Thomas Keller’s Per Se and The French Laundry will be joining the ranks of the great restaurant ticket reservation systems, which began with a beta test at Grant Achatz’s Alinea and Next. Per Se and The French Laundry will be launching ticket reservation systems with Nick Kokonas’ groundbreaking system, Tock, which will require customers to pay for a meal in full upon making the reservation.
The system has numerous benefits for the restaurant itself, offering security with the up-front payment, as well as protection from no-show diners (which probably rarely happens anyway at such prestigious culinary institutions as the three Michelin-starred Per Se and The French Laundry). There are benefits for the diner, too, like flexible pricing; for instance, a seat at Alinea or Next costs less mid-week than it would on a Saturday night. The French Laundry will not employ this flexible pricing model.
The system works by having customers essentially pay for both a seat at the table and the meal ahead of time. In addition, each guest is called personally to further eradicate any chance of a scam. Other restaurants that have jumped on the bandwagon since the announcement of Tock’s expansion include Trois Mec in Los Angeles, Journeyman in Boston, and Coi in San Francisco.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi