The original Bacci location was opened in 1996 in Chicago’s Little Italy by Pasquale Di Diana’s aunt and uncle. Now there are a dozen Bacci’s in the Windy City, and Pasquale owns six of them.
Pasquale Di Diana…
In the beginning — Back then, we became very popular with the local blue collar workers and college students for offering a jumbo slice of pizza and a soda for just a little over $2. Initially we cut the slices out of a 24-inch pie. Through the years we have developed our product to expand on our early successes. We now famously serve our Jumbo Slice cut out of a 30-inch pie. The finished cooked pie weighs in well over 10 pounds and feeds 10 to 12 people.
The style of our pizza is what I like to call between a Chicago-style thin crust and New York hand tossed. Because of its size, our pizza dough is passed through rollers initially, but requires a good amount of hand tossing. All dough is prepared daily. The past few years we have spent a lot of time developing our stuffed pizza pies, and we are very proud to say that we have come up with something that challenges any stuffed or deep dish pizza on the market.
Our concept was built around serving delicious and gigantic slices of high-quality pizza for the lowest price we possibly could. These days we have furthered our brand inspired by the Little Italy Neighborhood where it all began for us. Now you will find cooked-to-order pasta (no par-cooked stuff here), Italian beef sandwiches, pasta fagioli and stuffed pizza pies (among other popular neighborhood items). We are very hardworking modest people that come from humble beginnings. So we really take our customers’ dollars seriously.
Another thing about us is that all of our stores are owned and operated by family members. Currently, my uncle, aunt and cousins own and operate about half of the stores, while my wife, brother and sister-in-law help me run the other half.
The reason I believe we are so well known and successful in the Chicago area is because of our deep rooted culture of family. It begins with our employees, some that have been with us well over 10 years. And they know that when guests walk through our doors, we are to treat them like family. My wife and I have our store managers over to our home, to show them first hand how we treat our guests in our home. And that’s the way we expect them to treat their team members and our guests. It’s all a chain reaction. When you get to the point that you no longer can have that one-on-one with all of your guests, you have to make sure you are taking care of your people so in turn they take care of your customers.
Don’t miss Pasquale at Pizza Expo 2017.
He will take part in two panel discussions: “Common Pizzeria Startup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” & “Best Customer Loyalty Programs”.