Stephen Starr is set to open his Rittenhouse bistro, Parc, this month, and you can bet it will — in classic Starr style — offer a different experience from every other Starr spot, save one thing: that legendary service. The constant smiles, the ability to rattle off ingredients, the boss’s bio, and all that makes the place like nowhere else: From Pod to Parc, they’ll have you drinking the S.S. Kool-Aid come tip time. But how does the King of Dining Cool train such perfect Stepford Servers? Starr credits role-playing exercises — and though we heard tales about drills on smiling and preferred lingo (just a guess — “like nowhere else”?), attempts to get more details from half a dozen servers around town were met with lockdown-like refusals. Now that’s Starr power.
Pulse: Chatter: Restaurants: The Starr Treatment
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, June 2008