Nick is a successful business owner, author and speaker on the topics of business culture, entrepreneurship, leadership and customer loyalty. Nick’s own businesses serve as a great example of how living your company’s purpose and values creates a world-class culture achieving award-winning customer service, higher margins and an engaged, productive workforce.
Successful Business Owner
Nick Sarillo is the founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub and The Nick’s U. 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! The Nick’s U, 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 as well as serves on the board of directors for San Francisco based DABBA Restaurants.
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.
There are only a few CEOs today who have the courage to put people before numbers. Nick Sarillo is one of those leaders. The best part is, his numbers are vastly better than everyone else’s. We can all learn a lot about how to treat people and how to run a business from Nick. Inspire on!
— Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start With Why
Nick credits his restaurant company’s success to its purpose-driven culture, which is the focus of his book, A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business (Portfolio; 2012). Nick is also a contributor to The Business Journals Small Business Works.
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. Nick’s signature Trust & Track Leadership™ model—building trust while tracking the team’s performance along the way, and coaching and course-correcting in the moment—is his most popular topic. Past clients include: Inc. Magazine, Vistage, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), State Farm Insurance, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Club Management Association of America (CMAA), Great Game of Business, Business Owners Groups, 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’s Nightly News when they featured Nick’s very own “It’s a Wonderful Life” story. 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
- Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, 10th-Anniversary Edition by Bo Burlingham
- The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring by Adam Robinson
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 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’s Best for having “Great Pizza and [a Great] Company.”