Lou Malnati got his start in the 1940's working in Chicago's first deep dish pizzeria. He took his pizza expertise to Lincolnwood, a northern suburb of Chicago, where he and his wife Jean opened the first Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on March 17, 1971. Lou was known for his fun-loving character as well as making Chicago's best pizza. Loyal patrons lined the streets on opening day for a taste of his delicious deep dish creations. Lou always thought it was funny that an Italian should open a pizzeria in a Jewish neighborhood on an Irish holiday. But that was Lou's style; he loved all types of people and didn't care much about what people thought.
After meeting with an enormous success in Lincolnwood, Lou decided to open another pizzeria in a little northwestern suburb by O'Hare Airport, Elk Grove Village. Unfortunately, the Elk Grove location had a tough beginning. A major road construction project began a few months after the restaurant's opening and for 14 months business suffered immensely. At one point the accountants advised Lou to close the doors before it ruined him. But Lou would have nothing to do with that idea and persevered. Sure enough, once the construction ended, people came in droves to Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in Elk Grove.
In 1978, Lou Malnati met with an untimely death when he fell victim to cancer. Lou's oldest son, Marc, was just graduating from college and joined his mother in the family business. A few years later, Marc's younger brother, Rick, finished his basketball career at downstate Illinois' Bradley University and he joined the family business as well.
Malnati’s success comes from their commitment to quality. Every Lou Malnati’s pizza is handmade from scratch using the finest and freshest ingredients. Every year, the Malnati team hand selects California vine-ripened tomatoes for the perfect sweet and tangy taste. The exclusive sausage blend is seasoned to their exact specifications. The fresh mozzarella cheese comes from the same small dairy that has supplied Lou Malnati’s for over 40 years. And the family’s secret recipe for flaky, buttery crust has been passed down from generation to generation. You’ll know with every bite that each pizza was made with care and special attention. Learn more ›
The other key ingredient to Lou Malnati’s is our dedicated staff and loyal customers. Over 15% of Lou Malnati's employees have been with the company for ten years or more, which is a testament to the fact that we attract and nurture loyalty. Want to join our team? Take a look at our open jobs ›