A former PGA Golf Professional, the only experience Dan Zadalis had with the food and beverage industry was eating in a clubhouse snack bar. However, when he had the opportunity to become a silent partner and minority owner of Eli’s Bar & Grill, he took a chance. After three months, he took on a new partner, became the majority owner, changed the format and the place took off. He enjoyed running Eli’s until he took semi-retirement four years ago. After wearing out his recliner watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, he got the itch to open a good pizzeria. He went on a mission to study pizza and read numerous books and magazines that laid out the foundation of their pizza. Later, with his cooks, he started with 15 marinaras, 15 mozzarellas and 15 crusts and, after ten days of experimenting, they came up with the best combination and tweaked the marinara and crust to create their final product. Roma’s Pizza and Subs, located at 2647 S. 159th Plaza, opened in fall of 2011.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
A 2” downhill, left to right breaking putt.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Building a profitable operation starting with $90,000 in debt.
Tell us a little about your family.
I’m single with no kids and my fiancé lives in Massena Iowa and owns the Bar & Grill there. It’s about 80 miles away. I proposed five years ago and it is my hope and desire that we will end up together.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Climbing out of $90,000 debt and running a profitable operation with the help of a great staff. We were more like a family than staff.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Play golf or sleep.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I taught golf in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1991, 1993 and 1995. My clientele was 50 percent American, 40 percent European and 10 percent Middle Eastern. I was brought there partly to get the Saudis more involved with golf so the sport would continue there.
What are you the most proud of?
People who risk their lives for others and people who donate their time to help others.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
People throughout the world are the same. There are some bad people but most are good.
What is the one goal you would most like to accomplish?
To positively influence people and be a good role model.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
What are your plans after retirement?
Golf, travel and grandkids.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
The ability to observe and analyze.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Physical ability and more hair!
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Chariots of the Gods? By Erich von Daniken
What is your favorite movie?
Any James Bond, Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park movies.
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Lo Sole Mio
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Jesus then Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?
Call me at Roma’s at (402) 933-3445 or visit our website at www.romasomaha.com.