Chef Robert Phalen’s One Eared Stag is the latest Atlanta restaurant to adopt the Tock reservation system. Phalen is choosing the new platform for his Inman Park dining room because it comes at a significant discount compared to OpenTable.
“They are making the switch because it is cheaper to use, almost by half, than OpenTable,” a representative for One Eared Stag tells Eater Atlanta. “Tock still has all the apps and user friendly interfaces, but charges a flat fee instead of by reservation.”
Tock is the creation of big-time Chicago restaurateur Nick Kokonas (Alinea, Next, The Aviary). It went live in June 2015, allowing restaurant owners to put a price on reservations and applying the booking fees to diners’ final bills. The idea is this would help to prevent no-shows and give kitchens a better idea of their workload for the evening.
Staplehouse was the first Atlanta restaurant to adopt the platform, selling tickets for tasting menu experiences before scaling back and charging smaller deposits for bookings. Nine Mile Station, Ponce City Market’s rooftop beer garden and restaurant, jumped on board when it opened last year.
Phalen will not require a deposit to make a reservation, aside from parties of six or more (One Eared Stag previously required deposits for larger groups on OpenTable). The chef says Tock will allow One Eared Stag to more easily promote and sell tickets for events.
This switch comes at a time when Kokonas is taking direct aim at OpenTable, which has long been the leader in the reservations game. Last October, Tock announced $7.5 million in investments from venture capitalists and major food names such as Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern. With Tock’s increasing influence in the industry, it’s becoming a growing thorn in the side for OpenTable.
• One Eared Stag [Tock]
• Introducing Nick Kokonas's Ticketing System, Tock [E]
• Nick Kokonas' Ticketing System Tock Launches in Beta Today [E]
• Staplehouse Is the First Atlanta Restaurant on the Tock Ticketing System [EATL]