The Paradise Valley location is very special because of Mark Manning, general manager, and his team. It has a TV series “Friends” quality. They have many guests that visit multiple times a week who allow Picazzo’s to cook for them and they love dining with the “family”. Mark is laid back and treats others how he wants to be treated. He focuses on positive energy and shares it with all – all day!!
Mark has a strong team and attributes the success of the PV location to his amazing team.
We have many regular guests we call family and there are hugs abound for everyone. Guests that come for the first time and see the servers and bartender hugging guests upon their arrival, are sometimes taken aback. Where else in this valley do you get welcomed like that for lunch, dinner or happy hour? I asked Mark who his favorite customers are? He said, “ They all are.” I get to interact with some of them every day. We recently had a guest “every” day for over 4 months while he renovated their home in Paradise Valley. They love the place so much, they are living in their house now and still visit regularly for lunch or dinner.
Mark has been General Manager of the Paradise Valley (Phoenix) location for the past two years. The cross streets are on the SW corner of Cactus and Tatum Blvd. His first job in the restaurant business was a busser years ago where he knew Chris Disney a server then, and now the Director of Operations for Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen. Chris said, “Mark is a really good guy. He is very accepting, professional and caring.”
Mark was a cook at Reatta Pass Steak house for years and then other restaurants in the valley. Later, Mark was bartending in Cave Creek when Chris Disney ran across him again, and invited him to check out the then new Picazzo’s Scottsdale location in the Promenade Shopping Center 2-3 months after its opening. Mark liked the vibe of Picazzo’s and transitioned over and he has grown with the company ever since.
Mark loves interacting with guests and enjoys gaining new friends and the restaurant business is perfect setting for this passion of his. Mark is a hands on manager and totally leads by example. He is a very positive person and consciously holds space for every interaction and conversation to be filled with positive energy.
Because Mark is so committed to his work, he struggles a bit to balance his time with all the duties that are invisible to the average guest and to take time for his home life. Mark has a beautiful relationship with Kyla, whom he met at Picazzo’s and she now works at the Scottsdale restaurant. They like to do weekend trips around Arizona. He loves to visit Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Payson and spend as much time outdoors as possible. He also loves to watch movies. His favorite movie of all time is Inception.
Mark was raised in Montana with his brother, Sean and father where he grew to love the outdoors. He continues to love fishing, hiking, camping, and kayaking. His family settled in Arizona where his father worked as a contractor.
Picazzo’s employs two Manning brothers. Mark’s older brother Sean was manager of the PV location before Mark. Sean was promoted to the manager of Scottsdale which vacated the opportunity for Mark to be promoted to General Manager in Phoenix. We are so glad he did!!
Mark is very proud of the clean, delicious, gluten-free food Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen serves. A couple of years ago Mark was treated with strong antibiotics for an unknown stomach condition and the pharmaceuticals he was prescribed really messed up his digestive track. He spent months changing his diet and eating whole food. He can eat everything Picazzo’s serves and his all time favorite is still the famous Greek Salad.
If Mark wasn’t in the restaurant business, he would pursue a career as a writer with motivational themes. (I told him that I will definitely be calling him, when I get writer’s block and need some motivation.) He also enjoys barbecuing at home with Kyla and his family. He still has the “cook” in him. He also really enjoys reading to learn about “how to” themes. He has a voracious appetite to learn new things and which makes him very interesting to talk to.
Check in with Mark at the PV location and enjoy his infectious personality and positive energy at Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen at the SW cross streets of Tatum and Cactus. Ask him what he has been reading lately and congratulate him on his successful career!
Love you Mark!