Tock: A New Restaurant Ticketing Startup Hits Venues

Online cooking school students are always looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate modern technology into the dining experience. If you’re currently seeking an example of a new and exciting idea in the foodie world, you need not lock further than Tock, a software designed by two Chicagoans. While the software is still in its early phases of existence, it’s already been beta tasted at two of the most prestigious eateries in the Windy City, Alinea and Next, according to The New York Times. Considering the success that it’s had in the Midwest, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that other venues are beginning to adopt the program around the country. Check out some of the details surrounding the story:

The program
Tock was first designed by Nick Kokonas, the co-owner of both Alinea and Next, in tandem with Grant Achatz, a local chef. The idea for the program was born of a common dilemma in restaurant management, the fact that roughly ten percent of all reservations made go unclaimed. This not only causes lowered revenue by removing a potential paying customer, but also makes it hard to fill those tables with other patrons as the window between cancelation notification and reservation time is often slim. Effectively, Tock removes the need for a complicated reservation system by asking patrons to pay in advance for reservations that they purchase online.

The demographic
Certain people may be averse to the notion of prepaying for a meal. Tock, however, isn’t predominantly targeted at restaurants where that might be an issue. Rather, the service aims to be used by high-profile, expensive restaurants where dinners are often prix fixe to begin with. In this sense, reports the Chicago Business Journal, many have described the software as an intentional competitor to the popular reservation service OpenTable.

Reception and new venues
Whether or not you’re in favor of the new software, it seems to be making waves in the restaurant industry in a big way. It’s reportedly been adopted by several high-profile restaurants including The French Laundry and WD-50 (now closed). Part of the driving force behind the app being received so well seems to be the flat rate charged by Tock’s proprietors. Restaurants pay just under $700 per month to use the service, while OpenTable charges a nominal rate per each reservation, often leading to higher cumulative costs.

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