Monday, August 30, 2010
Follow Your Dreams
How many times have you been given this advice? How many times have you actually done it? Growing up, we were told many times to always "do what you love" and "follow your dreams" no matter what. Lou took a big step in 1971 and followed his dream of owning his own pizzeria and now, almost 40 years later, you can see his hard work and dedication paid off. The older you get, the more you realize what you want to make of yourself and, with experience and determination, you figure out how to get yourself there. You realize what your strengths are, what improvements need to be made and what path you want to take and set off in search of it. Intelligence, determination, wisdom and belief all play key parts but we must remember: it's not always what you know, but who you know. When you open yourself up to, not only educating yourself but, receiving help from others along the way, you can rest assured you're on the path to success and that much closer to reaching your goal.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It's All Part of the Experience...
The end of summer is gradually closing in on us as kids head back to school and families settle in to the routines that will last for the next 9 months. Some High School students, along with focusing on their studies, have started the process of finding an after-school job. Whether it be to save up for a car, Spring Break trip or just have some walking-around money, they're taking that next step forward and becoming... gulp... responsible young adults. The state of the current economy, while it's getting a little better, still makes the task of looking for a job rather difficult and frustrating. Even still, there are so many different jobs to choose from, you just have to figure out what you're willing to do. Most High School students will resort to either working within the school (at the library, bookstore, after-school programs, etc) or working in a retail/restaurant position as they tend to be more flexible with their scheduling. That's not to say they are any easier, though. Retail and restaurant jobs are hard work but are also very rewarding. You're contributing your skills and efforts into creating a comfortable and productive atmosphere for your patrons. Not only do you learn necessary job skills, but you also learn team-work and patience. I've always thought that if you have held down a job in a retail or restaurant environment, you can handle anything. You might even learn a thing or two from the customers that frequent your establishment. At Lou Malnati's, we have the opportunity to learn from our customers' experiences every day. All feedback receive is taken to heart. We make sure it sinks in and that we're providing our customers with a pleasant atmosphere, tasty deep-dish and outstanding customer service. To be the best you can be, you have to learn to take some criticism along the way - constructive criticism helps build character and good character is a huge asset. Which jobs along your career path would you consider your best learning experience?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
So many thoughts race through our minds on a daily basis that sometimes it's hard to process everything. One thought triggers another and another and another... they keep building up until finally we stumble upon a thought that hasn't really crossed us in a while. What triggers that for you? I received a postcard from my Dad the other day - completely out of the blue. He lives in Hawai'i 7 months out of the year and left Chicago at the end of July so communication between us has been sparse...
The postcard had a picture on it of Hawai'i's State Fish - a humuhumunukunukuapua'a, also known as a Picasso Triggerfish and my favorite fish. Being that I haven't seen him since the end of July, it was definitely a pleasant surprise to receive the postcard as well as to hear I crossed his mind. How often do you just stop and send a simple "hey there" to a friend or family member? This day and age, communication is so easy and thoughtless yet we've stopped communicating in ways that were once the primary source. When was the last time you received or even sent a postcard or letter? For some it's a tradition - my Aunt who lives down in Georgia has made sure to send a birthday card through the mail to every niece, nephew, brother and sister-in-law on their birthday for as long as I can remember. Not a birthday goes by that we're not sent a greeting and a wish for a great day. I'm not even sure people who go on vacation pick postcards up and mail them out anymore. If they want to communicate, they hop on Facebook, update their status saying how much fun they're having and then go on to their next activity. Maybe they'll send an email to their friends or family and update them a little bit about their travels but who really sends a written postcard? Receiving an email is great, but receiving a written letter or postcard is, well... it warms the soul.
I thought of you when I saw this card. Thinking of you.
Lou's knows that the feeling a child gets when receiving mail is insurmountable. Their parents get mail all the time but once a letter or postcard comes for them; they can't help but be happy and excited. We try to make our birthday club members feel special with each and every card we send out via mail. Lou's Kid's Birthday Club members receive a birthday card in the mail around the date of their birthday with a special gift. It's just our way of saying "hi" and wishing them a very happy birthday... Something that's a little more personal, makes their day a little more special and, of course, tasty.
If you would like to sign your child up for the Birthday Club, click here.
Friday, August 20, 2010
"Crustless": Not Your Average Deep-Dish
What would you do if you found out you had a disease that prevented you from eating your favorite food? Most would try and find ingredient substitutions so that they could still enjoy their favorite dish. Some, unfortunately, give up and move on. Here at Lou Malnati’s, we understand our customers’ personal preferences and we also understand that some circumstances are out of our customers’ hands. One issue we receive a lot of questions about is our gluten-free menu options. It seems as though gluten intolerance has become more popular in recent years but maybe its awareness is due, in part, to people educating themselves on the way their bodies react to certain foods. Gluten intolerance is basically the body’s inability to digest certain types of proteins that are commonly found in wheat, rye and barley products. So that means pasta, cereal and bread, all the things that make carbohydrate lovers salivate, are off limits. It’s a disease for which testing is available to determine if a person has an actual intolerance, but the expensive price tag causes some people to shy away. That’s usually the point at which people start taking their health into their own hands and experimenting. If their symptoms subside and they no longer feel like their body is waging war against them, they start transitioning their diet and finding ways to create their favorite dishes using different, more intestine-friendly ingredients.
That being said, if you’re on a gluten-free diet and miss the bliss of a deep-dish from Lou Malnati’s, we’ve got a special treat for you. For some time now, Lou's has proudly offered a tasty "crustless" pizza for those who are gluten-intolerant (great for those watching their carbohydrate intake as well). The "crustless" pizza is made from our lean sausage as the base, and then topped with our fresh mozzarella cheese and zesty tomato sauce. Of course you can customize it to your taste by adding any of Lou's other fresh ingredients. Just because you can’t eat the crust, doesn’t mean you can’t get a great pie from Lou’s!
Give it a try next time and you’re sure to be delighted.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Can They Really Be Compared?
Anyone from New York will tell you their pizza is far superior to that of Chicago style. It's wide, thin and travels well if you need to eat on the go. However, Chicagoans will stand and defend their tried and true Chicago style pizza until they're blue in the face. It's a battle that has gone on for decades and one that probably won't be won by either side. Wanna know why? They're too different. Yes, the concept is the same - dough, sauce, cheese, seasoning. Yet the way in which New Yorkers and Chicagoans build their pizzas is incomparable.
New York style pizza is very traditional; hand-tossed crust, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It's usually sold in slices that are taken from a large, 18" pizza that's cut into 8 slices. There are other varieties available but this is usually what New Yorkers tend to stick to. It's portable, foldable and should only be eaten using your hands.
As for Chicago style pizza, it's a whole other category. This is the kind of pizza that needs to be eaten while sitting down with a fork and knife; the layers of gooey mozzarella cheese, tangy tomato sauce and flaky, buttery crust and too much for your hands to handle all on their own. What deep-dish lacks in portability, it makes up for in taste and ability to fill your stomach. Invented at Pizzeria Uno in 1943, Lou Malnati's took deep-dish to a different level and perfected the ultimate recipe that has been filling the stomachs of Chicagoans since 1971.
There really is no comparing the two types of pizzas because they're polar opposites. All that can really be said is this: New York style pizza is to Chicago style pizza as New York water is to Chicago water - pretty much the same but we all know it's different!
Now, which is your favorite?
Monday, August 16, 2010
Lou's Company Picnic
Friday, August 13, 2010
Capturing the Summer
Capturing memories is something that has consumed society for ages. Journals, newspapers, photographs, memoirs, videos... these are all great ways to pass on traditions as well as important family information that should not be forgotten. Scrapbooking was a unique way of capturing a moment in time. You would take typical memorabilia like photos, newspaper clippings, and even artwork and compile it all together. Most families turned to this option when new babies arrived. As their arsenal of photographs and trinkets got larger, they would keep filling up pages and keep the book as a keepsake. Journals are another favorite; portable and convenient, it was easy to pull out a notebook and start logging daily adventures.
Today, it seems more popular to take those memories to the internet rather than to a book. How many family members or friends do you have that live far away yet you still keep in touch with them through blogging, microblogging or email? For me, the internet has become the missing link in keeping my family connected. We're able to instantly share pictures, videos and say a quick “hello". Blogging is ubiquitous and will probably continue to grow and advance with time.
What's great is people don't just stop at blogging about their daily lives; they go on to blog about their likes and dislikes and ultimately review the business that they encounter on a daily basis. We have found Lou Malnati's pizza in so many blogs that we've lost count! It's wonderful to hear someone else describe their experience at one of our restaurants. What's even better are the pictures that tend to get posted - like they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.
How have you been logging your summer adventures? Have you taken it to the internet or have you resorted to a good, old-fashioned journal? We, as you can see, have taken our adventures to the internet. But that's not to say we don't have a few old journals or scrapbooks around here somewhere filled with memories waiting to be shared and relived.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We're on a Mission
Lou Malnati's is a family-owned food-service company in a unique environment and produced by a management team and staff committed to each other, the customer, and the community.
Regarding products served, Lou Malnati's features its signature item, "deep-dish pizza" and other quality homemade food made to order. Innovation of products and services is important, as is good food at reasonable prices.
Lou Malnati's is a tradition, with customers and employees representing second and third generations of involvement with Lou's.
Our mission has been pretty clear since Lou first opened in Lincolnwood in 1971 - great customer service and great deep-dish. We take pride in offering the best customer service we can and the best affordable deep-dish pizza in Chicago. It is our hope that our customers know just how important they are to us, as well as the people that embark on their career path with us. We get an enormous amount of feedback from the families and friends that come in and dine at our restaurants and we love it. Every tidbit we receive, from complaints to compliments and even recommendations, we take all of it into consideration. We must admit, a lot of smiling goes on around here when we receive compliments and heart-felt stories from seasoned customers. There's nothing that can brighten our days more than hearing about a family introducing their newest family member to the Lou's tradition, or hearing about a soldier returning from overseas and wanting nothing but Lou's and their family beside them, or how a simple random act of kindness by a member of our waitstaff made a customers' dining experience that much more enjoyable. We love it all.
If you ever want to let us know how we're doing, ask a question or offer a suggestion, feel free to send us an email. If you want to share your experience with the rest of world, review your favorite Lou's location on Yelp. And, of course, you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter as well - can you tell we like staying in touch?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The air is hot and heavy, the sun is bright and the crickets have finally started serenading us with their summertime symphony - that can only mean one thing... the summer time is slowly drawing to a close. Now, before we go pound sand and throw a temper tantrum, we must realize that there's still a lot of life left in this grand summer of 2010. More festivals to be had, more shows, more quality family time to come, and more fun! Just because the weather will start cooling off doesn't mean the fun will stop!
The US Navy Blue Angels and US Army Parachute Team Golden Knights will be in town this weekend, August 14-15, for the 52nd Annual Chicago Air and Water Show along Lake Michigan's shores from Fullerton to Oak Street. New this year, the water and air shows are being combined for one big show that will start at 11am and end at 4pm on both days. In the city on Friday as well? Bring a picnic and watch from the lakefront as participants practice for their debut!
Photo courtesy of CityofChicago.org
Growing up, the Air and Water Show was always seen as the last "hoorah" of the summer for my family. We would pack up the van and head downtown with coolers, blankets, kites and other fun outdoor activities. What's your family's last "hoorah" of the summer? What's your favorite vacation/activity that has become a tradition before the hot summer days turn into busy school days?
Thursday, August 05, 2010
A Taste of Home
If you were to ask a Lou Malnati fan when they first tried our deep-dish, you'll probably get one of two answers: 1) They'll be able to tell you when it was and which location they were at, or 2) "I've grown up with it". Lou Malnati's has become a family tradition for many and we couldn't be prouder. Lou Malnati's is a family owned business that cares about its customers and goes the extra mile in providing excellent customer service and delicious deep-dish pizza. That's how it's been since 1971 when Lou opened the first location in Lincolnwood. Now, on the verge of our 40th anniversary and 30 restaurants later, we're still committed to providing our customers with excellent food and customer service - and that extends from coast to coast!
Lou Malnati’s began shipping its pizzas all over the country in 1987. The service was initially offered during the holidays to satisfy Malnati fans that relocated outside of Chicago. After 10 years of shipping our famous deep dish, we realized that ex-Chicagoans craved even more of the Windy City’s favorite foods. It was then that we partnered with other fine restaurateurs in Chicago to provide our outta-towners with the best tastes Chicago has to offer. This was the start of a tasty collaboration now known as Lou Malnati’s Tastes of Chicago. Tastes of Chicago offers hometown Chicago favorites including: Carson’s ribs, Eli’s cheesecake, Vienna Beef hot dogs, Portillo’s Italian beef, Garrett’s Popcorn, Long Grove Confectionery's apple pies and chocolates, Manny’s Deli corned beef, Hackney’s burgers, Wildfire steaks, and more! Gift packages are also available for any occasion along with virtual gift cards, apparel and other merchandise from Lou’s and select vendors.
Now, over 20 years later, Tastes of Chicago ships more than 250,000 pizzas throughout the year. Lou Malnati’s pizza remains the most popular item shipped and we think that’s because deep dish pizza just isn’t the same anywhere outside sweet home Chicago!
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
We've Got the Beat
It's funny, you may not be able to remember the words you memorized for a speech you presented 10 years ago, but you sure can remember the words to your favorite song that's 10 years old. It's amazing how music sticks with us throughout the years and leaves a lasting impression. Not a day goes by that a song isn't heard and someone ultimately says, "oh wow, this song will always remind me of the time I..." - whatever it may be, there's a memory attached. This weekend, August 6-8, dozens of musicians are gathering in Chicago's Grant Park for a monumental music fest that is sure to please. Lollapalooza will feature a diverse range of bands from all walks of life; heavy metal, alternative rock, hip hop, as well as punk rock. Along with music, food will also be taking center stage and yours truly will be on hand in Chow Town North to dish out cheese and sausage deep dish slices. This is the first year Lou Malnati's is participating in the festival and we couldn't be more excited! We'll be setting up shop just south of the Playstation Stage and Budweiser Stage so don't forget to swing by for a slice after seeing your favorite band perform!