Earlier this year, I attended a conference in Nuremberg called Teaming with AI, run by my good friends, Markus Edgar Hormess, Adam Lawrence from WorlPlayExperience and also today’s guest, Florian Bailey.
The day before the event, myself and Florian spent some time together and hung out and explored the office where he was based. In passing, Florian mentioned he also was co-founder of Etz a 2-Star Michelin restaurant. I actually thought he was joking, but no, one of his businesses was the most incredible restaurant. The reason why I thought he was joking was, I’ve watched those documentaries on how demanding these types of restaurants can be - and I knew Florian was already super busy with his User Centered Strategy business, Nurenberg Festival etc
The next day, at the event, Etz provided all the food. The food was extremely special but that wasn’t the bit that I was most interested in. I was interested in the journey that Florian and his co-founder went on to get to this point. I mentioned that I had walked around the office space, well this is the same space that Markus and Adam use for their amazing This is Service Design Doing workshops from time to time. But it’s also the same space that Florian used to test the prototype for the restaurant - where was the line of visibility, the line of interaction. I wanted to drill a little deeper into these areas and learn more about that journey, what worked, what didn’t work.
So if you’re looking for an awesome example of a world-class business that utilises service design methods - look no further.
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[00:00:00] Florian Bailey : At the end, it's a question of how, it's the entrepreneurial question of how you deal with risk and can you minimize your risk exposure? Can you find out what the limitations is that, I mean, that's the basic job of every consultant and every designer if he looks at business questions so that the risk questions behind it.
[00:00:21] Florian Bailey : Now doing a Michela restaurant in itself is a very risky business.
[00:00:29] Gerry Scullion: Hello and welcome to Bringing Design Closer On. This is H C D. Our goal is to have conversations that inspire and help move the dial forward for organizations to become more human-centered in their approach to solving complex business and societal problems. I'm Jerry s Scalian. I'm the founder of This is H cd.
[00:00:46] Gerry Scullion: I'm a designer, educator, design coach, and podcaster based on the wonderful city of Dublin, Ireland. Now, earlier this year, I attended a conference in Nuremburg called Teaming with AI Run by my good friends Marcus [00:01:00] Ed Korm, Adam Lawrence from Workplace Experience, and also today's guest, Florian Bailey. Now, the day before the event, myself and Florian spent some time together.
[00:01:09] Gerry Scullion: And hung out and explored the office where he was based. Now, in passing, Florian mentioned that he was also co-founder of ets, a two-star Michelin restaurant. Now, I actually thought he was joking, but no. One of his businesses was the most incredible restaurant ets, and the reason why I thought he was joking was I've watched those documentaries just on how demanding these types of restaurants.
[00:01:29] Gerry Scullion: Businesses can be, and I knew Flo was already super busy with his user-centered strategy business and Nuremberg Festival as well, that he's really, really involved with. In the next day at the event, Ed's provided all the food. Now the food was extremely special. But that wasn't a bit that I was most interested in.
[00:01:46] Gerry Scullion: I was interested in the journey that Florian and his co-founder went on to get to this point. I mentioned that I walked around the office space with Florian before. Well, this is the same space that Marcus and Adam and Mark also use for their [00:02:00] amazing. This is services design, doing workshops from time to time.
[00:02:02] Gerry Scullion: But it's also the same space that Flo and used to test the prototype for the restaurant. So where was the line of visibility? Where was the line of interaction? And I wanted to drill a little deeper into these areas and learn more about that journey, what worked, what didn't work, et cetera. So if you're looking for an awesome example of a world-class business that utilizes service design methods, look no further.
[00:02:24] Gerry Scullion: Now I work in these episodes as a labor of love, and I love sharing the work of others, and I know many of you enjoy it. To, so I see all those wonderful reviews in Spotify and Google. Now, really, if you wanna help me, and this is cd, maybe you might consider becoming a patron. It's just under two euros a month.
[00:02:40] Gerry Scullion: You get a premium feed with no ads. It helps me meet the cost of producing everything. So we're still miles away from doing that. So check more at, this is eight city.com. But anyway, let's jump straight into this episode. Florian Bailey, I'm delighted to have you here on the podcast, um, a very warm welcome.
[00:02:59] Gerry Scullion: Maybe [00:03:00] start off, tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and where you're from.
[00:03:05] Florian Bailey : I'm from Nurnberg, and uh, I do a lot of things. It's complicated. You do, you do. My LinkedIn biography says I'm a designer by, by trade and craft. Yeah. But, uh, I think I'm doing a lot of different things at the same time.
[00:03:22] Florian Bailey : Initial star restaurant, which is, yeah. The thing you found most attractive, understandably. Oh, well, apart, apart from
[00:03:29] Gerry Scullion: your wonderful hairstyle and the event that we connected with through Marcus and Adam, uh, yeah. Teaming with, I, teaming with ai, but would you say entrepreneur, is that a phrase that you, um, repel or is it a.
[00:03:44] Gerry Scullion: Uh, a word you kind of find yourself.
[00:03:48] Florian Bailey : Um, it's, I, I'm fine with it and it's not my. When we had the event where you also joined teaming with AI event, there were groups of people [00:04:00] and there was an entrepreneur group who was there. Yeah. There were people who weren't willing to or weren't sure what they actually do in their job.
[00:04:10] Florian Bailey : And when you, when you looked at them and talked to them later, these were all entrepreneurs and CEOs from companies and something so CEO on their own. Yeah, and so, and I joined the Innovation and Designers group, so I see myself, yeah. More as an, as a designer and more somebody working on innovation. Yeah.
[00:04:34] Florian Bailey : Um, in reality, I'm an entrepreneur because I like to do it all, so yes.
[00:04:43] Gerry Scullion: We were speaking earlier there and also in Nuremberg as well when we were talking a little bit about ets, the restaurant, which we're, we're gonna talk a little bit about, more about because how it all came about. Um, I'm really interested in and also.
[00:04:58] Gerry Scullion: The service design methodologies. [00:05:00] Um, Marcus was very proud when he told me that they used cardboard to prototype, uh, the space cardboard, Jerry, and I was like, okay, brilliant. Okay. You know, cardboard. And I was like, okay, I get it. Okay, I get it. It was a prototype first. So, um, all I want to know a little bit more about is how you came about working as a designer.
[00:05:27] Gerry Scullion: Uh, you, you said you identify as an innovation, uh, person and a designer. How did you make that first leap into something that might be seen as a, an extension or a little bit of a step away from what might be seen as conventional or accepted for a designer to do, like your first business that was outside of that realm?
[00:05:47] Florian Bailey : Um, I think the first business, so, so we started as a, I was freelance for a long time Yeah. And did a lot of design consulting. Mm-hmm. And. Mostly on digital products. Yeah. [00:06:00] And then there came a shift when we started to more and more events. Mm-hmm. Uh, in the regional, so regional events about digitalization, about um, design, about everything that came up.
[00:06:14] Florian Bailey : And sometimes I just did events because I didn't want to travel to Berlin or fly somewhere else internationally. So can you say events seem
[00:06:21] Gerry Scullion: me like conferences and stuff?
[00:06:23] Florian Bailey : Yeah. I went to a lot of few events and conferences and then, We just saw communities around here where we said, wow, the, this is, uh, actually a globally relevant community.
[00:06:35] Florian Bailey : Like, uh, we have Adidas here, Puma and, and a lot of research institutes and health and technology. So why don't they meet actually up? Why is there no meet up for them? And I wasn't actually part of these communities, but then I just. Started a meetup for them just because I thought that would will be interesting and interesting insights.
[00:06:55] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And then this meetup started and started going and more and more [00:07:00] people came and I started another Meet it up and another meetup for another community. And so suddenly we had like, I think 10, 12 different events going on in the area. Wow. And with different communities and we. Shared these events.
[00:07:16] Florian Bailey : So it was like a crowdsourced events and somebody took over for every event. And then we came up with the idea of, well, let's do a little festival for the region and put all the events in one week. Yeah. And just in an open crowdsourced way. So not in a, in a, we are doing a festival and we have all the events like, let's.
[00:07:41] Florian Bailey : Mobile, build a brand and be more visible for all the events. Build visibility for the events, but don't, let's not control it. Yeah. And that's when we start the festival in the region. So it was Nuremberg Digital Festival. Mm-hmm. And um, [00:08:00] that was the first business where I went outside of my usual areas.
[00:08:06] Florian Bailey : And it's a very interesting experience because it's so. It's so different to other festivals or other event types because it's completely crowdsourced. Yeah. And we, we never know what's going to happen and there's now a professional team managing it. It's five people or six people. It's not still a small business, but it has a lot of, it's an impact business.
[00:08:26] Florian Bailey : And you can, we have 400 events. Uh, in some years, and it's still big, impressive 1000 organizations and companies that somehow participate as because making their own events, partnering with other organizations to make an event. So what you're building is like a huge, enormous networking cluster and through the whole society.
[00:08:50] Florian Bailey : And then you have local theaters doing something with IT companies and. And you can watch how new networks appear and new [00:09:00] ways, how people connect and subgroup and, and subgroups. And it's very interesting because you, you have no control. So it's not, it's, it's not much of a business that can scale in a classical sense because we have no control.
[00:09:14] Florian Bailey : We can't invite big speakers and then becomes a big event or something because it's so. Different and so driven by the crowd and the interests of all the attendees. Mm. And. On the other hand, that makes it pretty unique in what it is delivering for the local network. Yeah. And the
[00:09:34] Gerry Scullion: community. So that work that you're doing for the community, um, you're kind of bringing people together, forming networks.
[00:09:42] Gerry Scullion: Um, how and what has that given you in terms of, uh, what you're bringing forward to the table with ets? Like what have you learned from the Nuremberg Festival that you can carry forward into? Cuz I know it's very local. Um, and it's, it's [00:10:00] sustainable and the practices that we like to talk about on this podcast, you're living and breathing on a day-to-day basis with ets.
[00:10:08] Gerry Scullion: Um, what have you learned from, from both running both of those businesses?
[00:10:13] Florian Bailey : There's one thing that is what the festival gave me is a deeper view and another perspective on ecosystems. Yeah. And that's, It's a very complex thing that we usually have problems with. It's not something in a, let's call it in a classical organizational principle, it's not hierarchical.
[00:10:38] Florian Bailey : It's not, it's not something you can control, an ecosystem. You can try to nourish it, you can try to help it to grow, and that's a principle we also have in the restaurant. Because you as a restaurant, even if you do a lot of your own stuff, you're still part of an ecosystem of producers, of farmers, of, [00:11:00] uh, fishery we are working with.
[00:11:02] Florian Bailey : And you impact them not just in what you are buying. You are also impacting them in. What you could buy, how you work with them so they can change their, their methods and their practices and what they're, what they're farming and also how you buy it. So, yeah. Um, a restaurant usually is like the final consumer, you know, just buys the finished stuff and.
[00:11:33] Florian Bailey : It says, I take that, I won't take that. And I think where we are going is different. So it's more about the relationship and growing and farming and developing new tastes together. Okay. So even from a business perspective, so we, we as a restaurant now we are prepaid. Yeah, so you buy your [00:12:00] ticket for your reservation in October or November.
[00:12:03] Florian Bailey : That of course, changes our model of financial, our model, our financial model. Yeah. And it allows us to order stuff now that's still getting produced. That's
[00:12:15] Gerry Scullion: awesome. Like I love that idea of prepaying in the future. So tell me what that means, like, cuz some people might say, well, I don't really get that.
[00:12:26] Gerry Scullion: Tell me what that small change of repositioning. Where money enters the conversation. What, what does that give you, um, as a restaurant owner and how does that trickle down to the other people as part of your ecosystem?
[00:12:45] Florian Bailey : Yeah, we can mention ordering. Yeah, we can, um, let's say we know how many of our, we, we.
[00:12:53] Florian Bailey : We use mango, lita pigs. Um, so it's a very, from an old, very [00:13:00] old breed stock that that's more or less, uh, three groups that are living near a forest around here. And there's one farmer who keeps them for him. We are like, It's, it's more or less our pigs because there are no, there's not a relevant number of other customers.
[00:13:18] Florian Bailey : So what we can do now is to say, we need four pigs next year, and we can prepay that. And that changes the way he works and the way he can structure his business and keeps these pigs alive. And the, these are a dying breed.
[00:13:36] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. So do you share the risk as well? Like what happens if Yeah. We share the risk, a disease amongst the pigs and mm-hmm.
[00:13:45] Gerry Scullion: They don't. We share the
[00:13:45] Florian Bailey : risk.
[00:13:46] Gerry Scullion: We share the risk as well. And
[00:13:48] Florian Bailey : yeah. And that's a change. And a big change. And the same thing happens with, uh, let's say, um, [00:14:00] one of the things we are working with a lot is climate change. So, um, Northern Bavaria, Franconia, where we are is, is very, has some very, is feeling some very strong effects on climate change.
[00:14:15] Florian Bailey : We are, we have a lot of wine yards and it's getting a lot of drier and there's more heat, and at the same time we still have, uh, snow and ice day. So a lot of pressure on the ecosystem and. There are some new plants we can bring in that have a higher, um, chance of surviving in these change changes. But for farmers, there's a big risk.
[00:14:43] Florian Bailey : You, you, you're starting with a new plant. You don't actually have any consumer or restaurants buying these plants. So what we can do is, hey, try to farm with these plants with us together. We will buy them from you. We are in a partnership now. [00:15:00] So what we, that's something we also want to foster. Um, yeah. A partnership to develop for us at the end, it's new taste.
[00:15:09] Florian Bailey : It's something sustainable, locally produced. And for the farmer, it's a, it's a new way of doing business. Or let's say he wants to have a farm with an ancient breed. That's us. That's a high risk. But we can say we will take 50% of this field next year. Okay. In that moment, his perfe perspective is completely different's.
[00:15:34] Florian Bailey : Do you know, a chance with little risk?
[00:15:37] Gerry Scullion: It, it, it's, it's really clever in, in many ways. But from the farmer's perspective, are there other customers like yourselves that work with them in that way as well? So is there potential there for conflict with, um, other. Customers on his side that may want 70% and they want one of those pigs that died.
[00:15:59] Gerry Scullion: And what [00:16:00] does that look like? No, there's not no.
[00:16:05] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And, uh, he has the chance to do more so he can have a second field because he knows how to work, uh, with what he's working with. So this is a chance to develop like new opportunities. And on the other hand, he can always go and say, Hey, I'm selling these, uh, salads to yets. Yeah, and, and open new opportunities with other restaurants.
[00:16:34] Florian Bailey : We have no exclusivity in there. We want to help bring some sustainability and some change into the ecosystem and for build on and help the, the ecosystem to put in a more sustainable way and also in a way where, let's say the things that the market usually doesn't. Want. [00:17:00] Mm-hmm. Are priced in a different way and valued in a different way.
[00:17:04] Florian Bailey : Yeah. So I mean, what the market wants is thing, things that can be packaged that are standardized. Yeah. And the things we want are like the opposite of that. And if we can get, give more financial security in that range for our partners, when they have a chance to develop more in that area.
[00:17:24] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. So, By the time it hits the plate in ETS though, um, it's usually gonna be quite different.
[00:17:31] Gerry Scullion: Is that, is that right? Mm-hmm. So, like, if you're taking a, a plant that nobody wants, people may not have the same sense of value or sense of vision and what you can potentially do with that. So you must have something happening magical in between the farm and the plate. And I'm really keen to understand that process.
[00:17:51] Gerry Scullion: You know, it's, it's, we, we realize the, the quality of the ingredients. Obviously extremely important, if not the most important thing. [00:18:00] But from my understanding of brief conversations with Marcus and Adam and yourself, and also tasting the food for Mets and somewhat at the event, um, something is, something special is brewing and especially if you're getting two star Michelin restaurant happening.
[00:18:20] Gerry Scullion: What, what are the ingredients that, um, you've helped Foster and the team help foster on a day-to-day basis in terms of the principles and how you
[00:18:31] Florian Bailey : operate? There are some very strong ideas that Felix, they had chef and my, my partner, um, used to develop the culinary style of the ads. And the basic principle is, Focusing on a local and sustainable ingredients and producers not in a very clearly defined way.
[00:18:58] Florian Bailey : So there's now [00:19:00] 30 kilometers, 50 kilometers, or 100 kilometers border. It's more about having a relationship with the people and the ecosystem you work with. And the other principle is, um, looking at things differently. Um, so working with them from the beginning. Not accepting pre-made stuff. Yeah. Looking at the principle behind it in what is possible.
[00:19:27] Florian Bailey : So there's an interesting, um, story behind it. How the restaurant became what it is now. It's a six to seven, eight year learning process. So when they started, when they started to buy these old pig breeds, Yeah. They couldn't find anybody to tell them how to work with that. Um, so they had to, the, the, the kitchen team had to learn everything by themselves, teach themselves fail and [00:20:00] fail again.
[00:20:01] Florian Bailey : Yeah. How to do their own, um, how to cut these. And what the restaurant is now doing is that we don't get any deliveries that are not raw. So what we get is the produce we get and what's happening is we are no longer our kitchen. We are no longer our restaurant. We are more like a, a small, local, artisan craft, um, factory working with all these products.
[00:20:30] Florian Bailey : So we have, so one day, one day they ask themselves, couldn't we buy local sugar? It's an interesting question. And they, they looked at their organic sugar in the, and they, and it's wasn't local because sugar is traded in a global and a national way. So it's very hard, especially in Germany to buy local sugar.
[00:20:55] Florian Bailey : So they looked at it, couldn't buy any, it's was organic but not local and that, [00:21:00] but in the area you have a lot of, um, sugar beets. That are actually harvested. So everybody ask them, why don't we have local sugar? And then they started to buy the beets and make their own sugar. Make their own sugar. And they have your own sugar.
[00:21:20] Florian Bailey : Yeah, we have our own sugar, so we still buy something. And now there are some producers who produce local sugar. So there's always an inspirational process going on. Yeah. And the. Um, but you start to make your own sugar and then you get malas and you get other, uh, other effects out of these beets, not just sugar, not just the end product.
[00:21:47] Florian Bailey : And then you get, suddenly you notice that there are different ways this tastes, depending on how you work with it. In the artisan process of making sugar out of beets. Mm, and [00:22:00] then you kind of ripen them in a bit longer, or you put them in the cold. And so by going a step backwards, And looking at the how old process.
[00:22:11] Florian Bailey : You discover different ways of taste and different ways of working with these products, and suddenly you have a much bigger, you're not no longer working with sugar. You are working with 20 different ways of producing sugar and 20 different tastes, and suddenly you can have a dessert. That is only made of these beets and some other components and but has 20 different kinds of tastes for sugar in there.
[00:22:45] Florian Bailey : And that's kind of.
[00:22:47] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. It, it's, it is a kind of a, a mindset, so to speak of, of how you're approaching the whole process. It's not just the process of when it hits the kitchen, it's the process that, the benefits [00:23:00] that come with all of those other pieces for people listening. Who, um, might see themselves as designers as well, who have interests in business and interests and impact and wanting to apply some of the stuff that they're interested in.
[00:23:17] Gerry Scullion: One of the big blockers would be access to capital to get land, to get a restaurant and stuff. How was this problem tackled amongst yourselves at ets? Cuz I know the designers and the change makers that listened to this podcast. Our perfect listeners who are, have got the potential there to really make situations an awful lot better by bringing these kind of sensibilities to the business world.
[00:23:44] Gerry Scullion: What advice do you give to those people on how you approached the, the most common blocker in starting a business? It's access to
[00:23:51] Florian Bailey : capital. Access to capital is always a, a question of risk. So, so at the end it's a question of [00:24:00] how. It's the entrepreneurial question of how you deal with risk and can you minimize your risk exposure.
[00:24:08] Florian Bailey : Can you find out what the limitations is that, I mean, that's the basic job of every consultant and every designer. If he looks at business questions. Absolutely. What are the risk questions behind it? Now, doing a Michelin restaurant in itself is a very risky business. It's no question. Yeah, I, I wouldn't advise it.
[00:24:26] Florian Bailey : Yeah. Um,
[00:24:28] Gerry Scullion: you heard it here, there is the sound bite from the podcast. I would not advise this. I'm sure that's not always
[00:24:34] Florian Bailey : true. No. Um, what we did is, um, When we started this, so, so Felix already was head chef in another restaurant he didn't own. So we are owning VI together now. So, and he developed a lot of the techniques we are using now there.
[00:24:55] Florian Bailey : So there was already the basic and the, the, the fund, [00:25:00] the theory and how the craft was already there. Yeah. What we noticed in the process is that there's a much more potential to. Do more products. So you have a kitchen that does their own vinegar, their always their own soy sauce, their own, um, flavors and ferments things for one year.
[00:25:21] Florian Bailey : So we haven't, we have. 30, uh, barrels of different, um, sauce fermenting for one year in the kitchen. Oh my God. Uh, so you, you have to come by in our test kitchen. It's not a test kitchen anymore. It's 600 square meters of, uh, fermentation products. Ripening, drying. And so, so this is more like a very big lab in factory.
[00:25:49] Florian Bailey : Mm-hmm. And in, in this, we saw. When we started the ads, we just saw the opportunity to, can we sell some of this stuff? So yeah, because a [00:26:00] Michelin restaurant is an attention getter and something that builds the brand and the visibility. If we get the experience right and uh, can communicate what we are actually doing.
[00:26:11] Florian Bailey : And so we are just building an eCommerce business out of it. Not to actually become a big eCommerce business because that's not the goal in this case, but just to make it more stable and de-risk it
[00:26:23] Gerry Scullion: at absolutely time. So balance out the, the business model. Yeah. One of the things that I want to ask you about, you said it's about six or eight years old, ets is it?
[00:26:33] Florian Bailey : The technique and the craft. So we started the ads two years ago. Yeah,
[00:26:38] Gerry Scullion: but you started working eight years ago
[00:26:40] Florian Bailey : in a way. So Felix and the other restaurants started to shift to a more sustainable story. That's was the so sign and developed a lot of the techniques we are using now. And in the last three years, uh, we had a lot of refinement and going even deeper with a.
[00:26:57] Florian Bailey : Bigger garden now and our big test [00:27:00] kitchen. Oh man.
[00:27:01] Gerry Scullion: That's insane. So how, how, how, if you've been open two years, I know you're telling me you're a two star restaurant. You, you, we just, people like myself, all we know that about the Mitchell and Star process. Is from looking at Netflix. Mm-hmm. And looking at restaurant documentaries and mm-hmm.
[00:27:19] Gerry Scullion: Recently the Bear, if anyone has listened, watched the beer on Apple. Great series. Great, great. It's absolutely, it's, it's a killer episode or killer series. So, um, the quality and the dedication that goes into that. If you're telling me you got a two star Michelin restaurant after two years mm-hmm. What was that journey?
[00:27:36] Gerry Scullion: How did you go about it? Did you just send them an email saying, Hey lads, uh, I, I'll give you some money. Such
[00:27:42] Florian Bailey : a joke. No, don't. The new, the new Felix and the team, and they said there's something new going on and then they're coming. It was still quite a struggle because we had a pop-up restaurant for the first year because our final location wasn't there yet.
[00:27:56] Florian Bailey : Sorry. So I'm
[00:27:59] Gerry Scullion: pour a coffee [00:28:00] here folks. Go on ahead.
[00:28:01] Florian Bailey : So, so talking about de-risking, uh, we went very good at that. Yeah. Um, so, uh, we had a popup location first and. An old butchery in Northern Nuremberg that we used as a test kitchen. Mm-hmm. Um, that's actually where we found the name. Okay. So it was me, it's AK in Germany, and ET is also the franconian word for now.
[00:28:30] Florian Bailey : Ah. And it's used very colloquially and like, can you do that now? Or now? I dunno. So it's a very local word. And it was in the sign already included. Oh, okay. So we took it from there. So you've
[00:28:46] Gerry Scullion: saved a couple of thousand on the sign is what you're telling me, you Yeah, that was check save, just save, gimme the tip X and, uh, more Tip
[00:28:57] Florian Bailey : X.
[00:28:57] Florian Bailey : It's a big sign. And so, so we ran the [00:29:00] popup first. And so we had, I think we got, actually we got two stars for the menu in the popup already, which makes us the only two star catering, uh, that has ever existed because we had to prepare the menu. In their old battery. Yeah. And drive over to the popup location, which was more like a show kitchen.
[00:29:20] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And drive back after the service. Yeah. And next day again, and again and again. So, uh, and after some months the team and Felix said it, I, I could do this anywhere now. So we are like the, for some months we had the only two star catering service in the world.
[00:29:41] Gerry Scullion: Um. It's, um, it's a remarkable story. One of the bits that I want to chat to you a little bit more around, um, they'll probably be listening and if we don't mention the story of, um, the prototype and how you got to this point. Mm-hmm. Because when you look at the photos, and I haven't have not been [00:30:00] at ets, the restaurant itself, although I just wanna say publicly, Florian invited me and my wife.
[00:30:06] Gerry Scullion: To, uh, Nurnberg and my entire family, uh, and all my friends and all the listeners to this restaurant for free folks. Disclaimer, it was just me and my wife. But, um, when you look at this, there's, uh, I wanna talk about the process of the selection of the lighting. It's something that really struck me instantly.
[00:30:26] Gerry Scullion: It seems to be very, um, carefully selected. Okay, which is no surprise because if anyone has been listening to this episode for the last half an hour or so, everything seems to be well thought out and very structured, but the line of visibility for anyone who's interested in blueprints. And the line of interaction, I guess as well is, is kind of very transparent.
[00:30:50] Gerry Scullion: Mm-hmm. Walk me through, um, how you design the experience because you, you're speaking to a designer and a restaurateur and an [00:31:00] entrepreneur bringing these, these kind of ingredients, Hey, these ingredients together. Has lend itself to this wonderful culinary experience. Absolutely. Um, so walk me through what that process was like and, and did, uh, Felix as the name of the head chef, what was Felix's take on this on?
[00:31:22] Gerry Scullion: Mm-hmm. Using. Nuremberg Studio to, to prototype the layout.
[00:31:27] Florian Bailey : It, it's an very interesting thing because the, the prototype at the end was a prototype where we learned a lot Hmm. And a lot that we couldn't use. So when we started, we had some general ideas from the last restaurant and of course from the re and I think cafes and restaurants are always appealing for a designer because we have so much interaction with it.
[00:31:49] Florian Bailey : Yeah, we see it and we see the process, and that makes it, even if you're not a food either repealing because you're thinking about the process, you're watching it and you think, [00:32:00] how can you optimize it and what's going wrong here? Yeah. So and. And the other side is, it's a very experience driven process where all touchpoints matter in a way, and it's not, it's not even the marketing touchpoint that matters because even if you get the marketing right, but the experience sucks.
[00:32:25] Florian Bailey : You're not going to come back back and see.
[00:32:28] Gerry Scullion: We talked with the pre and the service and the post-service experience.
[00:32:32] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And it's not something where you can just sell it and then have a running business. Yeah. It's not a kicks, it's not a weird Kickstarter. A gizmo that you sell for one time. Yeah. Um. So, so that all came, these experiences, we, we actually collected these experiences and we actually looked at the 100 top restaurants in the world, how they were structured, how the experience for [00:33:00] the guest differed.
[00:33:02] Florian Bailey : Hmm. So how did you do that? Um, how we went to, no, I was gonna say,
[00:33:11] Gerry Scullion: please tell me you got budget from somewhere to fly around the world up
[00:33:16] Florian Bailey : hundred. No, of course. You are a footie and you like that area. So you've been in, into five or 10 of them. Yeah. Um, But, um, the others we collected from friends, from others who were there.
[00:33:28] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And what the experience were. I actually looked at every photo I could find in every description of the process. So we did a lot of desk research instrument to speak and really tried to structure the journey. What's the, how do the people find out of the restaurant? What's the first moment when they arrive?
[00:33:48] Florian Bailey : Mm-hmm. And then it was very easy to see where restaurants have an exceptional experience in one of those journey moments. Mm-hmm. So you have something like the Cooks on the Far Islands. [00:34:00] Uh, it's a very small, uh, Nordic cuisine restaurant and they have an exceptional experience when it's when your evening starts because you drive somewhere out on the Farra Island and then they get you from a shed with Land Rovers and drive you to the restaurant.
[00:34:19] Florian Bailey : And so your experience starts like several hundred meters before you arrive at the restaurant. So you have these different levels of experience. And then you have the classic restaurants where you just walk into the door and somebody stops you and say, Hey, who are, who are you? Which is not cool. And so, so we try to look at all these experience levels.
[00:34:40] Florian Bailey : Yeah, something like the Norma and uh, cop Harden where you walk through the garden and or get some tea fresh in the greenhouses and. Yeah. To arrive
[00:34:55] Gerry Scullion: for people. And you were interested in this, this is the, Adam wrote a great article about the boom, boom, [00:35:00] boom, wow, boom. Which is, you know, the dramatic arc piece within journey maps.
[00:35:07] Gerry Scullion: And you can include them in blueprints, I guess, if you wanted, but really that whole kind of big wow moment at the start. Um, how, how are you tackling that at ets? Like, what is, is there a boom
[00:35:19] Florian Bailey : at the start? Yeah. And that's an interesting, we actually, we didn't use Adam's, uh, but we actually thought very much about these boom moments.
[00:35:31] Florian Bailey : And one thing we noticed in the old restaurant, and interestingly in the feedback from the pop-up, so the pop-up for us was also a prototype. Yeah, so we had several levels of prototype. We had the cardboard prototype, which was very interesting because the cardboard prototype for us was, um, I'm going to try to go into these, uh, prototypes for a moment because I think that's important to understand where we got our data from and for the final design.
[00:35:59] Florian Bailey : [00:36:00] Yeah, so we had the old restaurant where Felix was the head chef. So the cuisine and the approach to sustainable cuisine was already on a, on a top level there. And, but the experience for the guests was very classic. So when you sit on a table and you see nothing from the kitchen and you have a very nice dinner and you leave, and the, and what I noticed when I talked to guests who were there is that they didn't understand what was happening.
[00:36:31] Florian Bailey : So even if the, uh, kitchen team came out and talked to them, uh, they left and they didn't understand that these animals were bought whole. And we worked with these farmers to raise these animals and we, uh, dry them and work with them with, uh, that meat for one year or that everything they had on the plate was done.
[00:36:55] Florian Bailey : The team themselves. Mm-hmm. Nothing was bought. They didn't understand that. And that [00:37:00] made the experience completely different. Yeah, because it's a very nice, interesting tasting plate, but you don't see the story behind it. So one thing we took out of the old restaurants, we have to show the story in an emotional way.
[00:37:14] Florian Bailey : They have to feel it. We need to make the process more visible. And open the kitchen up. So that was the decision for an open kitchen.
[00:37:26] Gerry Scullion: So how do you explain the narrative of the journey? Um, obviously you're busy enough as it is and they can't plunk you at the table for 20 minutes at every sitting and kind of go.
[00:37:39] Gerry Scullion: We actually work with the farmer.
[00:37:41] Florian Bailey : For a year. So, so what we do now and what we, uh, plan now and where the experience is going now is that the evening starts with a tea in the test kitchen. Okay, so the guests come in on a, on a, on a big table. On the table is the menu are [00:38:00] some of the produce we use in the menu of the season?
[00:38:02] Florian Bailey : Yeah. Cause we have these micro seasons and the menu changes every week depending on, on what nature gives us, which is very stressful. Um, gee, um, the, but you have this welcome in the test kitchen where one of the chefs explained some. Thing about some produce we are using at this moment about the barrels behind you, about the tastes that are developing here and the way we work.
[00:38:29] Florian Bailey : So your experience actually starts with 20 minutes of a deep dive into the test kitchen. And, but from an experience level, it's not like somebody explains something. It's a very emotional moment you are behind. Yeah. There, there are a lot of restaurants who talk about about how transparent they are. And it's a lot of show.
[00:38:51] Florian Bailey : Let's be honest about it. Yeah. You can go to the restaurant, I just mentioned the Noma and they say this is our greenhouse with herbs. And you [00:39:00] walk into the greenhouse and it's like 12 square meters and you think like you have how many hundred guests per week? So, and the, um, it's a beautiful greenhouse.
[00:39:11] Florian Bailey : I have nothing against this greenhouse, but you know, did it really
[00:39:14] Gerry Scullion: produce enough for Yeah. Thousands and thousands and thousands of
[00:39:18] Florian Bailey : guests. There's another restaurant, and I don't want to call names, that says, oh, please. Yeah. Si in London. Okay. Yeah. A brilliant restaurant and I really want to go there, but they talk a lot about how they're zero waste restaurant and use the bottles from, uh, the wine bottles to produce cutlery and everything else, and plates.
[00:39:43] Florian Bailey : Now that's a very nice idea. I know how many bottles of, uh, wine we sell per week. So, and since they don't have a site business selling plates, I very much doubt so, yeah.
[00:39:58] Gerry Scullion: So a bit [00:40:00] cynical about some of these things folks, don't it just. Accept the information that
[00:40:03] Florian Bailey : it's, we had the story in the US where, um, on the island near Seattle, where the restaurant was telling the story about, um, that they produce everything on the island.
[00:40:15] Florian Bailey : And it's a bit like the, the movie, um, it's not possible that they produce everything on the island because the island is too small. Yeah. So, so that makes no sense, huh? Yeah. So, and by, by, again, by starting in the test kitchen, we give people a feeling of honesty and transparency that you usually don't have because you are actually look, actually looking at our storage areas.
[00:40:40] Florian Bailey : You're actually looking at everything we have in there. Mm-hmm.
[00:40:45] Gerry Scullion: So you're in
[00:40:46] Florian Bailey : the open. We're totally transparent in that moment. And on the other hand, you have so many flavors in the room, and these are not the refined flavors you will have later. The, this is the rough [00:41:00] density. Yeah. The umami, you are smelling the, the richness of the fermentation process in that room.
[00:41:06] Florian Bailey : And you get a, a tea. Yeah. And you just arrive in that moment. And that's the first bang
[00:41:14] Gerry Scullion: I remember we stayed, and this is not a a flex by the way, cuz you've far and away, you know, got so many more culinary experiences. But on our honeymoon, we got married in Italy, um, 10 years ago, folks, myself and my wife, and.
[00:41:29] Gerry Scullion: Congratulations. It's, it's in a couple of months, but we stayed at a place called Montero Santa Rosa in, uh, in near Pasano. And when we went in, um, I realized I'd left my passport in the previous hotel in Sorento, and I was like freaking out. I was like, cause we were flying back to Australia and a few in a few days after that and they were like, sir, please don't worry about it.
[00:41:55] Gerry Scullion: We'll, we'll find that and bring it, bring it to you. And I'm like, Hmm. What? How [00:42:00] you gonna do that? You don't know where the hotel was? He goes, no, we, we'll find it. Don't worry. Just come to our, our balcony and have some tea that we freshly picked from your garden. And I'm like, What, so I was so Irish. I was literally like that moment of like giving me tea in my hand, relaxing me.
[00:42:16] Gerry Scullion: And, um, it was a, it was a first boom experience that I've ever had in my life in terms of like, they designed this, they didn't want me freaking out about my passport. And they said, just, just mean us back here in three hours while have it to you. Sure enough, they sent a car to get it and they came back with my passport.
[00:42:32] Gerry Scullion: Like, you know, but it's that level of detail. Yeah. That they really considered the t in the hand looking at. The Mediterranean to calm your mind, like, you know, so it's really, really interesting. Can I ask you a, a question and feel free to, to say, say no to this one, but what's been the biggest failure and what have you learned from it in, um, opening ets?
[00:42:55] Gerry Scullion: And I know you're instantly, whenever I say this to some guests, they're like, no, I'm gonna have [00:43:00] to show some vulnerability. What's been, because for me, you know, it sounds like everything is. Working and everything is working to plan and you know, and I know from a design perspective the real lesson is in the failure.
[00:43:14] Gerry Scullion: So if you can tell me something around this whole experience, primarily around ETS in terms of what that failure was and what did you learn from it, agreeing to this podcast?
[00:43:26] Florian Bailey : No, no, no. But it's really the thing is the way the kitchen team works. Something that inspires me in my work every day. Hmm.
[00:43:39] Florian Bailey : Because they work with a, a way of limitation. Yeah, they, they define the way and the limitations of the work before they start working.
[00:43:52] Gerry Scullion: Tell me, tell me more about this. Tell me more about this. Yeah, so,
[00:43:55] Florian Bailey : so Felix and the team says, no, we are going to use only [00:44:00] local produce. Yeah. So
[00:44:01] Gerry Scullion: they're lucky. They've got some restriction.
[00:44:04] Florian Bailey : They have a restriction. Then they decide we are only going to do it on our own. We are not going to have something. Pre-made from somebody, so we are going to do it on our own, even if we don't know how. Yeah. So, and then we are going to learn that and then we are going to try to be as sustainable as we can.
[00:44:27] Florian Bailey : And then you, we just talked about the work environment, a bit of Michel and restaurant, how, how it is. Mm-hmm. And there are, I mean, there are be a lot of bad stories out there. Yeah. And, and then we, we decided we want to be a workplace where people feel. Included where they want to work, you know? Yeah.
[00:44:45] Florian Bailey : Where that's a different way of working at, at that level. And that's why we have only three evenings open a week. Okay. Yeah. And then we have one and a half days where we prepare everything and people are in the [00:45:00] kitchen. And so, so this is, this changed our way, but this also changed the business perspective.
[00:45:07] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And so my job in a way is to match the experience and these core ideas with a business perspective and make it work. Mm. Now we, and, and this. These principles and working from these principles and still managing to work from these principles is something that inspires me every, every week. Mm-hmm.
[00:45:34] Florian Bailey : So I'm sitting in there and they have to design a new menu for the next week because the blue flowers. Yeah. Uh, are gone. I can't collect anymore, uh, blue flowers. So what are we going to, where are we going to do? Use the white flowers? Flowers, but the white flowers have a different taste, so we have to change this plate for the next week slightly.
[00:45:56] Florian Bailey : And we have to do this all on a level of two storm. Of a, of a [00:46:00] two-star Michelin restaurant because one bosh of white flowers is no longer available. And that's something that happens every week working in designing plates and experiences every week in the limitations that are there and still make them exceptional every week.
[00:46:20] Florian Bailey : So I'm having a hard time talking about failures because what I learned from them is to accept. The process. Yeah, and just our e-commerce launch just now was a bit weird and we had a, the box was too big and the price too high and should have gone.
[00:46:43] Gerry Scullion: Huh. You're always adapting and it sounds to, I'm adapting micro
[00:46:47] Florian Bailey : failures.
[00:46:49] Florian Bailey : Absolutely. So it's all the time. Absolutely. Every day. So we had, so we adapt and we change it. And that's something I'm really learning from the team to [00:47:00] accept, to accept these irregularities, these, and these are just part of the flow. And these, this exceptional quality you get is by learning, adapting, learning, adapting.
[00:47:16] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And so, so I'm having a hard time with the term failure that's quite now. Because the experience we have now is very much formed by these different prototypes by the Papa Breast all where we learned a lot about lighting, about the emotional experience over an evening over a real service. Yeah. But we knew it was just for a time and it was a prototype.
[00:47:38] Florian Bailey : So we actually locked experiences and what works and what doesn't work. Yeah. And the cardboard prototype was for, at first, only for the butchery, this very small space. And we didn't know can we fit a restaurant in there and we couldn't. But what we learned when doing the cardboard real size prototype, so we build a complete kitchen, [00:48:00] uh, we build the seatings for everybody.
[00:48:03] Florian Bailey : And what we learned is about the relationship between the chefs in an open kitchen and the people sitting on the other side. And we learned how hate and if, if the seating is a bit lower and everything changes the atmosphere and the emotional experience from, of hierarchy of openness of the relationship between the chefs and the.
[00:48:29] Florian Bailey : And the guests completely. So the, these prototypes didn't actually give us what we wanted. We just wanted an easy answer how the restaurant should look like. Yeah. But they gave us insights. They gave us insights in how should, how open should be the kitchen, how can we then, how can we design the relationship between the chefs and the guests?
[00:48:55] Florian Bailey : How can we, um, improve the experience? [00:49:00] And so all of these different aspects came into the final design, and then we gave it to a very good architect, interior designer and said, look, this is what we learned. Can you, can you design this? So we didn't go in there and try to be the interior designer because honestly, I'm not so, and Felix is not, but we, we took all our insights to him and said, this is what we want from you.
[00:49:26] Florian Bailey : Can you design the experience in this way? And these are the limitations we see from the experience and from the prototypes. And that's actually what he did then. And then we had a, a very strict timeframe. We had to leave the papa and. But the experience with the prototypes and the, and the planning process gave him a very clear view, and I think you can see that in the restaurant and the lighting and everything else build a very clear briefing and a very clear setting to work on.
[00:49:59] Florian Bailey : As a designer [00:50:00] definitely influenced how we work with, with that. It's not a 3D design space, it's actually a space design on service design and prototyping, um, on, based on prototypes and service design. It's not something built in a 3D program, so it looks nice. It's built for, so the experience for every guest.
[00:50:29] Florian Bailey : It's exceptional and every guest has an exceptional perspective and every guest feels the openness of the space and the non hierarchy to the chefs. Mm-hmm. So, and that's actually the feedback we get for the space. And how we work now. So even up to Google reviews, we get, it feels so open and you feel like you are part of something in a space.
[00:50:58] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And that's unique. [00:51:00] So can I ask, so if you are a service designer wants to take up the restaurant at all and run with it, go for it and prototype it and really go for it to develop that experience and focus on that and not on the 3D program. I know. Good looking restaurant coffee experience.
[00:51:20] Gerry Scullion: Can I ask you a question before we wrap up?
[00:51:22] Gerry Scullion: How do you manage your time? Okay. Because I know you're a dad, you've got Nuremberg Digital Festival, teaming with ai ets and these are the ones that I know about and I'm sure there's other ones there as well. Um, what's your role in ets? And do you have a set day, a week or something, or is it just a case of like, your phone blows up when you wake up in the morning?
[00:51:54] Gerry Scullion: Or how, how are you managing this? It'll have an impact. I try to, it'll
[00:51:58] Florian Bailey : catch up with you. I.[00:52:00]
[00:52:03] Florian Bailey : I try actually to build a, I'm str still struggling with it. I think it would be dishonest to say I have the perfect system and you know, like, like a weird LinkedIn post. I, I wake up and then I, yeah, coffee,
[00:52:19] Gerry Scullion: meditate for 20 minutes.
[00:52:22] Florian Bailey : Yeah, exactly right. Journal. I'm very healthy. No one I can journal. So no,
[00:52:29] Gerry Scullion: only that Instagram post that keeps on getting served to me.
[00:52:33] Florian Bailey : Yeah. It's like I always try this for another two days every year. Um, the, no, I, I try to, and that's something I learned over the last years as a designer. Um, I need. The different experiences actually from myself. So my head works, so I try actually to change places a lot. [00:53:00] Mm-hmm. So I have the consultancy office where I'm currently in.
[00:53:04] Florian Bailey : Mm-hmm. Where I'm on two days a week and I am one day a week. I work from the restaurant, even if I do some consultancy business. Um, that gives me a totally different perspective again. And one day a week I try to work from Munich or Berlin, um, with our other partners there or clients. So of course, this is just like an idealized week, so it fails in 50% of all cases, at least.
[00:53:33] Florian Bailey : Um, but I try to change places and give places a meaning by working on something specific. At that place. Okay. I don't know if this is something that can be adapted to other people, but I noticed that it helps me. Focus, feel, and get differently inspired by specific things. And you all know how you have good days in a [00:54:00] week and bad days in a week.
[00:54:01] Florian Bailey : Yeah. And Mondays are usually not the best days in the week. Yeah. At least for me personally. So, uh, I'm trying to solve that by being in Berlin or Munich. I'm on my way and meeting a lot of people and that gives me a lot of energy. And then I. Work on more consultant consultancy staff on Tuesday and on Wednesday I'm in the restaurant and so my overall impact over a week is different.
[00:54:29] Florian Bailey : Okay.
[00:54:30] Gerry Scullion: So a lot of it's being physically present and connected to the work at a deeper level versus, and to the people sit in the same space to do a podcast. To do a coaching session if Yeah, that, that would make sense. And it would be ideal to be able to meet people where they're at as, as often as possible.
[00:54:50] Gerry Scullion: Um, but you, you segregate and you sort of segment your time, uh, in a very intentional way to, to be present. I guess that's what [00:55:00] I'm hearing.
[00:55:02] Florian Bailey : That's what I'm trying Yeah, that's what you're trying of. Of course it's, it often fails, but let's say it this way, on weeks when it works. I feel brilliant, so at least I know where, what I'm struggling for.
[00:55:16] Florian Bailey : Yeah.
[00:55:17] Gerry Scullion: So people can accept the whole kind of, I'm only here for one day and then if you need me again, I'm here next week. That's great. But it tends to be that whole kind of bleeding nature of
[00:55:27] Florian Bailey : Of course, of course. And then you get a call and then you have something else going on. And, um, And I'm really struggling with it sometimes.
[00:55:36] Florian Bailey : And the other part is having partners you can trust. Yeah. So here in the consultancy, I work with exceptional people where I have a lot of trust. Who, um, my partner in the restaurant, Felix, is, in my personal opinion, the most exceptional chef. Um, you can, yeah. Meat anywhere. Definitely in Germany, probably one [00:56:00] of the most exceptional chefs internationally is, uh, he has values.
[00:56:05] Florian Bailey : It's like a microbiologist and a chef all in one person. This is a very rare combination. Yeah. Um, and you have these people and then you have to trust these people and you can't do it alone. I have one role and that's as. The creative had the strategic had and the experience had, so to speak. Mm-hmm. And, but I can't design every detail of the experience.
[00:56:33] Florian Bailey : I need to work with others, leave room and trust their impact. A lot of what I'm wor how I'm working now is actually inspired by working with the restaurant team. The appreciation of there's a farmer and it does differently. Why do you do things differently? Is that something we can learn from that for the way we work with your produce?
[00:56:59] Florian Bailey : Yeah. This, [00:57:00] this openness for the ecosystem. Yeah. This is really something. I'm learning a lot, much more than I thought. I thought I living the foodie dream and building the restaurant of my dreams, but it changed the way I work. Awesome.
[00:57:17] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, absolutely. It sounds it, um, Florian, I've. Thoroughly enjoyed peeking inside your brain for 45, 50 minutes.
[00:57:26] Gerry Scullion: Um, I'm gonna put a link to obviously the ETS restaurant or ETS restaurant, uh, into the show notes of this episode, folks. Um, whenever I get back to Nuremberg, um, I will accept that offer. Yeah. And trust me, um, I will, and I'd love to. See how, uh, we can promote it in any shape or form because the, the level of detail both ethically, um, and sustainably is just mind blowing.
[00:57:53] Gerry Scullion: And I remember, I remember Marcus and Adam telling me about you like maybe about a year ago, about this restaurant and stuff, how it's [00:58:00] amazing. So I'm excited to get to it. If people wanna reach out and um, ask questions to you, what's the best way for them to do that? Because I know you've got another business that we didn't even speak about.
[00:58:10] Gerry Scullion: User centered strategy, I think it's called Nuremberg. What's it called?
[00:58:15] Florian Bailey : Yeah, it's called Nurnberg Digital Festival. So yeah, they, I'm easy to Google just Flo and Bailey and send me a Twitter em or something else. You will easily find me on LinkedIn or somewhere else on
[00:58:27] Gerry Scullion: LinkedIn. Absolutely. Florian. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise, uh, with the audience.
[00:58:34] Gerry Scullion: Totally enjoyed speaking with you today. Thank you so much. Thank you
[00:58:37] Florian Bailey : very much.
[00:58:42] Gerry Scullion: And there you go folks. I hope you enjoyed that episode and if you enjoyed it and want to listen to more, why not visit? This is hate cd.com where you can learn more about what we were up to and also explore our course while through there. Thanks again for listening.
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