At Italian Enclaves we like to shed light on Italian American success stories. We also have an agenda to support Italian American-owned businesses, hence the establishment of the #SupportItalianAmericanBusinesses hashtag, which is becoming consistently more popular.
The success story that we are sharing today has to do with food, so we are even more excited. Patrizia’s is a family-owned business that is growing exponentially and if you haven’t been there yet, a visit is in order. Having humble origins in the East Tremont section of the Bronx, Patrizia’s started off as one location started by brothers, chefs and owners: Giacomo and Gennaro Alaio. Today, Patrizia’s has twelve locations.
What To Expect
I first discovered Patrizia’s several years ago when my wife suggested that we try the restaurant out of pure boredom with our usual venues, so we traveled to Patrizia’s in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We had a great experience. The vibe was great as the restaurant was totally packed. We were still comfortably accommodated outside. Since then, we try to visit one of Patrizia’s locations (amidst the many other restaurants that we visit) when we are in the mood for a great Italian meal that is not going to break our bank.
Patrizia’s wisely offers diners an option to eat for $50 a person (with a $10 upgrade for lobster and artichoke). This includes 7 Appetizers, Homemade Pasta, 2 Entrees, Dessert, Unlimited Domestic Beer, House Wine, Sangria & Soda. Yes, you read that right. It is essentially unlimited food and wine/soda for $50 per person. I still haven’t met anyone who doesn’t take home a doggy bag. There is a link to the menu at the end of this article. Be warned, you will get hungry. The fare is not only portioned generously, it is delicious.
The extraordinary part about the incredible growth that is occurring with this business is that it is completely organic growth. What that simply means is that the restaurant has only relied upon its own success to grow and has received no outside funding. With a background in private equity, this was astonishing to me. Most companies let alone restaurants, that have the growth that is being enjoyed by Patrizia’s, usually require immense capital infusions from private equity funds or small brokerage firms. Even then, the profitability and growth rates are incomparable. What’s more, Patrizia’s appears to be recession hedged. As they have proven unparalleled scalability during an economic boon, Patrizia’s also seems to be priced for perfection in the event of an economic downturn thanks to the $50 per-person price-point for the incredible quality and quantity of food being offered.
Darden Restaurants and Dine Equity are the largest chain restaurant owners in the U.S. by market share. This means for every dollar spent in chain restaurants, these guys see the most pennies on that dollar than any other chain restaurant in the U.S. Although Patrizia’s is not yet a national brand or chain, their 12 restaurants speak to an unusually better growth rate than the 5% annual growth rate that the entire industry has seen on average, since 2013. This eclipses Darden and Dine Equity. In fact, Patrizia’s has grown at over 20 times that of the chain restaurant industry. That is a staggering number considering this has occurred by sheer profitability and reinvestment while at this juncture, they are still family-owned and operated. That may change soon, however.
After several attempts over the last year to interact with Patrizia’s via Social Media to support their business, we were unsuccessful in getting a response. Growing so fast understandably keeps management busy. We finally heard back after erroneous share posts were made on Italian Enclaves Social Media accounts (that were shared from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn’s sitting councilman) which addressed a rumor that Patrizia’s was moving to the old location (85th Street and 3rd Avenue) of former Bay Ridge culinary phenomenon, Areo. Unfortunately for the folks in Bay Ridge, Matthew Maschi of Patrizia’s informed us that although no Bay Ridge location was in the works, the restaurant was opening a location in Hauppauge, Long Island (now opened).
This communication opened the door for me to take the opportunity to tell Matt how impressive Patrizia’s is as a family-owned business. He further informed me that the family is considering franchising. He also informed me that the business’ strategy is to open locations in family-oriented communities. This leads me to believe that if this family can replicate what they have done so far, we are going to be seeing and hearing a lot more about Patrizia’s.
By: Raymond Guarini
IBIS World Business reports