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
alligatortek
videos (1)
Sid Bala
Chicago Inno
videos (1)
Will Flanagan
8th Light
videos (1)
Paul Pagel
SMB Help Desk, Inc.
videos (1)
Matthew Cleaver
Insuresoft
videos (1)
Tony Villa
eComfort.com
videos (1)
Pavel Sokolovsky
Access Mobility 24
videos (1)
Joe Wright
SmartSource Inc.
videos (1)
Joe Iovinelli
BuildOut Inc
videos (1)
Vishu Ramanathan
LED Gaming
videos (1)
Steven De Mar
TechNexus
videos (1)
Terry Howerton
SG Interactive
videos (1)
Jordan Levin
UrbanBound
videos (1)
Michael Krasman
Waident Technology Solutions
videos (1)
John Ahlberg
Techstars Chicago
videos (1)
Troy Henikoff
RedShelf
videos (1)
Greg Fenton
Lemko
videos (1)
Bo Pyskir
4C Insights
videos (1)
Alok Choudhary
RKON Technologies
videos (1)
Jeff Mullarkey
DragonSpears
videos (1)
Patrick Emmons
Netrix, LLC.
videos (1)
Rob Dang
Cleverbridge
videos (1)
Craig Vodnik
Vanco International
videos (1)
Brad Corbin
Steadfast Networks
videos (1)
Karl Zimmerman
Impact Engine
videos (1)
Jessica Droste Yagan
Jobbatical
videos (1)
Karoli Hindriks
Infiniscene
videos (1)
Stu Grubbs
Aginity
videos (1)
Doug Grimsted
Signature Retail Services
videos (1)
Dan Perry
Techweek
videos (2)
Amanda Signorelli
Scientel Solutions
videos (1)
Nelson Santos
CBIZ, Inc.
Jerome Grisko
Reliefwatch
videos (1)
Daniel Yu
Rise Interactive
videos (1)
Jon Morris
HERE
videos (1)
AAron Dannenbring
Label Insight
videos (1)
Paul Schaut
Cloudbakers
videos (1)
Mitch Greenwald
Heidolph NA
videos (1)
Jim Dawson
Mattersight
videos (1)
Kelly Conway
SP+ (SP Plus)
videos (1)
Marc Baumann
Intersog
videos (1)
Igor Fedulov
HS2 Solutions
videos (1)
Phil Hollyer
CloudCraze
videos (1)
Ray Grady
Narrative Science
videos (1)
Stuart Frankel
Hireology
videos (1)
Adam Robinson
Iyka
videos (1)
Poonam Gupta
Trading Technologies
videos (1)
Rick Lane
Kapow
videos (1)
Marc Halpin