The co-owner of the family-style Italian restaurant on making guests feel at home
Growing up in the hospitality industry, Matt Maschi has firsthand experience with the complexities of running of a successful restaurant. Patrizia’s, which started in Brooklyn and has expanded across New York and New Jersey has been co-owned by Maschi’s family for over 25 years, and part of its success has been built upon its ability to provide guests with a warm, family-style dining experience.
We spoke to Maschi about what draws him to the industry, his thoughts on social media, and how Patrizia’s website has helped expand his established brand.
The pizza oven at Patrizia's.
Warm Up Questions:
Your go-to coffee order?
In the summer cold brew. In the winter months just a black coffee.
The last thing you bought online?
Espresso. I make my own espresso.
Your first job?
Scooping ice cream on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. It was called Putt ‘n Bat.
The last thing cooked for yourself at home?
Avocado toast on Sunday.
Patrizia's is all about family. Photo of Matt and his wife.
Why do you enjoy working in hospitality?
It’s an interesting point of view from my perspective. I’d have to say I’m a huge food lover and I’ve always worked in restaurants. Early on, I loved being in the kitchen to make people happy through food. Now, I run all of our social media and PR.
What are your thoughts about social media when it comes to the restaurants?
The restaurant’s brand is growing and in NYC the foodie scene has become pretty big. It used to be about the Zagat rating, but now with Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, it’s become a lot easier to showcase your food. These social media pictures are taking over what people see on Yelp.
Describe the atmosphere at Patrizia’s. How do you want guests to feel when they walk in the door?
I think the biggest thing for us, being five restaurants deep, is really loving the people who work at and come to the restaurants, regardless of what social media does for us. These restaurants took off before Instagram was even a thing. It was literally about making everyone feel like family. That’s been my life since I was a little kid—being kind, being nice, and being loving.
So when you walk in, you are greeted by someone. In one of our restaurants, the founding owner walks up to everyone and asks them how they’re doing. That’s how it comes together. Just like our food on social media looks inviting, we try to make our restaurants feel inviting, too. We have a family feel.
Lobster dish offered at Patrizias.
Why did you decide to switch to a BentoBox website?
We had another website and a guy would update everything for you. I came across Lilia’s website and thought it looked incredible, and it just hit me. I scrolled to the bottom and saw BentoBox—I wanted something very simple, sleek and clean. I didn’t even know about the whole backend part, how I could update it as easily as a Facebook page and how it was a lot cheaper.
How has your website helped your brand?
The whole backend part is what sold me. My old web provider was probably doing 20-30 websites and every time I needed a change, it would take him a while for the simplest things. I would email him the specials I needed up for the weekend and the weekend would be over by the time they he got around to it. After going to BentoBox and using it—it was awesome seeing how easy it was with the drag and drop and the analytics. It gives you control.
I’ve also gotten more email than I ever noticed asking for information and probably get 15-20 emails a day inquiring about private parties. I actually even get a couple of emails saying that they love the new website.