40 under 40 — Dave Manseau
Sigma Phi, 2004 — Recognized in: 2018
David Manseau, a seasoned hospitality guru in Chicago, has spent nearly twenty years cultivating and maintaining relationships throughout the Chicagoland hospitality industry. He is keen on building lifelong partnerships, and it is this attitude that has helped him build his vast network of event planners, venues, and industry scene creators.
While attending the University of Illinois at Chicago, David became an important member of Zeta Psi’s Sigma Phi chapter. David had a tremendous passion for brotherhood and not only led his chapter in extracurricular activities such as Greek Week and IFC football, but under his leadership, Sigma Phi also won most improved chapter. The relationships he forged in Zeta Psi have continued to play a large part in his future endeavors. Over the years, David has employed dozens of Zetes and has groomed many future leaders with the mindset of “paying it forward” to every Zete he has helped.
David’s hospitality career flourished in college with leadership roles at Hyatt Hotels and the W Hotel Chicago. At these hotels, he gained a working knowledge of how to build positive customer experiences through exemplary service. After working various positions at these prestigious hotels, David decided to transition to the nightlife industry to build additional industry contacts and operational experience.
Nearing the end of his undergraduate journey in 2003, David joined Ala Carte Entertainment and managed two of DJ Magazine’s top ten nightclubs in the world – Excalibur and Vision. David eventually outgrew his role with Ala Carte Entertainment and decided to join Tap Handle Development for further career advancement.
During his tenure as a general manager at Cactus Bar & Grill and director of operations for Tap Handle Development for nearly four years, David’s explosive success afforded him the opportunity to open the Franklin Tap with a fellow Sigma Phi Zete. David and his partner were able to expand the Franklin Tap twice due to double digit sales growth every year since its inception.
In late 2009, David moved on from Tap Handle Development and took over operations at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Chicago, the company’s flagship store. In any given weekend, David and his team of team served as many as 3,000 guests a day. The 30,000 sq. ft. flagship has ten private dining spaces and executes over 900 private events a year, including over 100+ wedding-related events. In 2014, David and his team were awarded the runner-up Restaurant of the Year award from Brinker International. Having had the opportunity to prepare and execute private events for three presidents and countless celebrities and sport figures, David always stayed very humble and has only grown more fond of helping others in need.
While at Maggiano’s, David found time in his busy day to support important social causes. With the help of his restaurant team, he helped raise $1,000,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David spearheaded the fundraising efforts for events such as Star Gala, Brunch with a Princess, and his summer-long lemonade stand. Over seven years and 23 wishes granted – David received the Chris Grecius award for his generous support year after year.
David’s volunteer efforts with Make-A-Wish didn’t go unnoticed in the Chicago scene. In late 2013, he was recruited to join the young professional board for Autism Speaks to specifically consult and execute their signature event – Illuminate. This single event has now raised over $100,000 every year since his involvement.
After 7 years at Maggiano’s as Managing Partner, David was ready for a new challenge and was recruited to the legendary Chicago restaurant group, Portillo’s. David took over the operations of the new flagship in downtown Chicago. His team of 175+ teammates serve upwards of 5000 guests a day, making it one of the busiest restaurants in the midwest. David’s charismatic personality and passionate feelings about food has opened a pathway for a new chapter in his hospitality career with Portillo’s. In addition to his operations role, David is a media spokesperson for the organization with multiple television appearances on shows such as Rachael Ray, Jimmy Kimmel and countless reality food TV shows around the world.
Over the years, David has always played a vital role in Sigma Phi’s alumni group by often organizing networking events and large group trips. His larger than life personality serves the alumni chapter well as he is often working behind the scenes throughout the year planning alumni events.