The Indigo Road managing partner Steve Palmer was well on his way to opening a Charlotte, North Carolina, outpost of Charleston steakhouse Oak when construction hit a hiccup. As Palmer recalls it, “We hired our staff at Oak Charlotte and in the eleventh hour we had a horrible mechanical issue with our hoods.”
While many restaurants experience hiccups, not many of them would handle it the way Palmer decided. “[Indigo Road] culture says we care about the employees first above all else. So I went to the staff and said ‘We screwed up, and we are going to pay everyone for 40 hours a week until we open.’ It's a $25,000 a week expense, which, needless to say has taken my breath.” Neither Palmer nor his public relations group contacted Eater about this story; it was a fellow food and beverage veteran who heard about Indigo Road’s generosity and thought it should be applauded.
With the extra time before the opening, Palmer decided to show the Charlotte staff what the company was all about, so he’s brining them to Charleston to experience the original Oak with a free dinner and hotel rooms. “We feel terrible about the delay, and we want the staff how grateful we are and how much we appreciate them,” says Palmer.
• All Oak Steakhouse Coverage [ECHS]