Brandon Fay worked in the restaurant industry for around a quarter of a century and figured out quite a few problems the customers faced during his time there. Being a massive lover of Italian food, it always irked Fay that to get Italian food, customers had to make reservations at restaurants, and the pasta especially was usually served cold and made from previously frozen dough. Fay sought to fix this problem by opening his freshly made pasta bar in New York City, Pasta by Hudson. Fay’s pasta-centered establishment offers freshly made, affordable pasta meals that can easily rival any major Italian restaurant. The aspect of Pasta by Hudson that sets it apart from any other Italian cuisine establishment is that it offers custom plates of pasta. Customers can choose their kinds of pasta, sauce, and protein, creating a dish designed specifically for their taste buds.
Pasta by Hudson continues to serve New York City residents at its Columbus Circle location, and despite facing difficulties due to the pandemic, reports suggest that the business had managed to rake in $850,000 in sales in 2021. The quality of the products and the grab-and-go model of the outlet mean that the company will continue to have opportunities to expand, especially as the world opens up.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Brandon Fay entered his Shark Tank Pitch, radiating confidence and an infectious vibe. His demeanor and evident love for Pasta immediately attracted the Sharks. He asked for $150,000 for 10% equity in his fresh pasta to-go business.
Fay explained the idea behind his business as he observed that most restaurants do not serve pasta the way it’s meant to be, freshly made. Moreover, he believed that customers were also overcharged for basic pasta meals. Fay wanted to simplify and serve fuss-free, freshly-made pasta to customers without the added chore of a reservation and the hefty prices. He opened a small takeaway spot in New York City which would allow the customer to make their own pasta dish. It’s a simple idea that makes pasta an ideal to-go meal in a constantly busy New York City. The Sharks are interested in the concept.
Fay provides the Sharks samples of his pasta and is instantly given positive feedback. The Sharks loved the dishes, and Barbara Corcoran declared that the meatballs were the best she had ever tasted. The quality of the product further provided an incentive for the Sharks to make an offer.
Even before numbers were discussed, John Daymond was the first Shark to pull out of negotiations. He loved the idea but could not fully invest in the business due to pasta irritating his acid reflux. The other Sharks were still interested and inquired about Fay’s sales.
Fay revealed that his business had done $569,000 in sales at the time of filming. Half of the sales were made through the delivery sector. Mark Cuban suggested Fay should look to focus more on the delivery side as it has potential.
Kevin O’Leary wanted to know whether the business was making any profit. Fay replied that they were operating on breakeven. O’Leary was a bit skeptical after this revelation. He declined to make an offer because he believed it was too early for him to invest in the business, especially as it was not making any profit at the time.
Fay was left with Corcoran, Cuban, and Lori Greiner, who were very interested in the business. Corcoran was still under the spell of the meatballs and offered Fay $150,000 for 80% of a completely separate meatball business. She was not interested in the pasta business and reiterated that these were the best meatballs she had ever tasted. This perplexed Fay, and he decided to listen to Cuban and Greiner’s offers. Cuban and Greiner chose to go in on the deal together, but Cuban declared that he wanted 20% of the business. This gave Greiner pause as she tried to figure out her stake in the company. After a bit of haggling between the two Sharks, they offered $150,000 for 30% equity.
Fay accepted Cuban and Greiner’s deal immediately. He rejected Corcoran’s offer. However, he seems to have taken her advice as the business plans to launch a meatball delivery service.
Our Review of Pasta by Hudson
Pasta by Hudson is an innovative twist on all the frills attached to proper Italian meals. It provides freshly made pasta in a culinary scene usually filled with easy-to-eat handheld food. The overall consensus on the food is overwhelmingly positive. However, the business can still iron out a few issues to thrive even more.
Pros of Pasta by Hudson
- The menu is affordable
- Packaging makes the pasta an easy to-go meal
- Fresh ingredients, including the pasta dough, which is made daily.
- Packaging is environmentally friendly
- Customized pasta dishes made according to taste
- Customers can also buy uncooked pasta
Cons of Pasta by Hudson
- Only has one location
- Crowded most days
Who Is It For?
Due to its location, Pasta by Hudson is meant for New Yorkers who want a quick bite to grab while working but do not want to compromise on taste and quality. It is also an excellent spot for people looking to taste authentic Italian pasta without all the hassles and frills attached to restaurant reservations.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Pasta by Hudson is not unique in its menu as many Italian restaurants focus on fresh ingredients. However, the takeaway model of the business makes it unique. Couspecialith the customizable pasta dishes, there is no direct replacement for Pasta by Hudson on the New York culinary scene.
Pasta by Hudson is a worthy addition to the New York culinary scene. The food is met by approval from most customers, and its location on Columbus circle means it has become a go-to meal for many New Yorkers going about their business. However, like most hospitality sectors, Pasta by Hudson was also affected by the pandemic. It has not been able to expand to other locations as previously planned.