Nearly every aspect of Next is ground breaking in some way, but Business Week decided to focus on the new ticketing and reservation system in a great new interview with Nick Kokonas. Honestly, we’ve heard most of these details before. Instead of paying for receptionists, Kokonas came up with the idea of selling non-refundable tickets that would be priced according to when you dine. But we didn’t realize how much work had gone into the system, and that Kokonas even hopes create a completely new company to take on OpenTable.
While we’ve been interested in the ticketing system since it will allow customers to pay up front and not have to worry about the bill at the end of the meal, Kokonas talked about the business implications of the system. Now the restaurant will be able to know how much the food budget will be for the week, and they’ll be able to keep a “reasonably sized full-time staff” instead of a relying on a bunch of people working Fridays and Saturdays.
Perhaps the biggest news, however, is that Kokonas hired two programmers to work on the ticket system, and that he hopes to sell it to other restaurants across the country. Of course, we’ll have to wait until Next actually opens to see whether it works or not. But considering how the last project went, we have a feeling that this may be the start of something pretty big.
Next Up in Fine Dining: Pay in Advance [Business Week]