Dave Nicoletta may have started as a dishwasher, but today, he owns and operates a highly successful restaurant group in High Point, G4 Restaurant Group. And while today Dave’s career in food spans catering, food trucks, restaurants, and more, he is often best known as the operator and visionary behind the beloved Italian gem, Giannos.
After growing up and working in the restaurant business in New York – and in some tough kitchens at that – Dave decided that it was time for a change. With his dad and brother living in Greensboro, NC, Dave was already familiar with the Triad area and thought it was the perfect place for his family to settle.
“My wife and I moved down here with our first child and worked in the restaurant business for a little bit until we saw that Giannos was for sale,” Dave shares. “And we decided to take advantage of the opportunity.”
“It was almost like a secret mission to check the place out,” Dave recalls, “but I ordered the pasta chicken salad and now it’s my favorite thing. I joke that if it wasn’t for that dish, I wouldn’t own the place!”
Thanks to that pasta chicken salad (and a good amount of hard work), Dave ended up purchasing Giannos from its then-owner, and growing it into part of his robust restaurant group. From food trucks to city events, to roasting a whole pig for High Point Market, to their catering business, Giannos does it all.
Now, 13 years later, with care, community, and consistency at the forefront, Dave and his family have cooked up some new pasta-bilities in the High Point community.
Other than his success with Giannos, Dave owns several restaurants, a food truck, and supports the community by currently serving as President of the Visit High Point Board. But one of the things that has helped Dave grow Giannos to where it is today is the staff.
Giannos strives to create an atmosphere that feels like family as soon as you walk in the door.
“We were fortunate enough when we bought the place that Chef Alberto came with us and has wanted to stay here,” Dave says, “one of my mottos as a business owner is that your guests’ experience will never outweigh that of your staff.”
Because of this motto and dedication to his team, Giannos has had very little turnover in the kitchen for roughly six years. And a core value for Dave and the entire Giannos crew is to create an environment that focuses on support and family.
“We spend a lot of time and effort to take care of our staff to try and keep them here,” Dave says. “When our guests come, they know there’s a friendly face to see when they walk in.”
But this value extends beyond the front-of-house wait staff.
“If you walk past the kitchen, you’ll notice that the door is open, and that’s for a reason,” Dave says. “Our chefs want to thank the guests for being here.”
Because of his dedicated and hardworking team, Dave knows that he is lucky to be in a position where he gets to see happy customers.
“We’re so fortunate to have so many regulars,” he says. And while the staff recognizes plenty of the Giannos regulars, the regulars also recognize Giannos staff. “Every Thursday, a gentleman comes in for lunch, at the same time every week. We even have people that come in and ask for servers by name and are willing to wait for them just to sit in their section.”
Dave is a self-professed people pleaser in both his professional and personal life, so his pride and joy are being able to give something to the community that always leaves customers with a smile and a clean plate.
“We are so very active in our community. Not because it brings us business per se, but because we care about [the community],” he says. “We want to see High Point succeed.”
Giannos partners with and caters for High Point University, High Point Market, local public schools and other organizations in the area. They also work with non-profits like the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Dave has even allowed the restaurant to be used as a meeting place for local organizations.
“We want to be a part of the community because that’s what we’re passionate about. We love High Point and we love where we’re at,” says Dave, “Which is why we’re just going to keep working as hard as we can to make everyone feel welcomed and supported.”
Through Giannos, Dave has had the unique opportunity to see 13 years’ worth of growth in the city. High Point and the entire Triad area is becoming more of a destination, which further inspires local businesses like Giannos to stay and deepen their roots in the community.
“I’m so encouraged to see a lot more traffic and activity downtown because that positively affects the whole city,” Dave shares, “Rising tides lift all boats.”
In his role as President of the Visit High Point board, Dave truly demonstrates dedication to a culture centered around hospitality.
“I really do believe that most of the change in this town will be done through the small independent business owners,” he says, “because when we all work together, I think that’s when we can create something really special for the city.”
Care, community, and consistency are what Giannos is known for. For 13 years, Dave has kept the restaurant at the highest of standards to keep customers coming back for more. By keeping up the positive reputation and energy, the entire Giannos team has their efforts recognized.
“We have been named the best Italian restaurant by High Point Enterprise almost every year since we opened,” Dave says, although that’s only one of the many awards Giannos has received during its time in High Point.
“The food is an important part because I always expect the best, but beyond that I want everyone to have that experience of really feeling cared about.”
Dave Nicoletta, owner of the G4 Restaurant Group and Giannos
“I really do believe that most of the change in this town will be done through the small independent business owners, because when we all work together, I think that’s when we can create something really special for the city.”
David Nicoletta, Owner of G4 Restaurant Group and Giannos
This story is brought to you by:
High Point Discovered tells the stories that help people fall in love with High Point. Learn more about local 501c3, High Point Discovered below.