Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Tock restaurant-ticketing system launches, takes reservations for Next

(From left) Grant Achatz, Brian Fitzpatrick and Nick Kokonas debuted Tock, their online restaurant reservation system last year. 

By John Carpenter Blue Sky

How much restaurant booking platform Tock says it raised in the first 30 minutes of its launch
Chicago restaurant booking platform Tock launched to the public Tuesday, sort of.

Tock is now taking reservations for West Loop restaurant Next, said Nick Kokonas, CEO of Tock and co-owner of Next.

This begins a slow rollout of the online platform, which Kokonas said he expects to see Chicago restaurants Alinea and Aviary — which he also co-owns — join within two weeks. About 20 other restaurants are scheduled to follow in July, Kokonas said. All have been using earlier versions of the system, he said.

Tock is based on a ticket-pricing system that Kokonas created for Next and Alinea, in which patrons pre-order meals the way they would order tickets to a theater performance.

Kokanas said the platform booked about $15,000 in sales in the first 30 minutes of its launch.
Kokonas said Tock won’t be aimed at only high-end restaurants like Alinea and Next and will have options for partial deposits rather than fully pre-paid meals. Deposit money will be applied to the cost of the meal, which customers will also be able to pay using the Tock system, he said.

Participating restaurants will pay a $695 monthly fee for the mobile-optimized platform, which will be free for diners, Kokonas said.

Tock enters an increasingly crowded space for restaurant apps, as companies look to create an Uber-like experience for diners. Kokonas noted that Tock is not a mobile app but a mobile-optimized web platform. This allows restaurants to interact directly with customers using Tock rather than requiring customers to download an app.

Kokonas wouldn’t specify how much Tock has raised, saying “a few million dollars.” Investors include Basecamp founder and CEO Jason Fried , Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Jellyvision CEO Amanda Lannert  and 1871 CEO Howard Tullman .

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