Plancha Latin Kitchen, a new fast-casual concept from former restaurant chain industry executives, is set to open in late October in Long Beach, Calif., after more than two years in development.
This pan-Latin concept is backed by former franchisees and leaders at El Pollo Loco, California Fish Grill and Mimi’s Café.
Marketed as a “fast-casual plus” concept, this restaurant will have counter service while also providing full table service once guests are seated, with servers adding items or beverages as needed.
Katie Sutton, formerly the senior director of research/development for Mimi’s Café and corporate executive chef at The Hess Collection Winery, serves as a consulting chef who helped develop the expansive menu, which includes build-your-own Latin-inspired bowls, patacones (open-face sandwiches), savory and sweet empanadas, , arepas and food cooked on the plancha.
With hospitality in mind, Plancha Latin Kitchen formed a hiring strategy around “The Experience,” which is a set of guidelines assigned by President Jorge Healy, formerly of California Fish Grill, Togo’s Eateries and El Pollo Loco. These guidelines ensure that the employees “live to serve” and are cross-trained.
“Our team thoughtfully perfected the dining experience to prevent guests from leaving their seats and waiting in line,” said Healy.
The restaurant is designed with a Southern California flair and incorporates natural elements like reclaimed wood and quartz with a communal dining table capable of seating 126.
The concept applied to be an LLC in April of 2017, something owner Endie Widjaja addressed in a statement saying “this restaurant has been in the works for years. We had our team solidified, menu conceptualized, and marketing strategy all buttoned-up — all we were waiting for was the perfect spot to debut our first location.”
The restaurant officially opens on October 30.
Here’s a look at Plancha Latin Kitchen.
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