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Nick Sarillo

Successful Business Owner, Best-Selling Author, 

Topic Categories:

Fee Range: 10000-19999
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership
  • Human Resources
  • Author, A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business
  • CEO Nick Sarillo shares real-life ideas, strategies and processes that can turn any small business into a successful, high-performance organization with a world-class culture.
  • Top 5 Industries: Hospitality, Retail, Construction, Healthcare, Insurance

Successful Business Owner

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.

Media 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.

Awards 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.”

Build a Big Little Business: How to Use Purpose & Values to Create a Thriving Company

Do your employees love to come to work? Join Nick Sarillo, author of A Slice of the Pie, and Founder of Nick’s Pizza and Pub as he shares his success secrets to turning any small business into a successful, high-performance organization. One where employees love to come to work – and it shows, each and every day through their performance. Nick’s restaurant is one of the top ten busiest independent pizza companies in the U.S Margins are often twice those of the average pizza joint, while employee turnover is less than 20% per year in an industry that averages more than 150% …which is incredible when you consider more than 70% of Nick’s employees are under the age of 25 and part of a generation in which job hopping is the new normal. Nick’s restaurants serve as a great example of how clearly defining and living your company’s purpose and values can create a world-class culture in any organization and industry. Nick will share real life examples from his experience detailing how you can create the type of company culture you’ve always wanted to work for. Nick also provides tangible tools that you can begin implementing in your business immediately!

Nick’s presentation will energize and inspire anyone who wants to strengthen organizational culture and engage their team in company results. As a result of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Build an environment of trust that is a magnet for hiring and retaining the best talent.
  • Increase employee productivity by creating a positive culture built around the company’s purpose and values.
  • Use a feedback system that builds confidence and allows each team member to take ownership for his or her own development.
  • Follow a most effective path to great customer service through their team.
  • Join the Trust-And-Track Leadership™ movement using the coaching tools and techniques Nick shares.

Perfect Audience: Entrepreneurs, business owners, association or corporate leaders who want to strengthen their organizational culture and engage their team in company results.

Program Format: 45-75 minute keynote. (For something different, please note that Nick does offer a full-day customized University program that includes sessions with his leadership team and time in his restaurants.)

​Trust & Track Leadership™ A Proven Method For Achieving Purpose And Profitability

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.

As a result of participating in this program, participants will be able to:

  • Implement a “Recognize the positive” (over the wrong or off) behavior to support building and retaining team members.  Take home coaching tools, such as the “certification feedback loop” form, that they can implement immediately to be a better coach.
  • Surrender the old perception of “boss and micro manager” and become a high-performing servant leader operating in an environment of trust and open communication.
  • Understand how to make employees feel “accepted, supported, and successful” through onboarding, training and celebrations.

Perfect Audience: Entrepreneurs, business owners, association or corporate leaders who believe in their people and want to learn how to inspire their team to achieve more innovation and better fiscal performance.

Program Format: 45 – 75 minute keynote. (For something different, please note that Nick does offer a full day customized University program that includes sessions with his leadership team and time in his restaurants.)

​Customer Loyalty: A Family Recipe For Success

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.”

After attending this session, attendees will:

  • Be able to specifically define what A+ service is for their company.
  • Have an “Art & Science” process and tool for defining which elements of any given task are non-negotiable and which may vary based on an employee’s performance.
  • Make use of five techniques for creating, training and measuring unforgettable customer experiences.
  • Employ an effective training system that measures performance every day as well as recognizes and rewards milestones.

Perfect Audience: Entrepreneurs, retailers, business owners, association or corporate leaders who want to build a culture of world class customer service by engaging their team members in company results. Retailers and companies looking to provide customer service training for their employees.

Program Format: 45 – 60 minute Keynote to a 75 – 90 minute workshop.

Millennials and Gen Z CAN Be the Best Leaders: How to Benefit From Your Youngest Employees

Millennials and Gen Z (under the age of 19) have 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.

As a result of participating in this program, participants will be able to:

  • Use their company’s purpose and values to give a sense of “why” and connect employees to their work.
  • Increase the value of their team by cross training and providing a clear process for solving issues.
  • Motivate and hold employees accountable using Nick’s Trust-and-Track Leadership style.
  • Tap into their employee’s full potential by giving them a clear path of development.

Perfect Audience: Entrepreneurs, retailers, business owners, corporate leaders who believe in their people and want to learn how to rally their team to achieve more innovation and better fiscal performance.

Program Format: 45 – 75 minute keynote. (For something different, please note that Nick does offer a full day customized University program that includes sessions with his leadership team and time in his restaurants.)

State Farm
“Using Nick’s leadership tools, we transformed how we work together and communicate. Teamwork, collaboration, and little to no drama, have made us more efficient and the best part is that we are all having more fun than ever.”
Aileron
Nick’s title could be Chief Story Teller! By being authentic and vulnerable, the stories and experiences he shares are truly inspiring and thought-provoking. Equally important, he backs up the stories with simple and actionable ways to move forward. The business owners and teams attending Aileron’s LIFT summit walked away with new ideas to evolve their culture, develop their people, and improve their leadership.
People Report & Black Box Intelligence
Nick brought passion to a whole new level while telling his story at Summer Brand Camp. He delivered a unique and heart felt message that left the audience with actionable items to take back and implement at their own organizations. Attendees were touched and motivated by his story and talked about it for weeks after the event! Nick would be a great addition to any speaker line up.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
[Nick] quickly connected with our leaders through his genuine and powerful storytelling style. Nick provided practical, relevant and thought-provoking tools. In addition, Nick shared with our leaders his proven methods to improve team retention, productivity and customer service. Most gratifying was to hear from a number of our leaders having implemented those tools within their teams.
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