The apprentice’s dilemma

The apprentice team were given restaurant space in Manhattan, New York, and a single day to get it ready: cuisine choice, chef selection, and interior design. The challenge was to win a Zagat survey competition. The project leader wasn’t paying attention, though.

Two members of the team met with Zagat representatives beforehand and reported to the project leader that their concept was a bad idea. The team stuck to their plan.

The restaurant opens; the decor’s stunning. The menu offers clever Asian fusion. The staff are neatly dressed, ready to serve, but no ones biting.

After the challenge, the team were beating themselves (and each other) up, and the project leader was fired.

An hour spent outside in the restaurant, observing the people in the neighbourhood would have revealed the market.

“We’re doing this.”

It’s possible that your product isn’t as good as the market wants it to be. But it’s also entirely possible that you failed to understand who it was for in the first place.