Industry News | July 3, 2010

The Fast-Casual Market Says Hello to Hello Pasta

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Hello Pasta, a new pasta model in fast-casual dining, will launch its first of four restaurant locations at Lexington Avenue between 54th and 55th in New York City on July 7, 2010.

Hello Pasta will offer a choice of imported, organic Italian pasta (with whole wheat and gluten-free options) served with low-sodium sauces made with all-natural, locally sourced, and organic ingredients for less than $10. A serving of pasta will come in small and large sizes and will be made-to-order within minutes. Hello Pasta’s 11 sauces, each created in the Hello Pasta test kitchen, include Italo-American classics such as Pomodoro, Pesto, Carbonara, and Bolognese, along with Hello Pasta ‘signatures’ such as Sausage and Peas, Salmon Tarragon, and Tuscan Chicken Vodka.

Sauce options feature meat, fish, and poultry, vegetarian, and vegan options. Each customer picks the particular shape of pasta for the desired sauce, including conchiglie (shell shaped), fusilli, and farfalle. Once the pasta and sauce have been selected, the customer chooses between 100-percent Parmesan cheese or a gluten free/vegan alternative. In minutes, the order is ready and packaged in the signature white and green Hello Pasta to-go box: perfect for dining anywhere.

In addition to pasta, Hello Pasta will offer seasonal soups, ready-to-go salads, and cold pasta options (Ratatouille and Tomato Mozzarella.) Hello Pasta will also serve Ciao Bella ice cream, private-labeled sweet treats, and Nespresso coffee and cappuccinos.

The focus of Hello Pasta is to be both healthy and delicious. Founders and long-time friends Laurent Lesort, Gregory Baratte, and Nicolas Barthelemy wanted to fill a void in the North American fast-casual market by providing a high quality pasta alternative at a great value.

Lesort, Barthelemy, and Baratte collectively bring several decades of hospitality and marketing experience to their respective roles as chief food officer, chief operations officer, and chief marketing officer of Hello Pasta.

Lesort and Barthelemy developed a professional relationship while working together in New York City at such celebrated restaurants and lounges as Le Bilboquet, Le Charlot, and Opia. Lesort and his brother Frederick went on to open three successful lounge/restaurants: Frederick’s Lounge, Frederick’s Madison, and Frederick’s Downtown.

Barthelemy was a member of the opening team of Parisian hot spot, Buddha Bar, then was charged by parent company, George V Eatertainment (Buddha Bar, Buddha Bar Hotels Resorts & Spas, Barrio Latino , Barfly, Bound, Barlotti, Little Buddha Café, Karma Café), with all F & B operations in North and South America and Eastern Europe.

Baratte, as the senior director of marketing for Louis Vuitton, was Lesort and Barthelemy’ No. 1 customer and supporter. As the son of French restaurateurs, Baratte grew up in the business with a keen instinct for emerging dining trends.

“Pasta is one of the most beloved foods in America,” Lesort says. “We believe that if it is made-to-order within minutes and served with delicious, dimensional sauces for less than $10, it will attract a great variety of customers. Our goal is to serve a remarkable product in a modern and clean environment at a low price.”

Hello Pasta will open one restaurant a month for four consecutive months, with its first restaurant opening on July 7, on Lexington Avenue. The second restaurant will open in August on Third Avenue between, followed by Maiden Lane at Wall Street in the Financial District in August and finally, at 38th Street and Broadway Avenue in September.

Each Hello Pasta restaurant will have 800-1,000 square feet of dining space and will seat 15-25 customers. Designed by architect Antonio Di Oronzo, founder of Bluarch Architecture and Urban Planning, the interior space of Hello Pasta is modern and innovative, and was inspired by the shape of traditional, hand-made pasta drying on a rack.

“We wanted to create a brand that perfectly balances tradition and innovation, transcends all language barriers, and is as genuine as our absolute love for our pastas,” Baratte says.

“We created Hello Pasta to be an inviting, fun space with a strong, unique design that provides both an efficient flow of service and a memorable experience," Barthelemy says.

Hello Pasta is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for lunch, dinner, and afternoon indulgences. For delivery, please call 212-55PASTA or order on

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