Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs: Domenico DiDiana of Slice Factory
Welcome to Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs! Berwyn has become a hot spot for urban professionals, entrepreneurs and creatively minded individuals. From musicians to crafters, small business owners to dedicated team members, Berwyn is home to a remarkable group of movers and shakers who keep our community vibrant. This segment give us a chance to get to know what makes our local leaders tick!
Meet Domenico DiDiana, Pizza Extraordinaire at Slice Factory (Berwyn location at 6920 W. Ogden Ave)
Hometown: Naples, Italy
Current Residence: Melrose Park, Illinois
A Slice of History: Growing up in Naples, Italy in the early 90s, a love of family, food and festivities permeated everything about our lives. If you were within 30 feet of our home you could probably smell my mother’s delicious garlic tomato sauce and before long, you would hear the melodic sound of her sweet voice, “Domenic, get your butt in here and eat…”
Venturing to Chicago in the late 90s, my family came together to share their passion for celebrating food and family and in 1998, my parents Vince and Lina DiDiana entered the Chicago pizza business. We created a restaurant, known then as Bacci Cafe & Pizzeria, that welcomed families and made everyone feel at home – plus we served delicious pizza pie. Over the years, we opened six successful pizza establishments throughout the Chicagoland area, including restaurants in Berwyn, Melrose Park, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Elmwood Park and Chicago’s Little Village. Three more locations are to open by the end of 2017. We were known for quality, affordable food made the same way my grandmother made it.
As the years went by, I started to think about how through sharing their passions and traditions, my family was an inspiration not only to me but also to the community and to our employees.
When my wife and I discovered our first child was on his way, I realized it was my turn to take a real slice out of life. I wanted to influence hearts and minds and I saw how to do it — one slice at a time. With my newfound motivation soon to be delivered, I decided to leverage my pizza lineage and love for delivering great food and excellent customer service by launching a new restaurant concept: Slice Factory®.
I launched Slice Factory® in 2013, and we’re taking our family pizza business to a new level. We believe in providing customers with a one-of-a-kind experience. We offer a variety of dining options including delivery, takeout, catering and dining-in. Our pizza delivery service is super speedy and we offer a 10% discount on all on-line orders through our mobile app. Food and family will always be at the heart of any business with the DiDiana family name.
Describe yourself using 3 words, and explain why you chose those words?
Legacy over Currency, always and forever. A mentor of mine said this a while back and it will stay with me forever. You always have to consider your legacy in every decision you make. What do you want to be remembered for? What is going to be your life achievement? Figure out what that is and then make sure every decision you make leads up to it.
What inspires you?
It’s a coincidence that you ask this question. My company mission statement is “to be inspired to make a difference”. All of my employees wear a tag on their shirt of what inspires them to make a difference. What inspires me is to continuously provide value to my team, my family and myself.
Tell us something that people might not know about you.
Our first restaurant was opened in July 1998 by my parents, Vince and Lina DiDiana, in Berwyn. We have been part of the community for 19 years. Nearly four years ago, we slowly started the process of re-branding our restaurant and concept to Slice Factory. Many of our loyal customers know this but there are still people out there that think we are a new company. Ownership still remains the same!
What do you consider mankind’s greatest invention?
For me, it would have to be the Internet. As I write this, I am currently in Naples, Italy. Without Internet, I would not be able to do this. Without the Internet, I would not have been able to grow my business to level I have in such a short amount of time. Slice Factory currently has about 80 employees and we all rely on the Internet to do our jobs more efficiently.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about helping others and adding value. Since 2017, we rolled out our franchise program. We expect that our most successful franchisees will be our employees that made their way up to management and then going on to becoming an owner-operator. Our managers that become owners don’t pay any franchise fees. It’s so inspiring and a great motivator.
If you could collaborate with any person on a project who would that be?
It would be an honor to work side by side with Dick Portillo, founder of Portillo’s restaurants. I am a huge admirer of what he has created over the past 50 years. I am a big fan of the brand and its core values.
Can’t get enough pizza? Well, Slice Factory has an event for you! Get in on the delicious fun of Slice-a-Palooza, their international jumbo slice eating contest! It’s goin’ down on Saturday, September 2 at 2pm at the Taste of Melrose Park. Need more info? Click here!