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  3. Key Idea: Earning Staff Loyalty


During the pandemic, Dave Kuban challenged the odds by launching D&C’s Hometown Deli. Located 5 minutes from his original pizzeria, the two businesses compete in different dayparts. The neighborhood deli is busiest during breakfast and lunch, while the pizzeria is busiest during dinnertime.

Key Idea – While Dave had no deli experience, he applied the same business model which successfully built his pizzeria. He instituted online ordering, took credit cards, and used frequent social media posts to introduce his existing clientele to this second venture. To stand out from the crowd, he featured ultra-premium brands of cured meats and cheeses and freshly baked Italian bread from NY’s Arthur Avenue.

The backbone of Dave’s success is his closeknit staff. Even during the pandemic, his employee retention remained high as a result of his making their working together feel meaningful and appreciated.

Key Idea – Before owning his own business, Dave burned out, endlessly working six days a week for others. To keep his team fresh, Dave only schedules them five days a week with either Saturday or Sunday off. In addition to above average pay and dependably full-time hours, Dave also demonstrates his ongoing appreciation by treating his team to post- lunch-rush sushi every Friday. On Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, the restaurant buys employees large bouquets of flowers to take home to their loved ones. On their birthdays, teammates enjoy a bakery cake decorated with their name!

This level of personal attention has kept Dave’s employee retention high, even during the pandemic. Building a strong sense of “family” within his crew also makes it easier to make new hires feel they belong as well! As a result, staffing the second business was relatively painless because it allowed him to promote longtime team members and then fill in with new hires.

Dave Kuban, Owner
D&C’s Hometown Deli
Norwalk, CT