Walk into our busy West Seattle store, and you’ll often find that the General Manager, Pierce Faulkner, has nothing in particular to do. “I really don’t do much here anymore,” he says with a cunning smile. “I have the best crew in the company. I’d stake my claim on that.”
That’s not to suggest he’s sitting still. Maybe he’s training an employee how to toss pizzas. Or greeting customers at the door. Or coaching a new hire on the finer points of counter service. He is passionate about supporting and training his crew and knows that investment is vital to his store’s success. “If my managers, shift leaders, and crew can run it as well as I do, customers are gonna get that same experience even when I’m not here.”
At 19, Pierce started working at our Ballinger store, just down the street from his childhood home. He moved from cook to shift leader, then was promoted to assistant manager at our Magnolia store. Roughly five years into his tenure with Pagliacci, having demonstrated strong leadership skills, Pierce was promoted to general manager of our Edmonds store. Though one of our youngest GMs, Pierce earned the respect of his crew, put in systems, engaged with the community, and saw good sales growth. That earned him a transfer to our West Seattle store, one of our busiest. As he had before, Pierce established systems, trained his crew on every element of the business, and turned what could easily tilt to chaos into order. “When something happens, my people know what to do,” Pierce says.
Jeff Woodruff, Pagliacci’s Chief Operating Officer, says, “Pierce’s team is loyal to him. They value his hard work, attention to detail and the community he builds in the store.” He would know: all three of his kids work for Pierce.
Last year, Pierce’s investment in training his crew and caring for them like family helped him through one of the hardest years of his life. Both his grandparents passed away somewhat unexpectedly. “It was my first time dealing with death that close,” says Pierce. “The reaction from the top was amazing-'Do what you have to do, and we’ll take care of it.' I ended up taking almost a month away. The company went above and beyond to take care of me and cover my responsibilities at the store. My crew stepped up and handled things with the same precision and passion that I do. They helped me through the worst year of my life.”
Pierce just vacationed in Disneyland, a trip partially paid for with a travel voucher from Pagliacci, a 10th-anniversary gift. “That’s an example of the level of caring at Pagliacci,” he says. “It’s why our average tenure is so much higher than industry standards. It’s that family aspect. It trickles down from the owners to operations to field managers to GMs to shift leaders to crew.”