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?
Company Spotlight in Tech
mLevel
videos (1)
Dave Cutler
Helix
AAron Dannenbring
Techstars Chicago
videos (1)
Troy Henikoff
Antenna International
videos (1)
Dave Falter
Rippleshot
videos (1)
Canh Tran
Alive Telecom
videos (2)
Daniel Barton
Integrated Project Management
videos (1)
Mike McLeod
1871
videos (2)
Howard Tullman
CodeNow
videos (1)
Neal Sales-Griffin
Strata Decision Technology
videos (1)
Dan Michelson
Gogo
videos (1)
Ash EIDifrawi
Tenant Cloud
videos (1)
Joseph Edgar
MSDSonline
videos (1)
Glenn Trout
Intersog
videos (1)
Igor Fedulov
Jiobit
videos (1)
Lindsay Slutzky
Esquify
videos (1)
Drew Stern
Label Insight
videos (1)
Paul Schaut
Innoplexus
videos (1)
Gunjan Bhardwaj
SMS Assist, LLC
videos (2)
Taylor Rhodes
City Tech Collaborative
videos (1)
Brenna Berman
MotherG
videos (2)
Eat Purely
videos (2)
Jeremiah Green
Scout Security, Inc.
videos (1)
AAron Dannenbring
Elexa Consumer Products
videos (1)
Lawrence Beger
Highland Solutions
videos (1)
Jeff Nixon
Ora Interactive
videos (1)
Mike Kelly
Enova International
videos (1)
John Higginson
Adage Technologies
videos (2)
Roy Chomko
Impact Engine
videos (1)
Jessica Droste Yagan
Forte Group
videos (1)
Steve Kreynin
DragonSpears
videos (1)
Patrick Emmons
Charlie
videos (1)
Aaron Frazin
Geofeedia
videos (1)
Phil Harris
One North Interactive
videos (1)
John Simpson
8th Light
videos (1)
Paul Pagel
Earlybird Software
videos (1)
Andrew Parnell
ANKO Technologies Corp
videos (1)
Anatoliy Kolodkin
SpringCM
videos (1)
Dan Dal Degan
Soothe
videos (1)
Chris To
SkillNet
videos (1)
Mike Kritzman
Clarity Insights
videos (1)
Tom Thimot
Kapow
videos (1)
Chris Brown
ITPeopleNetwork
videos (1)
Amit Dutta
Drivin
videos (1)
Kayne Grau
Mattersight
videos (1)
Kelly Conway
CBIZ, Inc.
Jerome Grisko
MotherG
videos (1)
Dave Davenport
RightHand Technologies
videos (1)
Steve Valentor