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Daytonian of the Week: Marion's Piazza top pizza guy and 2nd-generation owner, Roger Glass

Marion’s Piazza’s president and CEO says “very simple business practices” focused on quality and consistency have created a recipe for success that has earned both national and local recognition.

Three months after “Pizza Today” named Marion’s No. 1 on its “Hot 100” list for the third consecutive year based on the chain’s sales success, Marion’s Piazza swept three big categories in the Dayton.com Best of 2018 contest, placing first for “Best  Pizza Restaurant,” “Best Square-Cut Pizza” and “Best Restaurant to Take an Out-of-Towner.”

>> Best of Dayton 2018 Food and Dining winners

Roger Glass — president and CEO of Marion’s — is our Daytonian of the Week this week, and we caught up with the second-generation owner to find out a bit more about him and about the pizza business that his father, Marion Glass, founded in 1965.

How have you been able to keep Marion’s Piazza going strong?

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I have been able to keep Marion’s Piazza going strong as a second-generation owner by following very simple business practices. The pizza and sandwiches one receives today are the same pizzas and sandwiches one received 53 years ago. In other words, the quality and quantity of our food products have never changed since we opened in 1965.

Marion's Piazza won most pizza categories in the 2018 Best of Dayton contest.

I feel it is extremely important for our customers to receive excellent service when visiting our establishments and for that reason, I constantly stress the importance of efficient and courteous service to all my employees. Lastly, many customers comment on the cleanliness of our restaurants, and that’s something that I also strongly stress to my employees. 

>> Best of 2018: Bars, Beer & Nightlife winners

What’s been your most recent professional challenge, and how did you push through the challenge? 

For 40 plus years, Marion’s Piazza did not take credit cards. It was a difficult decision to make, but seven years ago I decided the time had come for Marion’s Piazza to accept credit cards. It took some time to set up the processing side of things, to purchase and install the hardware and software, and to finally familiarize the employees and customers on how to conduct a sale by using a credit card instead of cash. 

>> Marion’s named ‘No. 1’ on Pizza Today’s ‘Hot 100’ list for 3rd year in a row

 

What are your favorite places to eat and/or drink in the Dayton area? 

Some of my favorite restaurants I enjoy (other than Marion’s Piazza) are The Oakwood Club, The Pine Club, Franco’s Ristorante Italiano and the Buckhorn Tavern. 

>> This ‘tank’ of a Dayton restaurant rolled over the competition in Best of Dayton

 

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

My guilty pleasure is a trip or two to the local casino. Shhhh! 

It’s been more than 50 years since Dayton fell in love with a thin crust square cut pizza.

 

What inspires you about Dayton? 

I have lived and worked in the Dayton area my entire life, and I am inspired by the spirit of the people in this community. Dayton is on its way to what I believe will be a great revitalization of its downtown, with folks of all ages moving back to the core of the city. I truly believe that within the next 10 to 15 years, downtown Dayton will again be a thriving center for Daytonians to live, work and enjoy themselves.

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Already, downtown Dayton, with its theaters, its ballpark, RiverScape and its new music pavilion, along with all the housing projects completed and planned, is on its way to becoming the “place to be.”

Marion’s Piazza has been named No. 1 in Pizza Today’s “Hot 100” list. It’s the fourth year out of five that Marion’s topped the list, which is based on annual sales. FILE PHOTO (Staff Writer)

 

What do you see in Dayton’s — and Marion’s Piazza’s — future?

I think I pretty much answered what I see in Dayton’s future in the previous question, but as to the future of Marion’s Piazza, I can only guarantee that the quality of our menu items will never change or be cheapened in any way; that our restaurants will always provide the best service possible to our customers; and that our restaurants will always provide a pleasant and clean atmosphere for our customers.

Finally, expansion is always on my mind, whether it will be replacing an existing location with a larger building or expanding to a new location.

>> What to know about Marion’s Piazza’s history

🏆 BEST OF DAYTON 2018 WINNERS

>> Food & Dining winners

>> Bars, Beer & Nightlife winners

>> Arts, Music & Entertainment winners

>> Shopping & Services winners

>> Fitness, Outdoors & Recreation winners

>> People & Places winners

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