A Chicago Icon

Chicago is a city dripping with history and culture, especially when it comes to food. Over the last 40 years, we’re proud to have carved our name into the city’s celebrated culinary heritage.

A family foundation

Four decades, three generations, and several dozen restaurants ago,

Joe and Peggy Buonavolanto opened the first Buona Beef in Berwyn, IL just a half-mile from their family home. It was Joe and Peggy’s dream to create a family-focused, community-centric restaurant with their five sons—one that would specialize in Italian Beef Sandwiches and elevate the Chicago street-food staple with high-quality ingredients and a secret family recipe.

All five of Joe and Peggy’s sons have worked in every capacity within the restaurant, 

from washing floors and running the kitchen all the way up to running the organization and its many branches. For Buona (Italian for ‘Good’), the belief is that hard work truly does pay off, and nowhere is that more evident than the dedicated employees and multiple generations of Buonavolanto’s that, to this day, still facilitate every aspect of the company’s operations across Chicagoland.

The results? Well, they speak for themselves.

 26 locations. Dozens of awards. Millions of happy humans served. Buona is now the largest family-owned Italian Beef restaurant group and largest Italian Beef producer in the country. 


Joe & Peggy Buonavolanto



Joe Jr.



So, Why Buona?

With 40+ years of experience under our belts, now is the time to expand our footprint through franchising. Are you ready?