Whether you’re looking for just a slice, a large catering order, or a gourmet Italian meal, the team at Parsippany’s Best Pizza is serving it up. Let’s get to know the owner Gianluca!
Tell us a bit about you and how you got into the restaurant business.
I’ve been running around restaurants since a toddler because of my family. While working for my parents for most of my younger years, I learned their true passion. My mother is a Gencarelli, famed for the northern Jersey restaurant scene. She was a server, and my father was a chef. The enjoyment I witnessed from them while providing people with an excellent experience grew on me. That’s when I decided to attend culinary school to expand my knowledge. While in college, I managed to work at some fantastic places throughout New York. As you can imagine, I’ve worked in virtually every position. A few years later, I decided to return to the family business, and we decided we should open a new store, Parsippany’s Best Pizza.
What has been your most unusual customer request?
The most unusual request I’ve ever got still to date was to make a penis-shaped pizza for a bachelorette party, which they seemed very pleased with.
The restaurant business is challenging by itself, but even more so in a pandemic. How have you been able to keep going?
Challenging times call for challenging measures. We witnessed many good places go out and let staff go, which isn’t fun. I can honestly say we didn’t have to get rid of anyone. We spent more money on marketing during that time to ensure we stayed productive enough to keep everyone. During this time, we did whatever we could to donate food to first responders and less privileged people around our area.
Please share what a typical day in the restaurant is like.
Every day is different but being prepared helps. I usually stroll in around 8 am, shortly after a few other staff members and we prep for the day. Make sauces, slice vegetables, proof dough, etc. By 10-11, everyone else joins us and at around 11 is typically when all hell breaks loose. Phones are ringing and don’t stop till about 2, when we can get a little breathing room to continue more prep and change shifts. Then it starts again around 5 pm for the dinner rush.
Where do YOU eat in town when you’re craving something different?
Pho Binh Duong is a Vietnamese place that I love. I always get the Pho. Dhaba Express when I’m in the mood for something tandoori and Birdies is my guilty pleasure.
What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Be prepared to never stop learning and creating because when you stop, that is when you die. Stay humble and remember there is always someone else doing it better than you.
What advice would you give someone who wants to own a restaurant?
Be prepared to give it your all, blood, sweat, and tears. If you do this and know that every day won’t be sunshine and rainbows, I can promise you will find enjoyment in it and succeed.