Pat’s Italian Is Now a Providence Takeout Option Through Bath Food Co.
After an increase in demand for take-home dishes and a restaurant staff shortage, owner Greg Stevens has launched takeout and delivery out of the community kitchen space.
Pat’s Italian owner Greg Stevens wanted to expand his restaurant brand and was looking for an easy way to do it. During COVID-19, he noticed an increased demand for takeout options at his Pat’s Italian locations in Cranston, Johnston and Coventry, but he was also dealing with a staff shortage.
“I’ve got my brick and mortar places, and then during the pandemic and lockdown, we saw such an increase in takeout,” Stevens says. “I don’t do delivery, but I use it myself, and I started reading about the cloud kitchen concept. I thought it sounded almost too good to be true.”
Stevens did his research and found Bath Food Co., a community commercial kitchen space that is the headquarters for many delivery and takeout restaurants in Providence. He realized he didn’t have to open a full brick and mortar to bring his Italian specialties to the city. Plus, it was also a way for him to address a current labor shortage in the hospitality industry.
“You don’t need a full staff, waitresses or bartenders. It’s one fixed cost you pay monthly and they cover utilities and cleaning,” he says. “You also don’t have to deal face-to-face with customers.”
He found the community kitchen to be a good solution to help his restaurant brand grow. “I know our food travels well and heats up really well. I thought with our chicken parm, veal parm and some of our saute dishes, that it would be a perfect concept for us,” he adds.
He was having a difficult time keeping his other restaurants fully staffed, but now he’s able to focus more on this Providence takeout concept through Bath Food Co. “We’re trying to figure out when the best hours are to be open for delivery. It’s a whole different animal for us. A lot of it is going to be college kids.”
He says his busiest nights for takeout are often weeknights, which is very different from his restaurants’ slammed Saturday nights. Always the restaurant innovator, he has tested out various concepts, but always came back to the consistent Pat’s Italian brand.
“The Bistro is a new idea I came up with, a little location in Chapel View. Originally it was a Johnny Rockets, then I took it over and made it Uptown Burger Bar,” he says. “I loved that concept but maybe I don’t have the patience to wait brands out.” When it wasn’t as successful as he hoped it would be, he turned the location into a more upscale version of his well known Pat’s Italian outposts in Johnston and Coventry. “It’s going really well,” he says.
Stevens was willing to try out the new takeout and delivery concept at Bath Food Co., and is offering some of the restaurant’s favorite specialties as well as build-your-own pasta. “I think the cloud kitchen, if it works out, is easy,” he says. “You put in one or two cooks and keep an eye on what they are doing. I would look into cloud kitchens in other locations, too, maybe New York or Boston.” bathfoodco.com; Pat’s Italian, 1200 Hartford Ave., Johnston; 1650 Noose Neck Hill Rd., Coventry, patsitalian.com; 1000 Chapel View Blvd., Cranston, patsitalianbistro.com