Why should you embrace the tickets booking system at restaurants

Tickets reservations system is coming to restaurants close to you, so get ready! Restaurants owners love it, but some of them are afraid to lose clients who believe that this system is not right. Is it really not right?


Boooking is easy and transparent

Booking is easy and transparent

I understand that people who don’t know deeply the situation behind the scenes of the most important restaurants, can’t understand why should things change. But believe me – it’s better also for you if they do!

I was working in the past with chefs and restaurant owners in Slovenia and Italy and have recently moved to UK. I can see in all the three countries the same pattern: people reserve tables in places which are normally overbooked and cancel them in the last moment or simply don’t show, so restaurant is unable to offer the table to somebody else who would otherwise be happy to take it.

Restaurants buy ingredients (which are in such top restaurants really expensive) for the number of bookings they had. If those people don’t arrive and also don’t cancel soon enough, table remains unoccupied and those ingredients are not covered. From my experience – when I organized special evening with chefs and we really tried hard to offer those events for the lowest price possible, we constantly had to struggle to have at least expenses covered because it constantly happened that at least four to six persons per evening did not come to the event, what means more than 10% of minus. Restaurants say that even around 15-20% of no show is a realistic number in their daily activity.

Daniel Patterson is one of the first after Grant Achatz to adopt the ticket system

So, to cover themselves the only logical thing is that prices of food and drinks have to be 15% higher from the actual cost to cover also the minus from the no-shows – every person with at least some mathematical knowledge will understand this. Ticket system , which was successfully practiced by Grant Achatz’s Alinea and Next already since years and started to spread now also to other places (read here interview with Daniel Patterson (Coi) who started using tickets system and who nicely explains how thing works), could solve this problem and you will be finally able to really pay what you order, instead of paying 15% more. And you could be lucky enough to get also in the last minute table in an otherwise overbooked restaurant. So bad and unacceptable?

I see it as only solution, because as we can see people will never change. They are unable to feel responsibility towards others. And yes, booking a restaurant is a responsibility toward those who invest time and money to welcome us.

But those of you who never go to Michelin starred restaurants, don’t worry. Nothing will change with restaurants which work on a walk-in basis. But restaurants which are booked also months in advance will solve this way their problem and yours too – since you will be able to pay less and maybe get some table also in the last minute. And then – buying tickets is nothing new – you buy it for transport and events, so you should be used of it!

Are we now welcoming the news? I do!


Influence of the tickets system on cacellations at Alinea

Influence of the tickets system on cacellations at Alinea




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