Nick Kokonas

About

Before starting Tock, Kokonas tested a similar system at his three establishments—Alinea, Aviary, and Next. After he opened Alinea to international fanfare in 2005, he was spending $140,000 a year on staff dedicated to managing the constantly ringing reservation line. He was also losing an average of $260,000 a year on cancellations and tables with partial no-shows. Convinced there had to be a better way, he developed an unsophisticated ticketing program in 2010. “I didn’t make all this up because it was exciting to me to build this software company,” he says. “It was driving me nuts.” In 2011 he decided his new restaurant, Next, would offer reservations exclusively via the online platform. Happy with the results, Kokonas eventually rolled over his other places to the system. Since it switched to tickets, Alinea’s net profits have gone up 38 percent, a stat Kokonas crowed about last June in a 6,000-word essay arguing that ticketing was the future of restaurants. The post went viral among avid diners and chefs who wanted to adopt the program. “I was getting 10 restaurants a day e-mailing me,” Kokonas says. Kokonas has a prediction. In five years, he says, the tipping landscape will be very different, with most restaurants including mandatory service fees in their bills. “Everyone is so afraid to be the first to change something,” he adds. But ticketing or service fees? “This is so easy, it’s unbelievable,” he says, eyes wide and hands in the air, as if he can’t fathom how the rest of the industry hasn’t already figured this out.
Videos (1)
What Can You Break Today?
What Can You Break Today?
Company Spotlight in Tech
One North Interactive
videos (1)
John Simpson
4C Insights
videos (1)
Alok Choudhary
HighGround
videos (1)
Vip Sandhir
SkillNet
videos (1)
Mike Kritzman
SmartSource Inc.
videos (1)
Joe Iovinelli
Netrix, LLC.
videos (1)
Rob Dang
Drivin
videos (1)
Kayne Grau
Analyte Health
videos (1)
Frank Cockerill, M.D.
Signature Retail Services
videos (1)
Dan Perry
Kamea Networks & Technology
videos (1)
Chach DalSanto
1871
videos (1)
Howard Tullman
Cision
videos (1)
Kevin Akeroyd
AMPY
videos (1)
Tejas Shastry
ObjectWave
videos (1)
Sam Cinquegrani
Gogo
videos (1)
Ash EIDifrawi
Stratosphere Networks
videos (1)
Steve Melchiorre
Reltio
videos (1)
Manish Sood
SMS Assist
videos (1)
Michael Rothman
NowSecure
videos (1)
Andrew Hoog
TurboAppeal Inc
videos (1)
JOHN GUIDOS
LaunchPad Lab
videos (1)
Tom Cullen
HERE
videos (1)
AAron Dannenbring
CloudCraze
videos (1)
Ray Grady
SP+ (SP Plus)
videos (1)
Marc Baumann
Malwarebytes
videos (1)
Marcin Kleczynski
Aprimo
videos (1)
John Stammen
Allant Group
videos (1)
Gaurav Issar
Insuresoft
videos (1)
Tony Villa
Techstars Chicago
videos (1)
Troy Henikoff
Geofeedia
videos (1)
Phil Harris
LotLinx
videos (1)
Denise Chudy
Illinois Technology Association (ITA)
videos (1)
Fred Hoch
eComfort.com
videos (1)
Pavel Sokolovsky
The Climate Corporation
videos (1)
Corbett Kull
mLevel
videos (1)
Dave Cutler
Lemko
videos (1)
Bo Pyskir
MSDSonline
videos (1)
Glenn Trout
alligatortek
videos (1)
Sid Bala
SoloInsight Inc.
videos (1)
Farhan Masood
Integrated Project Management
videos (1)
Mike McLeod
Mattersight
videos (1)
Kelly Conway
Keeper Security, Inc.
videos (1)
Darren Guccione
Framework Communications
videos (1)
John Fakhoury
Ensono
videos (1)
Jeff VonDeylen
Kapow
videos (1)
Marc Halpin
Vanco International
videos (1)
Brad Corbin
Label Insight
videos (1)
Paul Schaut
Emmi Solutions
videos (1)
Devin Gross