Restaurant Reservations Getting Phased Out
Upscale places using tickets instead
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2014 9:35 AM CDT
You might need a ticket for this.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

(Newser) – Classy restaurants across the country are doing away with traditional reservations. Instead, well-heeled diners at these establishments need meal tickets—quite literally, NPR reports. At Trois Mec in Los Angeles, for instance, you can score $100 tickets for a five-course meal; that includes tax and tip. (The tickets are sold online but go quickly.) In San Francisco, chef Daniel Patterson recently began ticketing for his restaurant, Coi. He made the decision in part because diners who'd made reservations often didn't actually come.—wasting his restaurant's time and money.

"The problem is we're a special occasion restaurant for most people, not a spontaneous decision," he explains to Eater. "A very large percentage of people who make reservations a month or two in advance will cancel them or not show up within the last week, and it's very hard to re-book them." The tickets mean he can keep prices lower, though a meal will still cost you between $145 and $195. The system also lets his staff "spend more time focusing on the guests that are actually coming in and not just moving reservations around, which occupies many hours a day." The ticketing system was the brainchild of Chicago restaurateur Nick Kokonas in 2011, and it's heading to locales such as Austin, Boston, and Philadelphia in the next six months. (In less-pricey restaurant news, the year's most calorie-packed restaurant meal has a whopping 3,540.)

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Dec 13, 2015 8:31 PM CST
I like how our local restaurants handle reservations. Its called "No Wait." I get frustrated to go into a restaurant that's not very busy at 8pm and they say they have no tables. This happened at the White River Fish in Branson. That was like 4 years ago and we still haven't been there and don't plan to go. We just got back from our most recent trip and ate at the place next door. At that place, it had like 30 tables empty. After talking to the corporate Veep in Springfield, MO, I think what they had done was send most of the help home due to a slow night. But they didn't want to admit it. So they just told people who saw all those empty seats that they were reserved. It would have been better to be honest and just say that half the restaurant was not available.
peter
Aug 11, 2014 7:51 AM CDT
stay home an eat save your money spend it on your kids or your grandchildren.
Arthur Vandelay
Aug 10, 2014 11:47 AM CDT
I made reservations at Dionysis restaurant across from the Acropolis in Athens. I showed up and was told we had no reservations. I am Greek American so I speak fluent Greek so no problem that the reservation clerk did not understand me it was more of give me cash to sit you. I no longer make reservations I just show up if they have table fine if not I leave.