For Patrick McHugh of 15th Street Pizza and Pub in McDonough, Georgia, providing appetizing meals to guests in a welcoming environment seems to come naturally. So does the desire to give back to the community.
15th Street Pizza & Pub: A Family Affair
Operating the longest continually run pizza place in Henry County is a real family affair from working beside his wife Katie in the restaurant to preparing pizzas topped with market-fresh veggies hand-picked by his father and co-owner. Supporting charitable organizations is also a group effort for the purveyors of pizza. Patrick’s father, who served in the military, plays an active part in canned food drives that fill the pantries of the Veterans Support Group of McDonough. McHugh’s daughters also enjoy giving back by participating in charity work.
This focus on family is a driving force behind the McHughs’ involvement with local charities and ties into the core values upon which the restaurant is founded. These values are at the heart of how team members interact with one another and the quality of service they provide to guests. McHugh says these values are included in every employee’s new hire packet and applies to everyone working at the establishment.
The Restaurant’s Four Core Values
Family: 15th Street Pizza & pub aims to create a culture where you are treated like a family member.
Honesty: According to McHugh, “It means being truthful at all times and doing what we know is right even when it’s unexpected and especially when it’s hard.”
Outstanding Service: For McHugh, the key to getting this right is creating a culture in which it is understood that providing outstanding service is a part of their purpose.
Community: This value is based on the belief it is their responsibility to give back and take care of those who took care of them.
“We couldn’t do this without the people who come through the door.”
The fact Katie can be found on the front lines serving guests or Patrick in the back of house prepping pizzas or washing dishes alongside his staff is a testament to the team player mentality present at the eatery. It is one of the factors he believes promotes a positive retention rate among his team members. This harmony among the staff also spells success for patrons who benefit from a pleasant dining experience.
Giving Back to the Community
Those who frequent the restaurant are some of the very people who 15th Street Pizza & Pub have played a part in supporting through their community work. McHugh is aware of the impact and importance of patrons to his restaurant saying, “We couldn’t do this without the people who come through the door.” The way McHugh sees it, each of the people who dine at his restaurant have something they believe in. Customers are like family. So, he believes in his family and believes in their causes.
Not only is 15th Street Pizza and Pub generous with their time and resources, they go as far as using their space to support a cause they believe in. Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at home, the McHugh family hosts a group of youths from A Friend’s House to enjoy a hearty meal in their dining space. McHugh recounts how some of his regulars caught wind of this yearly tradition and began asking if they could make contributions. The menu for the Thanksgiving Day celebration began to expand as a result and so did the vision of what could be accomplished with the time spent together. Pretty soon, the very special guests were partaking in donated craft projects they could give their loved ones as Christmas presents.
A special moment McHugh vividly recalls is a heartfelt exchange between his youngest daughter and a child who seemed to be upset. Although others attempted to address the matter, it was his daughter who successfully consoled the child who eventually expressed the magnitude of finally having access to a present for their siblings. It was an option that never existed prior to that moment.
To say 15th Street Pizza & Pub is active in supporting community initiatives would be an understatement. From food and clothing drives to a holiday celebration and more, causes they are involved with include:
- Toys for Tots
- A Friends House
- Charles D Barnett Foundation
- James Esker Foundation
- Youth Leadership Henry
- Breast Cancer Awareness
- Paint Henry Blue (Prevent child Abuse Henry County)
- Police Benevolence
- Morrow Masonic Lodge
- Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
- American Diabetes Association
- Juvenile Diabetes Association
- Kensley Grace Aquatic Center
- Haven House
- Clayton State Athletics
- Communities in Schools
- Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
- Veterans Support Group of McDonough
- Jay Chapmen Memorial Fund
- Strong Rock Band
- Community Gardens of Henry County
- Henry Arts Alliance
- Hope Park