Uncle Maddio’s Spotlight: General Manager Eli Winfree

March 15th, 2016 Posted by Gluten-Free, Northwest Arkansas, Pizza, Restaurant, Specialty Pizzas No Comment yet

Every ship needs its captain and the Captain for Uncle Maddio’s is our General Manager Eli Winfree.
Eli has been with Uncle Maddio’s since the doors first opened in June 2015 and is still going strong!  We wanted our guests to get to know Eli a little better, so we sat down with him and asked a few questions:

What was your initial impression of Uncle Maddio’s Pizza before you joined the team?
When discussions began for putting in an Uncle Maddio’s in Northwest Arkansas, I was more curious than anything.  I had never heard of a fast-casual style restaurant in pizza format.  The more I read up on Uncle Maddio’s, the more excited I got to join the team and be a part of this new concept!  

When friends or family members learn about your role at Uncle Maddio’s, what’s the first thing they ask?
The first question that always pops up in conversation is: how does it work?  I tell them it’s the easiest and most fun you’ll ever have when ordering a pizza.  Explaining to them the process of creating their own pizza usually elicits the best facial response as well.   20160314_150324

Is there anything surprising about Uncle Maddio’s to you?
The Gluten-Free crust.  Most places the gluten-free “anything” usually tastes like cardboard or costs an ‘arm and a leg’…or both.  When I first tried the gluten-free crust here, I was blown away.  In fact, I see several regulars come in and order gluten-free even when they’ve told me they don’t have an intolerance or allergy to gluten.      

What do you wish more people knew about Uncle Maddio’s?
A lot of people associate going out for pizza to be an evening or dinner-time meal.  The biggest reason for that is the time it takes for a pizza to cook.  When you have to wait 20+ minutes for your pizza to cook, you’re probably not going to take off for a quick lunch break and get pizza.  We really push the point to our guests that our pizzas typically take 6-8 minutes and that you can enjoy pizza on your lunch break.  That we are a lunchtime pizza place and you won’t waste your entire break waiting.

What do you find most challenging about your role with Uncle Maddio’s?
Awareness has been the biggest challenge I’ve seen so far.  Being the new kid on the block is not an easy task to overcome, especially in an area with so many options.  I’m proud of our restaurant because we are seeing a lot of repeat guests but also an influx of new faces.UMPJ Steak & Blue

What is your favorite Pizza at Uncle Maddio’s?
If I’m not creating my own, I almost always get the Steak & Blue Pizza.  The combination of steak, blue cheese, and that balsamic glaze create an unforgettable flavor that keeps me coming back for more.  It’s probably my most recommended pizza as well!

If you could ADD a single topping to the menu, what would it be?
The menu of toppings has such a big variety to begin with, it’s hard to pick something else to add.  I would probably like to add a Teriyaki Sauce or glaze similar to our balsamic glaze…or maybe even a Teriyaki Chicken to create a Asian-Inspired Pizza.

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Stop by sometime and enjoy one of our delicious pizzas or amazing salads!  Made fresh everyday by folks like Eli!

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