredible when you consider 70 percent or more of his employees are under the age of 25! Nick’s University offers hands-on experiential learning, one and two-day classes, as well as online training courses. Nick is an active member of the Conscious Capitalism and Small Giants Communities.

Prior to founding Nick’s Pizza and Pub, Nick worked in the construction business. He worked as a union carpenter and then a general contractor. For 11 years, he owned a custom home building company.

Best Selling Author and a Great Story!
Nick credits his company’s success to his purpose-driven culture, which is the focus of his book, A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business (Portfolio; 2012). In addition, other authors have heard and traveled to Nick’s restaurants to learn and write about his approach to culture, leadership and management. You can find him referenced in:

  • Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
  • A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business Book by Ari Weinzweig
  • Culture That Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture by Jim Knight

    Authentic Speaker
    Nick is a two-time Tedx speaker and regularly speaks at meetings and conventions on the topics of business culture, entrepreneurship, leadership and customer loyalty. Past clients include: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Club Management Association of America (CMAA), Great Game of Business, Inc Magazine, Business Owners Groups, Vistage, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), State Farm Insurance, and the University of Las Vegas.

    Nick’s profile and insights have been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, Inc Magazine, Fast Company, Newsweek, Investor’s Business Daily, American Express Open Forum and more. He also appeared on NBC Nightly News when they featured Nick’s very own “It’s a Wonderful Life” story.

    Community Service and Integral Sustainability
    Nick is rooted within the communities he serves through philanthropic initiatives, including the donation of five percent of all sales to charitable causes. Also, he has coined the phrase Integral Sustainability – Nick practices both natural and human sustainability. For example, all of his restaurants are built with recycled barn wood. Plus, his operations have processes such as “safe spaces” and “Trust and Track Leadership” that address the mental, emotional and spiritual health of his workplaces and team members.

    Nick’s restaurants have won the National Restaurant Association/American Express “Good Neighbor Award” four times and have been featured in Chicago Best as “Great Pizza and Company.”
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