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Joe Vicari

Men of Distinction Profile

While many people were doing their best to support restaurants during the height of the pandemic, Joe Vicari, of the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, was focusing on supporting the Detroit metropolitan community. He knew that with 24 successful restaurants in his portfolio, he was in a position to contribute even more than he had in the past. 

“We’ve been blessed,” says Vicari. “We’re a big name in the community and we believe in giving back to people who are less fortunate. During this pandemic, my Andiamo restaurants offered a ‘buy one get one free’ [deal] to help people who were out of work. We figured out we gave away $2.3 million in food in 2020.”

His restaurants also regularly give gift certificates and donations for different community events. “We’re very philanthropic throughout our restaurant group,” he says. “We do a golf outing every year and raise about $100,000. That money goes to a couple of different charities - the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and Gleaners Community Food Bank. These are two we hold close to our hearts.”

He’s also arranged for all his chefs to work the line at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. “They see the people who are coming in and I think it really opens their eyes; they get excited about helping,” says Vicari.

“I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. Over the years we’ve given people who work hard for us opportunities to become working partners. They then have a vested interest, and it’s worked out well. The key in the restaurant business is good food, good service and good help. You need all three of those to be successful.”

Vicari also credits his success to the late Master Chef and restaurant owner Aldo Ottaviani, who came to work for Vicari in his first restaurant. “It was his knowledge and recipes that put us on the map with Andiamo restaurants.”