"Being Italian, everything for us revolved around food and eating together," explains Joe Buonavolanto Jr., the executive vice president.
"Breakfast, lunch, dinner we ate together, all eight or nine of us around the table.It wasn't just a meal; it was a loud, happy celebration."
So the Buonavolantos sought to extend that celebratory feeling into their restaurants.The Buona Beef locations serve up hearty Italian beef sandwiches made from a family recipe, and the full-service restaurants in Chicago and Milwaukee operate "family-style."This means the portions are huge, and patrons are advised to come in groups of four or more.
"The farther away from Chicago you get, the worse the version of the Italian beef sandwich," Joe Buonavolanto Jr.
The company employs approximately 600 full-time and 400 part-time employees.Many have been working for the Buonavolantos
for 15 years.
Of course, there is also real family within the ranks.Ten of the 19 Buonavolanto grandchildren are working part time in the Buona Beef restaurants.
"Our parents really opened the door for us to succeed, and we hope to open the same door for our children," Joe Buonavolanto Jr.
said."If this business doesn't survive to the next couple of generations, we have failed."
E-mail story to friendPrint this StoryReturn to Front