Category winner: Meat Puppets. Ethical Dilemma in a Restaurant Setting

This case won the Outstanding New Case Writer Competition at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2020. #CaseAwards2020

Presentation of the trophy for the Outstanding New Case Writer Competition 2020
Outstanding New Case Writer

Celebrating Alexander and Vera’s win

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to present Alexander and Vera in person with their trophies for winning the Outstanding New Case Writer Competition in 2020.

Even though we couldn't make it to Russia, Alexander and Vera’s trophies did!

We are delighted to celebrate Alexander and Vera’s win by sharing this picture of them and their awards - congratulations! It's wonderful to see the trophies with such a stunning backdrop.

Discover more about Alexander and Vera’s winning case below.

If you're interested in entering the competition in the future you can find out more here.

 
The case

one doorWho – the protagonist

Dmitry Levitsky, a prominent Russian entrepreneur with more than 10 years’ experience in the restaurant industry.

What?

Dmitry owns a bar chain and several restaurants across Russia.

The jewel in the crown, One Door Community (ODC) in Moscow, is a single space that boasts a cocktail bar, a pub, a tattoo studio, a sushi bar, and a meat restaurant at the heart of the whole thing.

For his restaurant, Meat Puppets Bar & Meatarea, Dmitry came up with a concept of ethical meat consumption centring around the use of so-called ‘alternative cuts’. The aim of this was to stand out from Moscow’s other steakhouses.

steak

Why?

A pregnant lady by the name of Ekaterina visited one day and asked for her steak to be ‘well done’, as the doctors advised against her to eat raw meat.

The restaurant refused her request as Dmitry’s policy was to serve only juicy steaks that offer the full spectrum of flavours.

Ekaterina was shocked, left the restaurant frustrated and posted her experience on the restaurant’s Facebook page, as well as copying it in a private message to Dmitry.

When?

The incident occurred in April 2018, three years after ODC opened.

MoscowWhere?

ODC is based in Moscow.

Key quote

“No one believed in this project, not a single investor, no one but me. And it did work out.” – Dmitry Levitsky speaking after ODC hit the TripAdvisor’s Top 50 rating.

What next?

Dmitry shared Ekaterina’s experience on his personal Facebook page, receiving more than 1,500 comments in the first two hours. The opinions differed dramatically. Everybody had something to say. Dmitry faced questions such as was it ethical for the restaurant team to refuse Ekaterina’s request? Did Dmitry have reasonable grounds to pursue such a marketing strategy?

 
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Meat Puppets. Ethical Dilemma in a Restaurant Setting.
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Teaching note
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The authors

authors

Alexander Korchagin and Vera Cherepanova

Alexander and Vera discuss the challenges of writing a good case and the importance of a powerful teaching note.

Fantastic feeling

Alexander said: “This award is the recognition of all the effort we have put into our case, and it feels absolutely fantastic. This means that hard work pays off – we look at our fellow winners and feel honoured to be on a list featuring prestigious schools like Harvard Business School and INSEAD. It is very motivating to be rewarded for a top-quality job.”

Setting the case apart

Vera explained: “Although the case is focused on an ethical dilemma, it has a very unusual context. Often the cases with ethical dilemmas describe a workplace situation faced by an employee in the office. Our case stands out from that crowd with an appealing restaurant setting.

“The case has a huge potential for discussion. Our protagonist’s original Facebook post received almost 8,000 comments, confirming the interest within broader audiences.”

Writing process challengesWriting process challenges

Alexander commented: “We were very lucky to have unequivocal support from our protagonist, and, therefore, we had access to all the information and data we needed for the case. That made our life a lot easier.

“Our main challenge was centered around the writing process itself. Although we are not new to academic writing and do quite a lot of publication for professional blogs, a case study requires a very different writing style. You have to tell a story and do it in an engaging manner, so that your readers would want to read it all the way to the end. It wasn’t easy to master that (and we are not sure we actually ‘mastered’ it), but we certainly did our best to write an easy to read and well-structured case with a personal touch.”

TrevorPower of the teaching note

Vera added: “It may sound counter-intuitive but start with a teaching note. It helps you look at your case through the eyes of your target audience, filter out the unnecessary and focus on what’s essential, keeping the case short and concise.”

Tutor guidance

Alexander concluded: “This award would not have been possible without The Case Centre’s Writing Effective Cases Workshop and its tutor Trevor Williamson. He is absolutely brilliant and we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank him.”

About the authors

Alexander Korchagin was a Research Fellow at Moscow State University when the case was written.
e Sasha.Korchagin@gmail.com

Vera Cherepanova is an Ethics & Compliance Consultant at Studio Etica.
e Vera.cherepanova@studioetica.com

 

View all the 2020 winners