How This New Jersey Man, Dissatisfied With Service At Local Pizzeria, Built a $20 Million Restaurant Empire

How This New Jersey Man, Dissatisfied With Service At Local Pizzeria, Built a $20 Million Restaurant Empire
Cover Source Image: Getty Images | Photo by Cindy Ord

Frank Brusco, a former salesman, was so dissatisfied with a local pizza place that it led him to create a $20 million restaurant empire in New Jersey, as per Entrepreneur. Brusco, whose parents were Italian immigrants, is now a successful restauranter and the owner of Patricia’s, an Italian pizza place; Over Easy Kitchen, a chain of restaurants; and co-owner of Gabriella’s, an Italian steakhouse. 

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Frank Brusco | Image Source: Official Website of Patricia's
Frank Brusco | Image Source: Official Website of Patricia's

In 2015, Brusco experienced bad service twice in two weeks at a local pizzeria in Holmdel. In an interview with App.com, Brusco said that he had called in twice at the restaurant for a table and given his order 20 minutes in advance. However, when he and his family got to the restaurant, they had to wait another 20 minutes for their food. Further, Brusco saw that their order was late even though there were no other customers around.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Frank Brusco (@frankie_brusco)


 

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But instead of leaving the restaurant or writing a poor review, Brusco met the pizzeria owner, a full-time contractor who worked at the restaurant only at night, with just two people in the kitchen. Brusco found out that the owner was ready to get out of the pizza business. Brusco quickly took a look around, calculated how much the furniture would be and he was impressed. So he made a snap decision and wrote a cheque to buy the place.

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Brusco jumped into the restaurant business without any prior experience. After buying the pizzeria, he went on to renovate and transform the place into an upscale dining establishment in two months. He renamed the restaurant after one of his great-grandmothers, Patricia.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Patricia's Of Holmdel (@patricias_of_holmdel)


 

Patricia’s took off, with its high-end menu and Brusco’s passion for creating an unforgettable customer experience. In a Corner Booth podcast, Brusco said that the customer remains his focus, and he hires friendly people, and trains staff to refer to all guests as family.


 
 
 
 
 
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Today, Brusco owns the restaurant with executive chef Lenny DiMaria, and Patricia’s has a crew of about 70 full-time and part-time employees, as per PMQ Pizza Media. The main dining room seats 140 people, an outdoor dining area seats another 70, and The Market area seats up to 40 guests and offers coffee and pastries.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Patricia's Of Holmdel (@patricias_of_holmdel)


 

Patricia’s of Holmdel, specializes in classic Italian food, including several pizzas, along with a regularly updated menu. It draws in food enthusiasts and Italian food lovers from Monmouth County, Ocean County, Staten Island, Westfield, and North Jersey. New signature items are included in the menu to keep the concept fresh.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Patricia's Of Holmdel (@patricias_of_holmdel)


 

For Brusco, Patricia’s became the stepping stone to creating a restaurant empire. Brusco partnered with a former employee to open Gabriella’s, an Italian steakhouse in Red Bank. The establishment can seat up to 260 customers, as per the PMQ report.


 
 
 
 
 
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He further launched Over Easy Kitchen, which has locations in Holmdel, Marlboro, and Fair Haven and he is launching another 8,000-square-foot supper club by the end of this year.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Over Easy Kitchen & Espresso Bar (@oekitchen)


 

As per a report by Entrepreneur, Brusco has created a $20 million mini-empire in New Jersey. Brusco is a hands-on owner and he has a familiar presence at all of his restaurants. In the App interview, he describes that he starts his day by meeting customers and staff at the Over Easy Locations, then he spends time at Patricia's and he finally ends his day at Gabriella’s when it closes down at 1 am.

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