A new restaurant from the CEO of Cafe Intermezzo opens next summer at Colony Square in Midtown Atlanta. Saints and Council promises a “positive” dining experience without the fixed rules typically associated with a traditional, full-service restaurant and an “equitable” pay structure for employees, according to the press release.
The design for Saints and Council should feature a mix of indoor-outdoor seating arrangements, including tables and booths in the dining room, living room-style seating areas for eating and drinking, and a patio with fire pits and heated seats. A central bar includes “small peninsulas”, allowing people to face one another rather than the bartender, and three bartender workstations, making them easily visible and accessible to bar patrons.
“The name [Saints and Council] represents the highest and best in all of us – the desire to fulfill all that we were meant to be,” Cafe Intermezzo CEO William Pitts tells Eater. “It’s friends coming together to lift each other up, to spur one another on to greatness in a world that has experienced weariness and discouragement.”
Hoping to break the “rigid rules” associated with a full-service restaurant, Saints and Council wants to afford diners the ability to move about the restaurant freely by implementing technology which recognizes where people are in the restaurant. This system is still “in process,” according to Pitts.
Servers will also not be assigned to specific tables during service. Instead, front of house staff at Saints and Council (referred to as “memory makers”) work as a team and share the responsibilities of taking orders, serving, and bussing tables. Sharing these responsibilities at the restaurant comes with what Pitts claims will be an “equitable” pay structure.
“This [service style] jives beautifully with the need to fix a problem I perceived in the restaurant industry – the inequitable pay structure between positions. I started as a cook and remember the feeling of working harder than other positions while making much, much less,” Pitts says. “We read about stories of guests leaving large tips to a server during hard times or around the holidays. What about the cooks? Did anyone think about the dishwasher who is barely making ends meet? In an industry where the positions behind closed doors are referred to as ‘the heart of the house,’ we certainly have not structured these businesses to treat our hard-working cooks and dishwashers as if they are the heart.”
Pitts says the “finer elements of the details” regarding the pay structure at Saints and Council are still in the works. However, he does plan to have pay for cooks “exceed all other restaurants around the Midtown area,” who average between $12 and $17 per hour. Tipped employees, such as servers and bartenders, average $2.13 per hour.
As for the menu, breakfast centers around sweet and savory Dutch baby pancakes, which rise in the oven, and small plates, salads, sandwiches, slow-cooked meats, and several savory Dutch babies at lunch and dinner.
Saints and Council joins Brown Bag Seafood Company and Establishment currently open at Colony Square. The complex is undergoing a multi-million dollar revamp, which includes a new 20,000-square-foot food hall called Politan Row. In addition to the food hall, Colony Square will eventually feature a dine-in movie theater, the relocated Holeman and Finch Public House, and a third location of Persian restaurant Rumi’s Kitchen.