31 July 2012

Next Up in Fine Dining: Pay in Advance

Nick Kokonas got the idea for his new reservation system while listening to phones ring off the hook at his current bastion of haute cuisine, Chicago's Alinea. "If you sit in that room for a day, you'll think of it," Kokonas says. "All you have to do is hear Emily and Amanda say, 'Sorry, we're full. Sorry, we're full.'"

Instead of paying reservationists to perform customer relations that were inadvertently "pissing customers off," Kokonas came up with a revolutionary concept: an entire restaurant that wouldn't piss anyone off. There would be no hounding for reservations, and no bill dropped at the end of the meal. Kokonas has now built that restaurant - and he's even figured out an algorithm to determine the price of dinner. 

Next Restaurant, which opens this month in Chicago's hip West Town neighbourhood, is his second collaboration with the 36-year-old star chef Grant Achatz. Their six-year-old Alinea is basically the best thing that's happened to the city since Oprah: It's one of only 93 restaurants in the world to have received three Michelin stars and is ranked seventh on S. Pellegrino's list of top restaurants worldwide. Unlike Alinea, where reservation strivers have to beg to sign up to take advantage of rare last-minute cancellations, Next sends people who want to eat there to its website. There they'll be asked to pay in advance for a non-refundable meal ticket that includes food, drinks, tip, and tax. Next will serve one the matic prix fixe meal each night for a period of three months before moving on to a menu with a new theme. The first dinner - based on the cuisine of Paris, circa 1906 - will cost $65 to $110 per person (not including drinks), depending on the desirability of the reservation date and time.

By making diners do things his way, Kokonas thinks he can deliver exciting food at a lower price. Still, this worries Achatz and the other chefs, who believe in serving customers what they want. It is, however, more cost-effective not to listen to such diners. "If somebody walks in and says, 'I'm a vegan,' then there [has to be] a whole different menu," Kokonas groans to Achatz. "We lose money on that person." What about vegetarians, Achatz asks. "We're not going to serve vegetarian meals for Paris, 1906!" Kokonas says. "Come when we do Indian food!"

To get to the full article click here.
Posted by Wlad

27 July 2012

Michelin starred restaurants Pied à Terre and Rasoi By Vineet Bhatia offer tables with Bookingrid

Two Michelin-starred Restaurants Pied à Terre and Rasoi By Vineet Bhatia have started to offer tables with Bookingrid. 


Posted by Wlad

23 July 2012

New Zelandian press publishes an article about Bookingrid

Below you will find an article which the New Zelandian press has published about us.

"A new online booking system for restaurants has been designed to eliminate no-shows and maximise profit making opportunities.

Based on the established airline ticketing systems that reward early secure bookings, bookingrid.com plans to develop a centralised marketing facility for restaurants as well as better management of table reservations.

The system provides an easy-to-use plan of restaurant tables with real time status updates of reservation status. It provides a number of reservation options, primarily a booking with deposit that transfers the deposit to in-restaurant payment at the conclusion of the meal, with no fees, and meals at lower fixed prices.

Customers unable to make their booking are able to offer these reservations to other diners, recovering their deposits, with the incentive being the lower than the no-reservation price. Restaurants also have the opportunity to manage turn-ups with a proportion of free tables that are sold on the night for a higher price.

Implicit in the system is the development of the site as a gateway to restaurants for customers, with the bonus of it becoming a place for extra marketing of last minute deals and other on-the-hoof sales techniques."
Posted by Wlad

21 July 2012

The London Evening Standard publishes an article about us

Yesterday the London Evening Standard published an article about us with the title: "The latest experience in London dining: Pay for your meal before you eat it".

London venues are looking at introducing an “airline-style online reservation system called Bookingrid — where customers pay in advance for a table, spending more the closer they book to the time they want to turn up. Restaurateurs say it could revolutionise their industry. Under the new system, dining rooms “sell” tables with a minimum non-refundable spend per head — for instance £100 for a table for two. Customers pay by credit or debit card at the time of booking.

Indian restaurant The Cinnamon Club, in Westminster, is among those considering the new system. Marketing manager Priyanka Sharma said: “It could revolutionise the whole restaurant booking system. It could be good from the customer’s point of view because if they don’t have much time, they won’t have to waste it ringing around to see if they can get in somewhere, they can simply use the site to buy the table they want.

“Of course not everyone will want to put all their money up front, but we do get no-shows every day and this could make a difference.”

To get to the full article click here.

Posted by Wlad

13 July 2012

First Public Appearance and Big Success!

The first ever article about Bookingrid was published on http://www.bighospitality.co.uk, the most reputable ressource for news in the UK restaurant industry. Without any understatement we can say that this article was a great success. Luke Nicholls, the writer of this article, pointed out that high-end restaurateurs and industry experts are heavily complaining about no-shows. As the quotation from the article shows the writer sees Bookingrid's potential to solve this problem and become an industry standard for online restaurant bookings.

"Bookingrid could finally be the innovation that restaurants have been waiting for to stop operating on a first-come, first-serve basis and begin taking full control of their revenues."

We highly recommend to read the whole article. To get to it click here.
Posted by Wlad

12 July 2012

Partnership with Qype signed!

This is a part of an article which was published by Qype announcing our new partnership.

"Qype is happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Bookingrid to offer you, restaurant owners, even more booking alternatives.

Tired of no-shows? Eager to increase you average bill? Want to attract cash-rich, last-minute decision makers? Then Bookingrid is your solution.

Bookingrid is an innovative booking widget that is now available on Qype. Designed to increase your revenue from pre-booked tables – it secures payment upfront which allows you to reduce those annoying no-shows and maximize your average bill at the same time. There are no sign-up fees, no listing fees, and no booking fees (for free bookings).

What’s the big deal – isn’t it just another booking system?"

To get to the full article click here.
Posted by Wlad