Malnati Shares Family Recipe for Success at TBN
Chicagoans love their pizza. And Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a Chicagoland favorite.
With the anticipated summer opening of a new carry-out location in Palos Heights, Trinity welcomed company president Marc Malnati to the April 30 Trinity Business Network event.
Local business people, Trinity faculty, and business students heard Malnati’s personal story of the early days of working with his father Lou who passed away in 1978. Over the years, Malnati has expanded the business to include 37 locations, including one established in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago with the help of his brother Rick and at the prompting of Lawndale pastor Rev. Wayne Gordon, who explained the need for a good place for families to gather.
That effort won Malnati the Chicagoan of the Year award in 1995, and the fruits of that business decision have been many, especially in the number of stories of lives changed through the job opportunities and relationships formed because of the restaurant’s presence.
Giving back to the community is one example of Malnati’s values, based on his Christian faith but inherent in any good business, he said. “The ROI isn’t just money but answering ‘how can we help?’”
Adding to the list of values integrity, honesty, and helping employees, Malnati’s list of successes also didn’t focus on profit. He sees success as 35 years of marriage to wife Jeannie, three children who embrace their faith, and building a team that includes people who are achieving more “than they ever thought they could.”
For the students attending the event, Malnati offered this advice: Have a strong work ethic, be a team player, and be willing to grow—something he doesn’t simply preach.
“Understand that you have a lot to learn,” he said. “If I’m not reinventing myself in my 50s, I won’t do well in my 60s. Ask for feedback. Ask to be rated on a scale of 1-10. Ask how to get to a 10.”