Chef Karen Mitchell was looking to work in a creative environment when she entered the kitchen at The Palm in Washington, D.C for a stage. The executive chef of that location at the time welcomed her in and gave her a challenge: come up with a special dish for that day’s lunch service, which started in 45 minutes. After searching for produce and proteins in the walk-in, she created a seafood special and gave a pre-shift meeting about its components. “I was shaking,” she remembers.
That’s how Mitchell started her career at The Palm restaurants. “It’s funny, I wasn’t looking for a corporate job,” she says. “But I feel like I found a home.” She is now the chef at The Palm Boston and was recently a contestant on an episode of Food Network’s Chopped.
Chain restaurants are really all about expectations. When guests see their favorite chain they have an idea of what’s on the menu and what the concept is before they even walk in. The challenge for operators of restaurants with multiple units is how to make each location exceed those expectations while providing the caliber of food and service that regulars expect. At The Palm, there are key ways they create unique experiences while staying true to their roots as an Italian-American steakhouse. [Read more…]