Tock is only two years old but the idea originated several years ago out of a simple frustration: no-shows (people who bail on their reservation) are costing restaurants money. Nick Kokonas and Chef Grant Achatz opened Alinea here in Chicago to international fanfare in 2005 - now a perennial Michelin three star and widely considered one of the best restaurants in the world. For years they were spending $140,000 a year on staff dedicated to managing reservations and losing an average of $260,000 a year on no-shows. Convinced there had to be a better way, Nick built a crude ticketing system to solve the problems and lower labor costs. The homemade platform was a success. Nick founded Tock with Brian Fitzpatrick, founder of Google’s Chicago engineering office, to turn this simple idea into a robust product complete with all the tools a restaurant needs to succeed.
Tock is, at its simplest, a reservation system. Guests use Tock to make reservations and pay for experiences up front like chef’s tasting menus, kitchen tables, or special events, while restaurants use Tock to manage these reservations (book, edit, cancel, reschedule, etc), manage their guests (view and edit guest notes, reservation notes, tags, photos, dietary restrictions, reservation history, bios, etc), manage services (assign guests to tables, text message guests, accept walk-in guests, etc), and review financial reporting.
But we’re much more than that.
Running a restaurant isn’t easy. Even the world’s best restaurants struggle to make ends meet. From rising labor, real estate, and food costs, to legal complexity regarding tipping and overtime pay, to unsustainable no-show rates, a restaurant is faced with a daunting task at becoming profitable. We want to change that! We want to solve the problems that other restaurant software has deemed too hard or too complex. All while making it fast and beautiful.
Many of the world’s best restaurants use Tock, from Alinea, Acadia, Milk Room, and Smyth and Loyalist here in Chicago, to Eleven Madison Park, The French Laundry, The Fat Duck, minbar, Noma, Atelier Crenn, and hundreds more across the world.
We are an extremely passionate group dedicated to changing the world of restaurants. Maybe that sounds crazy but we’ve amassed a team capable of making it happen.
Most software companies are just that–software companies. They are devoid of expression and emotion and are confined to the screen. We’re not fans of this idea. Yes, we are a software company, but we are also a hospitality company in a very personal industry. We want the voice of our sales team to reflect that.
If you’ve made it this far, then we’re already off to a good start. Next we’d love to see your work and a letter answering the simple question, why Tock?
If you have questions, let us know.