Pizza Executive Summit planners have announced Nick Sarillo, founder of Crystal Lake, Ill.-based Nick's Pizza & Pub, as a keynote speaker for this year's event. Sarillo will be speaking during the breakfast keynote, "Culture 2.0: Branding your company's way of life," on June 15.
Recently, Inc. magazine profiled Sarillo for his fresh approach to employee relations, and attributed it to his business' mere 20 percent employee turnover rate annually. The larger casual dining sector's rate can reach around 200 percent.
"I believe there must be a reason why I ended up on the cover of Inc. magazine," Sarillo said. "People have been coming into my company for years, saying, 'This is unusual.'"
Sarillo's restaurants do operate a lot differently than others. He conveyed his business culture as one that builds trust and simultaneously tracks its team-players' efforts. Other cornerstones of Sarillo's $7 million, two-unit empire include "coach in the moment" and "feel your community's pain," according to 10 cornerstones Inc. author Bo Burlingham outlined in his piece on Sarillo, "Lessons from a Blue Collar Millionaire."
"There's a real opportunity out there for each of us as business owners and CEOs to build a culture where people feel trusted and enjoy coming to work," Sarillo said. "But we also track their performance to create a culture of high performance. Raising the bar actually is something that people look forward to."
The Pizza Executive Summit, the industry's premier event for C-level executive learning and collaboration, will be held June 13 – 15 in and around Chicago's new Hotel Palomar. For more information, visit the Web site.