We at Incredible Pizza know we have a lot to be thankful for all year long. There might be a myriad of reasons for us to give thanks, but they all come down to two things: our guests and our employees. They are the secret recipe that make the incredible moments happen. We could go on all day about how incredible both are, but we figure you have other things to do today besides read this post. (Like getting ready for a certain big meal coming up this week!) So here are the top ten reasons we’re thankful for our guests and employees:

10: We thank our guests for trusting us with their birthdays. We know how important that party is, and we’re grateful every single time you entrust such a special day to us. Of course, those birthdays wouldn’t be quite the same without our party hosts; the energy and enthusiasm they bring is what makes the day incredible!

9: We’re thankful to our employees for fearlessly tackling field trip season with us. Each year as May approaches, the entire company takes a collective deep breath. We take one last look at each other as if to say, “If I don’t make it, tell Ma I love her” and we roll up our sleeves and wade into a sea of buses and children amped up on the joy a day in an indoor amusement park—and the sweet promise of summer being right around the corner. It’s an insanely stressful month, but it’s also incredibly exciting. There’s a feeling in the air that’s indescribable. And when you survive field trip season, well, we’re pretty sure it’s akin to climbing Everest or finishing the Iditarod.

8: We’re thankful to our guests and employees for helping us give back. Each year, Incredible Pizza guests bring in school supplies for children in need, canned food to feed the hungry, art supplies for children in the hospital, and more. Whenever we say there is a need, time and again you fill it. Our employees give their time for things like the United Way Day of Caring. They Bowl for Kids’ Sake to raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Iggy the Mascot attends charitable events and races. Employees organize events to raise money for their local communities and causes they care about and then our amazing guests pack the house to show their support. It’s pretty incredible watching people come together to make the world a better place.

7: Speaking of community, one of our favorite things to do each year is participate in parades. We try to make it to one each year in each city where we have a store. There is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes to make that happen, and we’re so grateful for everyone who pitches in to do their part (and to our ah-mazing float driver). The day of, our corporate office and store employees donate their time to run alongside the float and hand out candy. Sometimes even our families and customers help us out. The excitement in the air at a parade is palpable. We adore being a part of our communities in such a special way, and we couldn’t do it without you.

6: We might only make it to one parade a year, but thanks to our employees, we’re able to attend other community events throughout the year. Festivals, fairs, expos, marathons, and more line our calendar in each city we’re a part of. That wouldn’t be possible without our employees being willing to give of their time to lug the tent, set up the prize wheel, and spend a day – often in adverse conditions – holding down the fort. And all of that effort would be pointless without our guests stopping by to say hi, joke around, and take their turn at the prize wheel.

5: We’re thankful to our customers for sharing their triumphs with us. One of the first things we ask when a guest walks through our door is if they are celebrating anything. The answers run the gamut: sports teams, scouts, youth groups, clubs, corporate groups… the list goes on. It’s easy to recognize the happy chatter of a group that’s there to celebrate a triumph or accomplishment.

4: On the flip side of that, our guests and employees are both pretty fantastic about helping us celebrate our triumphs, too. When we open a new activity or store, you’re there to help us celebrate. Not just our guests, but our employees, too. We have a private group on Facebook for our employees to share what’s happening in their corner of Incredible Pizza. The wall is filled with triumphs and shared activities, big and small—from the snazzy new flyer display case being hung, to a store’s grand opening, to surviving field trip season. Pictures of moments we want to celebrate with each other fill that virtual room.

3: We’re thankful to our guests and employees for sharing those beautiful smiles with us for marketing pictures. It’s not uncommon – especially the closer to Springfield you get – to see a member of the marketing team walking around with a camera asking if they can take a picture of you or your family. (Hint: we’ll give you a free activity or game card if you say yes.) Sure, we could hire models for our photo shoots or get stock photos. There’s no shortage of sites to find even free pictures on. But you are the face of Incredible Pizza. We don’t want to share meaningless pictures of people who don’t know us; we want to shine a spotlight on the real guest and the real employee. It’s your beautiful smiles that tell our story.

2: A couple of years ago, we started talking a lot more about #IncredibleMoments. We have monthly drawings to give away a $100 VIP Pass for four, and all you have to do to enter is post pictures of your special moments on our social media feeds and use the hashtag #IncredibleMoments. Every so often, we talk about ending the contest for something new or fresh but we can never seem to. We enjoy seeing those pictures too much. Each week, families “check in” on social with pictures and snippets about why they chose to walk through our doors. I have to fight the urge to hashtag them all—because they’re all incredible moments. And whether you enter the contest or not, we’re thankful each and every time you share a photo on our social feeds. For many of us, those pictures are the exact reason we do what we do.

1: And the number one reason we are thankful for our guests and employees … for helping us make something special, where family and friendship is still valued. Our founder created Incredible Pizza because he wanted a way for families and friends to connect, to spend time together, to play together. His dream was for Incredible Pizza to be a place where all of the world’s problems are checked at the door as moms and dads play with their children. Brothers and sisters team up to slay a dragon—or dinosaur—together. Friends giggle until their sides hurt. That’s special, and we get to be part of that every day because of you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.