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Says Who? - Nick Sarillo, owner, Nick's Pizza & Pub, Crystal Lake and Elgin, Ill.

Nick Sarillo is the owner of Nick’s Pizza & Pub, one of the top ten busiest independent pizza restaurants in the country with two locations grossing nearly six times the revenue of typical pizza joints. Nick has spoken extensively about business, training and leadership at engagements around the country. He writes about growing a small restaurant business, nurturing young people in their careers, creating a culture of hospitality and more in his first book, A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business.

sayswho_background Nick Sarillo

FE&S: What keeps you working in the foodservice industry?

Nick Sarillo: I find it exciting and a gift to be able to serve and nourish others. It is a dynamic industry, always changing, always challenging and always offering new opportunities. And, as restaurateurs we get to “restore” people, a true gift.

FE&S: Who was the person that influenced your career most?

Nick Sarillo: It’s hard to keep that list down to below 10 because I have had so many great mentors. I would say my dad and Rudy Miick.

FE&S: Who in the foodservice industry do you admire most?

Nick Sarillo: I have always had great respect for Charlie Trotter.

FE&S: What aspect of your career gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment?

Nick Sarillo: Seeing our whole team in one of my restaurants come together on a crazy busy night as if it was a beautifully choreographed performance, and just nail a great dinner shift.

FE&S: If you were not working in foodservice, what would you be doing?

Nick Sarillo: I might still be a carpenter...or an astronaut. They’re both kind of the same.

FE&S: What type of charitable activities are you involved in?

Nick Sarillo: Those that support children in our communities, from autism support groups to helping a local family with their hospital bills. We also sponsor sports teams.

FE&S: Any interesting hobbies?

Nick Sarillo: I love sailing and skiing, and I miss being able to hang glide more!

FE&S: What do you look for in a business partner?

Nick Sarillo: Someone who understands the importance of our people, has strong fiscal skills and who doesn’t have a big ego.