Filed under: Charlotte, innovation, retail and restaurants | Tags: counting calories, extreme constraints, innovation, Ratcliffe on the Green, recession marketing, restaurant menus, restaurants
I’m off traveling for a week, so I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit three “timeless” posts on broader innovation topics. The third is about how we might tackle an unusual constraint and make it work for us.
Contrary to popular belief, innovation actually loves extreme constraint. This economic downturn is an example of one, and many new companies were borne out of a recession. New business owners find compelling needs to fill, and they recognize that they must survive or die in challenging times. Starutps learn to fail and adjust quickly, adapting in ways that may not have been considered before.
New regulations are another type of constraint that force companies to innovate (whether or not they agree with it.) I’m in NYC this week, and I am reminded of a law instituted last year mandating restaurants to post the number of calories of each of their menu items. I’ve heard anecdotes of some restaurants changing recipes in order to keep the interest of customers with their newfound awareness of caloric content.
It also reminds me of a story I heard about Charlotte’s own Ratcliffe on the Green delivering more value to attract customers that now carry lighter wallets. Instead of sacrificing on the quality of their local ingredients, they’ve switched to a Brasserie-style menu, an interesting paradigm-shift that I hope to taste soon.