Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2008 (Revised March 2009)

elBulli: The Taste of Innovation

by Michael I. Norton, Julian Villanueva and Luc Wathieu


Ferran Adrià, chef at elBulli, the highest-ranked restaurant in the world for two consecutive years, faces two related decisions. First, Adrià and his team must continue to develop new and different dishes for the ground-breaking cuisine at elBulli to guarantee a continuous stream of innovation, the cornerstone of the restaurant's success. In addition, they are also faced with the challenge of growing the business, exploring whether the core concepts from elBulli- this "taste of innovation"-can be applied to domains ranging from consulting to fast food. The case walks readers through an evening at elBulli by using the rave reviews of former patrons to capture the full experience, from the long trip required to get to the restaurant, to the tour, to descriptions of the meal itself.

Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Growth and Development Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Creativity; Food and Beverage Industry; Spain;


Norton, Michael I., Julian Villanueva, and Luc Wathieu. "elBulli: The Taste of Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 509-015, July 2008. (Revised March 2009.) (Also available in Spanish: 509S01-PDF-SPA.)