Monday, May 10, 2010

On Buying Tickets to Restaurants

Outstanding in the Field does it. Who else? I just read Alinea chef Grant Achatz' plan for his forthcoming (fall 2010), Next Restaurant. The plan is to sell tickets and I'm trying to think of reasons why it's not a fabulous idea. Patrons will know exactly what to expect cost-wise, and can take advantage of cheaper off-peak seatings.

The restaurant can plan more accordingly as well. Achatz told The New York Times, "We now pay three or four reservationists all day long to basically tell people they can't come. Most people don't realize how much of the cost of a meal is the cost of running a restaurant."

My take is that if other restaurants copy the model they'll be Alinea-like in their reputation and the dining experience they offer. Achatz' reservation problem isn't something many other restaurants experience.

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