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The Game’s Not Up



How can a fine-dining restaurant continue to extend hospitality during a pandemic?

The Covid-19 pandemic has been especially hard on restaurants, with many permanently closing. Canlis, an iconic Seattle fine-dining establishment, has innovated several outside-the-box business models that allow the restaurant to continue to show hospitality to guests and the community, and to keep its employees on the payroll. All of its experiments center on its true identity and purpose — bringing people together — whether over food or otherwise.

Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • How can a fine-dining restaurant continue to extend hospitality during a pandemic?
  • A famous marketing article from the 1960’s, “Marketing Myopia”, argued that businesses should see their purposes in more visionary and durable terms related to the benefits they provide rather than seeing their identity merely as makers of their current products. How is Canlis living into its true, higher-order purpose through all its creative pandemic pivots rather than just struggling to be a fine-dining restaurant? How is this reflective of God’s desire for businesses to be creative partners (with agency) in provisioning humankind and contributing to human flourishing?

Connecting to Your Work

  • What value does God place on material existence?
  • What constitutes our “daily bread”? Does the idea of daily bread allow for providing products that aren’t strictly necessities?
  • What are good goods? What makes your products virtuous?
  • What part does your business and its products and services play in God’s provisioning agenda? What parts of your customers’ practical needs do you meet?
  • What does it mean to help customers “flourish”? How do your products and services contribute to the bigger and deeper aspects of human flourishing (i.e., Shalom) adding life, joy, beauty, meaningfulness, abundance, and connection beyond their “daily bread” contributions?
  • What does God expect from us about our use of creation and our creativity/ingenuity to add bounty to bounty and beauty and life (i.e., real value) in the form of designing and delivering good goods? What have you done to foster creativity in your business?
  • How customer-centric are you? Why?
  • What have you done to develop a keen understanding of your higher-order mission and, thus, avoid marketing myopia? What have you done to order your business activities accordingly?

Personal Application

  • Knowing that God cares about our “daily bread” and beyond that our flourishing, what can you do to be an effective partner in this aspect of God’s provisioning care for people and creation?
  • Matthew 6:25-33

Please bless the work of our hands as we join together with you to provide everyone their daily bread. Amen.