Outrage of Modesty

Tucked away, upstairs to the left of House of Machines on Shortmarket Street in Cape Town – you will find Outrage of Modesty.

To call it a cocktail bar would be to do what goes on here, an utter disservice. Luke Wheatley and his band of culinary pirates are on a mission to perfect the elegant art of pairing taste sensations, that defy logical reasoning. And from our brief experience last night, they are well on their way to finding that gastronomic holy grail.

Outrage of Modesty

But we weren’t at Outrage of Modesty just for the delicious cocktails. The real intention for our visit was to learn something from Luke and his team about how they go about creating a delightful and memorable customer experience. Believe it or not, whether you are in investment banking or manufacturing – there’s a lot you can learn from a visit to a good cocktail bar.

Here are some of the insight we took away from the outing:

Outrage of Modesty

  • Collaboration

Nobody can make a significant impact alone. Luke understands this, and actively seeks local partners to collaborate with to leverage the opportunities that those relationships bring. He recently teamed up with our friends at the Oranjezicht City Farm as a partner for the provision of the fresh produce. When in doubt, team up.

  • Creativity needs structure

There is a false perception that creative people are ‘flighty’ and prefer total chaos to any kind of order.

This is not true.

Luke feels (and we wholeheartedly agree) that creativity flourishes best housed in the framework of structure.  Within a schema of order, seemingly chaotic madness and originality can bubble up unhindered.

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  • Avoid adding more when it is not needed

It’s easy to load a plate with more stuff. Many restaurants believe they are offering the customer more value for money by overwhelming a plate with chips and garnish and all sorts of other, unnecessary excess. But a truely remarkable customer experience is one where no additional fluff is needed in a perfectly choreographed touching of all of the senses.

It is very easy to overcomplicate things, what’s hard is simplicity. Reaching a point where you are not able to take any more away without diminishing the value – that’s perfection.

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  • The quality of your thinking depends on the uniqueness of your inspiration

The saying goes: ‘A desk is a very dangerous place from which to think innovatively’. As a chef, Luke travels to unique places around the world to draw inspiration for his next menu and ensure that he is able to creatively differentiate himself from his competition. The same method should also be used by those seeking to differentiate their business value proposition. It’s not just chefs that should be going on a creative pilgrimage to seek inspiration from everywhere. Everyone tasked with a journey of innovation should be ‘going outside’ to explore and think.

If you’re wondering why your team isn’t coming up with innovative solutions – it’s probably because they stare at four blank walls day in and day out.

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Take our word for it and do yourself a favour – head out and pay Luke and his team a visit.

Outrage of Modesty is at 88 Shortmarket Street. Booking is essential.

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