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  • Sara Tiefenbrun

A Melbourne restaurant flips its business

Updated: Jun 6

Today the Age reports:

"Two months ago, chef Ben Shewry spray-painted the immaculate walls of his three-hatted restaurant Attica with the mantra: never give up. When the pandemic lockdown came, Shrewy knew without drastic action, "we would go broke". And so he switched from serving up $310 degustations for international foodies to driving around Melbourne delivering lasagnes.


This short video tells the story of how Ben Shewry evolved his restaurant’s offering. It's really effective because it follows classic story structure. In this blog I explain how this video fits the structure and why it works so well.


Context: An introduction to the hero's world

We see Ben Shewry in his restaurant. Shewry is well known in Melbourneas the visionary chef and owner of one of the world’s best restaurants Attica. The restaurant experience is high-end theatre and customers book in six months in advance. This isn’t explained is known to the local audience for this video.


Catalyst: Something changes in the hero’s world

The hero Shewry talks about how the COVID-19 crisis hit on his birthday, March 15th. He is devastated that all his hard work has been crushed by an event outside of his control. This is a story that many business owners can relate to.


Complication: The hero is faced with a problem and a choice

Ben allows himself a day to wallow and be miserable before accepting the new landscape and coming up with a plan for how to respond. He can either give up or find a way to re-invent his business in this new context.

His challenge is to continue to maintain the same high-quality, creative and entertaining meals that people associate with his business.


The Transformation: The hero decides on a path and a plan to overcome the obstacle

He comes up with a plan to offer a ten course eat at home experience (the price is $380AUD).

He explains some of the obstacles he has to overcome; considering how a meal will travel, how customers can assemble them at home and issues around reheating.


The Resolution: The hero’s character, fate, world and worldview are altered

The customers respond well to Attica’s meals. Shewry sees that his loyal fans still want to have Attica as part of their life, feeding them and amusing them, especially on special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. His relationship with his customers continues despite the new circumstances. In a hard time, it’s still important to celebrate when possible and create special moments at home.


He reflects that whilst it’s been a very hard time, the most stressful that they’ve experienced as a business, the staff have also pulled together and had some good times.


We see the words “Never give up” scrawled on the kitchen walls.


#benshewry #attica #tellabetterstory


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