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Alinea's E-Ticket System is Coming to Other Restaurants

Alinea's E-Ticket System is Coming to Other Restaurants


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A fish roe dish at Alinea, one of the most popular restaurants in the world. But will their ticketing reservation system work everywhere?

Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago is one of the most highest-rated restaurants in America, landing at number six on The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants and number nine on the World's 50 Best Restaurants lists this year, and to keep up with demand, the restaurant developed a ticketing reservation system which “sells” tables to customers every night, according to Epicurious. Restaurateur Nick Kokonas, who developed the ticketing reservation system, has announced that he will be taking it public, which means that we may be seeing a lot more people buying tickets to high-end restaurants instead of struggling to make a reservation. The system can also be seen at Kokonas’ other venues, Next and The Aviary, as well as a few other select restaurants throughout Chicago.

So, how does it work? Diners pay for their meals entirely in advance using the ticketing reservation system (at Aviary, your $20 deposit counts as a ticket). Ticket prices for the dinner reservations, much like sporting events or concert tickets, fluctuate based on desirability. A 7 p.m. Saturday reservation will cost much more than a Tuesday 5 p.m. reservation.

"People are willing to buy a seat for a sports game, with pricing anywhere from $10,000 to sit on the court to $35 for the nosebleeds," Kokonas told Epicurious. "No one gets to the game and goes, 'man, that's totally unfair--that guy way up there got in for $35 and I had to pay $10,000."

Kokonas said that in the coming year he will be testing his concept out at an unnamed restaurant group, as well as a few standalone eateries in San Francisco and Europe.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


At Trois Mec, diners must buy tickets upfront

Last month, the manager of the Beverly Hills restaurant Red Medicine shamed diners who didn’t turn up for their Saturday night reservations by calling them out on Twitter.

“I hope you enjoyed your GF’s Bday and the flowers that you didn’t bring when you no-showed for your 815 res,” Noah Ellis tweeted. “Thanks.”

But shame is only one tactic used by restaurateurs working to make sure their seats are filled each night.

This coming week, anyone looking to score a table at hotly anticipated Trois Mec, the new restaurant from celebrity chefs Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, will have to buy tickets — just as they would for a movie or a concert.

The 26-seat Trois Mec, which opens Thursday in an unmarked former pizza joint in a Melrose Avenue strip mall, will be the first restaurant in Los Angeles to sell nonrefundable tickets online — nearly $100 with tax and tip (not including wine) — and is among only a handful of others in the world doing the same.

“We considered everything — no reservations, putting a deposit on a credit card,” says Krissy Lefebvre, Ludo’s wife and partner. “But people pay for tickets for entertainment. This just happens to be entertainment in the form of dinner.”

All over town, restaurants, which operate on notoriously thin profit margins, are in a battle with no-show diners, who increasingly are expected to bear more responsibility for their end of the bargain. Restaurants such as Urasawa in Beverly Hills require a credit-card hold with a $100-per-person cancellation fee. Saison in San Francisco takes it a step further if you cancel within 72 hours of your reservation, you’re still required to pay the full cost of the meal (it has one menu, priced at $298 per person).

Public humiliation isn’t unheard of either. Red Medicine’s Ellis sparked controversy when he tweeted the names of several no-shows, but his isn’t the only restaurant to out customers who didn’t honor their reservations. A short-lived social-media campaign by restaurateurs in Australia employed the Twitter hashtag #noshowshame, attached to tweets with the names of people who shirked their reservations. And Rene Redzepi, chef of renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma, famously blew up online when two tables no-showed and he tweeted a picture of him and his staff extending their middle fingers.

“The sad thing is we ran about 15% no-shows last Saturday night [post-shaming],” says Ellis, which is “where we typically were before. It’s frustrating because we haven’t found a great solution here, to be honest with you.”

Nick Kokonas, co-owner, with Grant Achatz, of Alinea in Chicago and its spinoffs Next and Aviary, says the answer, for some restaurants at least, is tickets. Kokonas spearheaded the ticketing system at Next, then adopted it at Alinea and is planning to roll it out for other restaurants under the name Next Table. It is the system Trois Mec is using, and also is used by Elizabeth restaurant in Chicago. (Leave it to a former derivatives trader to reconfigure the financial pact between restaurant and customer.)

“There were several surprising things to me when we opened Alinea,” Kokonas says, “and one of the most surprising was that people don’t mind canceling last-minute. They just assume you are going to fill the seat. It’s true of restaurants all over the world.” Even Alinea, with a 200-person waiting list, couldn’t always fill spots on short notice. Kokonas says he doesn’t condone Ellis’ response to no-shows, “but I understand how frustrated they were.”

Making a reservation “is like an unwritten contract,” says David Chang, the chef behind the Momofuku empire of restaurants in New York, Toronto and Sydney. It helps restaurants anticipate how much food and staff are needed on a given night, and diners know that they’ll be able to sit at a table at a certain time (which doesn’t always happen, especially if restaurants overbook — usually in anticipation of no-shows).

But diners are human: Sometimes they forget or get sick. “Diners for the most part are benevolent. They don’t wake up in the morning thinking, ‘I’m really going to screw this restaurant over and not cancel,’” says Alexander Kvamme, founder of online reservations service Seatme.com, who has noticed more restaurants that require credit-card holds because of no-shows. “It’s really an unfortunate position for restaurants. Every empty seat because of a no-show really costs you.”

At Trois Mec (“three guys” in French), which has only four tables and eight bar seats, if “one table doesn’t show up for each seating, that’s more than 10% of our business,” says Krissy Lefebvre. “It’s an inventory issue as well. We order based on exactly what those guests need — to be able to provide the best possible experience. Then there’s labor costs. If a table doesn’t show up, we’ve probably overstaffed by one person.”

“The only way you can really prevent a no-show is having people pay ahead of time,” says Momofuku’s Chang. Though he says he hopes that tickets are the future of dining, he hasn’t instituted them at his restaurants such as 12-seat Momofuku Ko (a notoriously difficult online-only reservation). But he is especially intrigued by dynamic pricing, which means paying a premium for seats that are more in demand — a table for Saturday night at 8, for example, would cost more than a table for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

That’s how it works at Next, which sold nearly $20 million in tickets in the last two years, Kokonas says. But Next and Alinea are considered two of the best restaurants in the country, offering experiences on the level of theater. Their menus are set everyone who buys a ticket gets the same elaborate, multi-course meal.

For certain restaurants with a la carte menus, “I just think it’s really tricky,” Red Medicine’s Ellis says. But Kokonas is betting that others will innovate to fit their own circumstances. “It’s not just for the Alineas of the world but the little Chinese place down the street.”

Lack of ticket demand isn’t a likely problem for Trois Mec. Because of the popularity of LudoBites, the pop-up dinners that brought Ludo Lefebvre culinary fame, the Lefebvres ended up using a lottery system for reservations for the last few series. Thousands of would-be diners trying to get a spot at LudoBites have been known to crash reservation systems.

Trois Mec tickets will be available on the restaurant’s website, where a customer has to register with a user name and password before making a purchase. Registration starts Tuesday, and tickets for the next two weeks go on sale at 8 a.m. on Wednesday for parties of up to six at two rolling seatings (between 6 and 6:45 p.m. and between 8 and 9 p.m.). Tickets will then be released every two weeks on Fridays at 8 a.m.

It’s $75 for a five-course menu, including dishes such as potato pulp with milk skin, brown butter, bonito, onion soubise and Salers cheese from Auvergne chicken and asparagus with mustard flower mustard, pancetta and brioche and strawberries with almond ice cream, rhubarb, rose ice and olive oil cake. The total ticket price including an 18% service charge and tax is $97.13, and beer and wine will add to the tab. There are no refunds or exchanges, but diners can sell their tickets and then transfer them on the Trois Mec site.

Now someone has to figure out how to get Angelenos to dinner on time. At Trois Mec, service will start whether all the members of your party have arrived or not. It’s like baseball, says Ludo Lefebvre. “If you’re late, the game’s starting anyway.” Even if it is bumper-to-bumper on the 101.

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Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.

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What if Restaurants Rated their Customers?

We already know that user reviews can determine the fate of a restaurant: anyone who has eaten at a restaurant can leave a permanent digital footprint of their impressions, assessments and judgments. Whether they’re positive or negative, reliable or even true or false. Online critiques are a potential weapon in the hands of customers: but why not try the opposite? What would happen, in other words, if restaurants started rating their customers?

For some time now some in the restaurant industry have been calling for this rating not to be one-way only anymore. It would in fact be useful for restaurants to know what type of customer is coming to its tables, especially in terms of reservations: last-minute cancellations, no-shows, people who show up but with only half the number of people reserved for. And the real risk that some of the booked tables – averaging between 10% and 20% - may not actually be occupied leads to unpleasant situations, like overbooking: this means that people who have booked a table the proper way, in advance and keeping their promise, will have to stand in line and wait for the sought-after table.

In short, something is not right, and for at least a year now this part of the reservation system has come under the scrutiny of Silicon Valley nerds. From simple booking via app – to name just one, OpenTable – they have moved on to Phase 2, which involves – need we say it? – turning all this into a money-making idea. Starting from the concept that the most popular restaurants generate hordes of potential customers frustrated by the fact they are unable to get their spot in the sun, and that unlike most goods and services, the reservations market has not yet been served up to the top bidder, applications started popping up like mushrooms – from Resy to Table 8, from Reserve to Killer Rezzy to SeatMe – selling tables for pay, with or without the participation and acceptance of restaurant owners, who sometimes make money from the transactions and at other times may be completely unaware of it.

Understandably, many people turn up their noses at the idea, but it underscores the imbalance that actually exists in this area between people who want to go out for dinner and assume that they are paying for the meal and not the chair, and the people who are offering it but with no guarantee that it will be vacant. One solution might be the pilot system featured by the owners of two exclusive Chicago restaurants, Next and Alinea: paying to make the reservation online, but then deducting that sum from the final tab – it seems that this approach has reduced the no-show rate to under 2%. Meanwhile, OpenTable and other apps are already rating users, and anyone who steps out of line – for example, by not showing up at the table a certain number of times in a single year after making reservations, or cancels at the last moment – is rejected and their account is closed (but another can always be opened under other guises).

The next step is already in the works: reservation software that includes a more complete and complex rating of the customer, like those used in systems like AirB&B for homes or Uber for vehicles. Not just whether they kept their reservations, but critiques and comments on how they behaved, perhaps even on the tip left, if any. A rating system that rewards good customers rather than simply punishing the bad ones. It’s being worked on but still has to be launched in the marketplace: so soon there could also be customers with ratings of four-and-a-half stars or five stars out of five, for whom the restaurateur will gladly prepare a table in the top spot at 8:00 pm on a Friday evening, with a well-earned view of the sea. And the rest? They will have to work hard to build up a good reputation. Because a good meal (and a good seat) have to be earned.


America’s Best High-End Restaurants

Led by chef/owner Grant Achatz, Alinea is Chicago&rsquos only Michelin three-star restaurant and was recently named the World&rsquos Best Restaurant by Elite Traveler for the third consecutive year. Winner of multiple honors, including five James Beard awards and protégé of the French Laundry&rsquos Thomas Keller, Achatz is a master of avant-garde food preparation, with an impeccable attention to detail. The seasonally changing prix fixe menu currently features 18 incredible dishes, including oyster leaf mignonette, lobster with carrots and chamomile, a black truffle explosion with romaine and parmesan and the delightful balloon dessert with helium and green apple &ndash a tantalizing dessert replete with edible helium-filled balloons made of dehydrated apple. Following the success of the ticket system utilized by Achatz&rsquos second Chicago restaurant &ndash Next &ndash Alinea sells advance tickets two to three months in advance and encourages guests to view ticket sale dates through its Facebook and Twitter pages. Top attractions within a few miles of Alinea include Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo Credit: Commander’s Palace

Arguably the most famous restaurant in New Orleans, Commander&rsquos Palace has been enticing customers with haute Louisiana Creole dishes for more than 130 years. Executive Chef Tory McPhail, last year&rsquos James Beard winner of Best Chef: South, continues a long-standing Commander&rsquos Palace tradition of celebrated executive chefs, including two of New Orleans&rsquo most famous &ndash Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Yet unlike other high-end restaurants, the chef&rsquos tasting menu is a splendid bargain at just $95 with optional wine pairing for $48. The dinner menu, which changes almost daily, may include sweet Florida stone crabmeat, the classic sautéed Louisiana crawfish with fried green tomatoes and smoked tomato rémoulade and Lake Pontchartrain soft shell crab served with fresh local and seasonal produce. Located in the stately Garden District, the Commander&rsquos Palace has won numerous awards, most notably Zagat&rsquos Best New Orleans Restaurant an astounding 18 times, three-time winner of Food and Wine Magazine&rsquos Reader&rsquos Choice Award for Best Restaurant in America and a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for co-owner Ella Brennan, whose family owns several well-known restaurants, including Mr. B’s Bistro and Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse in the historic French Quarter.

Photo Credit: Eleven Madison Park

Ask a New York foodie what the city&rsquos best high-end restaurant might be and the answer could involve a painstaking thought process. That&rsquos because New York boasts seven three-star Michelin restaurants, all with consistent inclusions among lists of the world’s best. But by virtue of recent awards – S. Pellegrino’s fifth best restaurant in the world, 2012 James Beard Chef of the Year for co-owner and Executive Chef Daniel Humm and perfect ratings by The New York Times and the Michelin Guide, Eleven Madison Park seems like a worthy choice, although celebrated restaurants such as Daniel, Le Bernardin and Per Se will rightfully disagree. Yet all will agree Eleven Madison Park is consistently ranked among the top five and continually raising the bar in fine dining excellence. Sample dishes from the restaurant’s multi-course menu include sturgeon-smoked tableside poached lobster with escarole and almond and langoustine with fennel, sour cherries and clam. Located in the historic Metropolitan Life North Building overlooking Madison Park in Manhattan’s historic Flatiron District, the restaurant is co-owned by restaurateur and native New Yorker Will Guidara, who previously served as the restaurant’s general manager.

MGM Grand Hotel (L) – The Emerald City (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Michelin no longer produces a guide for Las Vegas, but if it did, at the top of the list would be Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. That&rsquos because it’s the only restaurant in the Gambling Capital of the World to earn that distinction. Led by the legendary French chef once named as his country’s Chef of the Century by the revered French restaurant guide Gault Millau, the Vegas restaurant is also the only one in the U.S. to bear his name. The 16-course menu dégustation is among the world’s most expensive including signature dishes such as La Langoustine, Le Poulet Fermier and L&rsquooeuf de Poule. Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand also offers an a la carte menu and prix fixe a la carte menu. With 12 restaurants located throughout the world, Chef Robuchon currently has 25 Michelin Guide stars, the most of any chef in the world.

The Napa Valley (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Nestled within the pristine hills of the Napa Valley, the fabulous Restaurant at Meadowood Resort is just one of two restaurants west of the Mississippi River to earn three Michelin stars. Executive Chef Christopher Kostow, last year&rsquos James Beard winner for Best Chef West, is a master in precision food preparation and presentation in the dining room and his arrival has been credited for catapulting the restaurant into the world&rsquos upper echelon of fine dining. For the ultimate dining experience at Meadowood, Chef Kostow offers a 15- to 20-course Chef&rsquos Counter Tasting Menu, which may feature lavish dishes such as tuna venison kohlrabi sorrels caviar and king crab uni cauliflower butter presented over several hours. The restaurant&rsquos wine list features more than 1,200 selections, including selections from the Napa Valley&rsquos Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle wineries, owned by Meadowood partners H. William Harlan and Stan Kroenke.


Alinea Project is one man’s attempt to recreate a restaurant’s culinary brilliance

Hemberger got the brilliant idea early on to try to document his attempt at the recipes, which he called The Alinea Project. Alinea is more culinary laboratory than a restaurant, well-known for its molecular gastronomy and beautiful plating. Alinea Project chronicles the trial-and-error, the successes, and everything in between, along with notes about some of the things Hemberger learned along the way. He had the (even better) idea to publish the content of his blog – and much more – earlier this year (with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign) in a hardbound book format carrying the same name.

We recently spoke with Hemberger, to learn more about his experiences of trying to recreate one of the world’s most impressive menus, in his home kitchen, and why photography plays an integral role in the experiment and how the book came about.

DT: How did you first hear about Alinea?

“Whoa, it doesn’t even look like food. I can’t really wrap my head around what’s going on here.”

What were your first impressions?

It was ridiculous. We had the most basic of understandings of what this place was about. My friends had shown me the website, and I was like, “Whoa, it doesn’t even look like food. I can’t really wrap my head around what’s going on here,” but it was very pretty, and I thought that was kind of cool. The meal itself – I’m kind of a nerd, by trade, so I was like, “How are they doing these things?” One dish came out with this perfectly square thing of sauce on it. So I was like, “How did they do that? Do they have some sort of crazy tool back there? How did they make this into a sphere? How did they do this? How did they do that? How are they doing this stuff?” I’d never quite seen anything like it before.

So, we have to imagine, by the time the restaurant’s cookbook came out you were chomping at the bit to see how they did some of these things.

Definitely. I came back from New Zealand after the meal, trying to read a little bit about this. I didn’t really know the name of the style of cooking, but I found a book. A friend of mine said, “There’s this restaurant in Spain that does similar stuff. You should check out this stuff.” And I finally got a copy of one of the El Bulli cookbooks. And I was like, “Yeah, this seems kind of the same.” It’s all in Spanish, so it’s impenetrable to learn how to do any of this stuff. So I chalked it up to, “OK, I can’t quite figure this out.”

So when (Alinea) came out with their cookbook, I was really blown away not only by, “Oh, I get to see all this other food I haven’t eaten yet,” but also they were just really straightforward and transparent about, “This is how we do it. You want to know? Here it is.”

So at what point did it go from just learning how they do it, to deciding to put in this immense amount of work of recreating the menu at home?

That’s a good question. I never really decided, or at least I can’t remember a point where I was like, “I’m going to cook my way through this book.” It was more: I got it, I read these recipes, said, “This seems ridiculous. There’s no way any of these are approachable they’re just ridiculous.”

But after reading through it a couple times, I said, “Well, here’s this recipe. It seems the least hard of all of them. I want to try it and see if I can do it.” I didn’t think I could really make one of these recipes. Then (I looked at the) caramel powder one. “It’s like six sentences. Surely, I can pull this off.” It took three or four tries to get it right, which was frustrating but also curious to me. It’s not like all these crazy white powders are doing all the work. You can’t just throw some white powder into this stuff and it works you have to get everything working together properly. It was curious to me how much effort was involved, but also when I got it right it was like, “Hey, this is really neat I got it right.” That made me want to try another one after that, that’s a little bit harder and took me a few more tries to get right. That’s how I got started was picking the easiest ones first and seeing if I could get them done, and from there, that gave me a little more confidence to try another one and another one and another one.

Where along the way did you realize this was something worth documenting?

At the time I was being exposed to all of this, [the friends] who I was living with in New Zealand, kept blogs for the purposes of keeping their friends and family back home appraised of their day to day. That was interesting to me. I had never really had a blog before. I didn’t know much about it until I was like, “I like writing. It’s kind of like a journal. Doing this thing seems like a great way to explain to my friends and family back home what I’m doing on the weekends.”

And I was also geeking out about the crazy white powders you use to do this stuff. There’s a whole section at the beginning of the Alinea book like, “Here’s all the weird ingredients that we use.” To me, there was something interesting about demystifying those. That very first recipe, the caramel one, used something called Tapioca Maltodextrine, which is used to basically powder oils. That’s how Betty Crocker is able to put olive oil in their brownie mix. That seemed really interesting to me. And I said, “People are kind of scared of these ingredients with these really long names. Wouldn’t it be kind of cool if I used this whole thing as a vehicle, writing fodder, to talk about, ‘Oh, here’s actually what this ingredient can be used for. It’s not so scary. And here’s this thing I’m doing with it.’”

My first impression of the blog, what I’d do with it, is say, “Oh, here’s these three or four recipes, and each blog write-up will demystify one of these crazy ingredients. Maybe that will keep me amused for a month or so.” I got way more than I bargained for once I started doing it, but my original plan was just that.

And the photography thing was my way of confirming that I’d gotten the recipe right. The cookbook doesn’t ever say anything like what this should taste like or how this should work. “Do a bunch of this, this and this, and here’s a photo.” So I didn’t really know whether I’d gotten it right. The thing produced looked like the photo in the book. So my original reason for taking the photos was to say, “Here, I have done this thing.” It was my only barometer for how well I’d done.

So when did it turn into this bigger project to publish a book?

About a year into it, it was clear to me that I was starting to collect a lot of photos. I thought, “It would be cool if I made myself a photo album from it one of these days. Maybe when I’m done with this or get bored with this, I’ll take the photos and put them together, making a book out of them, something really simple. I had that idea, and then put it away inside my head. After I got to the end, I thought, “I have a whole sh**-ton of photos here. It would be nice to make a really big album out of this.” So I started looking into, “How do I print it nice?” Photo books are usually not particularly high-quality, and I was like, “Well, what are my other options?”

As with everything else in this project, I started digging, digging, digging, doing all this research. My girlfriend was like, “If you’re going through all this effort, maybe you want to think about writing something. Because this is going to be high quality, maybe you’re going to want to give it to your kids someday. So why don’t you write something to go with it?” I started thinking about it, and the more I learned about how the printing process works, the more I started realizing, “Oh, it’s not really cost-effective to just make one of these. To print this the way a real book would be printed, it would cost me $40,000, or something like that. So, if I’m going to do that, I might as well print 500 copies or 1,000 copies or something like that.” Which means asking other people whether they would be interested in a book like this.

Honestly, I had no confidence. I was like, “It’s all on the Web it’s free. Why would anyone want to pay for a book like this?” And I started thinking about it a while. “Do I just copy and paste the blog into the book? I don’t even know what my book would be?” And it threw me off my original idea for what I wanted it to be. So by the time I launched the Kickstarter, I was not confident at all. It’s why I chose Kickstarter. I said, “It’s a good way to see if this is a viable idea or interesting to anyone else other than me.” But I really didn’t have any confidence that it was.

Is anyone at Alinea aware that you did this?

“Alinea has been pretty supportive through the whole thing, which has been pretty awesome.”

When I reached this critical point of “I want to make this book, but I need to ask other people if they would be willing to participate in it,” I was like, “Well, I want to tell him first.” Because I don’t want them to think that his whole project was about me trying to make a buck, or collect a story to tell. It hasn’t been about that, but this book reached this weird point, so I emailed them to say, “Hey, here’s what I’m doing. I’m thinking about maybe Kickstarter. I just wanted you guys to know, so you weren’t surprised or put off by it or anything like that.” And they wrote back like, “Yeah, no, cool.” They’ve been pretty supportive through the whole thing, which has been pretty awesome.

(Images copyright Allen Hemberger, used with permission. More images can be found at the Alinea Project.)


What&rsquos Next for Restaurants, According to Nick Kokonas

The Alinea Group co-owner and founder of restaurant reservation system Tock on what "restaurant" will mean in five years.

Being in isolation so long, it is impossible for me to envision the future. So many colleagues in the hospitality industry are devastated that the restaurants they passionately built are closed, perhaps permanently. At The Alinea Group, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this May, we’re working hard to reinvent our five restaurants and reemploy our team. Looking past next week is difficult, next month is uncertain, and next year? Well, that’s a lot farther off than it usually is.

But I’m hopeful in the long term. Whatever people build is never as strong as the people themselves. The hospitality we are missing during our national quarantine was invented by people who wanted to serve others and make them happy. The desire to create those connected experiences is not going away.

Three days after Chicago was mandated to shelter in place, Alinea began serving to-go meals. Instead of ordering in a steak plus sides and dessert for upward of $50, for $35, you could get beef Wellington with mashed potatoes and crème brûlພ from Alinea, or handmade rigatoni alla vodka with Caesar salad and cheesecake from Next. Within three weeks, we were serving over 1,250 dinners every evening. Something wonderful happened: Our social media feeds filled with posts of families together around their kitchen tables, thanking our team for making their night special. The way we connected was equally powerful and personal, though different, and entirely unimaginable eight weeks ago.

In the past, personalized hospitality meant a jovial host with a mental Rolodex of regulars and their preferences. Now, it means meeting diners where they live—on social media, email, and infrequent, timely text messages.

Moving forward, restaurant teams will be more important than restaurant real estate. Pop-ups, pop-ins, and touring restaurants will be reinvented. In the same way that musicians play in venues around the world and theaters stage productions that move from city to city, great restaurant concepts might want to adopt these practices to create fluid brand experiences in flexible spaces. A ghost kitchen one night might become a unique pop-in another.

Everyone knows about private dining rooms, chef’s counters, and kitchen tables. Expect to see more of those, as well as new, creative offerings that highlight a restaurant’s individual cuisine, one table at a time. The Aviary, the bar I own in Chicago with chef Grant Achatz, offers a seven-course kitchen table experience, three- and five-course drink flights with paired food, à la carte menus, and our speakeasy, The Office, all under one roof. Offering experiences, not just menus, allows us to serve different types of customers at different price points and to vary those choices by days of the week, times, and seasons. What was once a high-end solution may become the norm as restaurants are forced to have fewer tables and fewer patrons in the same physical space.

At the beginning of 2020, asking the question, “What will ‘restaurant’ mean in five years?” was usually an exercise in looking for hot food trends or tracking an up-and-coming chef. Today, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, that discussion is existential. We haven’t even started to lay the new foundations, but somewhere there is a young chef dreaming of opening her own restaurant. She has a clear vision of how it can work, and she will find new ways of connecting with customers. Leases are attractive. People are slowly dining out again. And that’s how our restaurants will come back to life: new, vibrant, more diverse, and, yes, different.

Nick Kokonas is the co-owner of The Alinea Group in Chicago and the founder of Tock, a restaurant reservation system.


Who Really Writes Chefs' Recipes?

Even the most celebrated chefs have help from other people when they're developing recipes, but those names are rarely seen by the dining and cooking public.

Every so often, accusations of plagiarism rip through the food industry and tumble out into public view. In 2008, Rebecca Charles, who introduced the lobster-roll restaurant to New York with Pearl Oyster Bar, sued her old sous chef Ed MacFarland for stealing the concept of her restaurant with the opening of Ed’s Lobster Bar, down to her mother’s recipe for a Caesar salad made with English-muffin croutons and a coddled egg. Back in 2012, Food Network Dessert First host Anne Thornton reportedly lost her show after the network discovered multiple instances of her copying other recipes in ways that were too close for comfort. Cookbook author Paula Wolfert told the Montreal Gazette that theft of her recipes, without crediting her stories, was rampant until she sued about 25 years ago. But legal recourse is rare. For the most part, restaurant chefs snark about dish-stealing by chefs at other restaurants or large corporations—or at least not acknowledging inspirations𠅋ut little more.

More recently, amid accusations of moldy jams at Los Angeles’s Sqirl restaurant, owner Jessica Koslow also had to fend off a different kind of allegation: some former chefs at the restaurant accused Koslow of taking sole credit for recipes that they created. As former pastry chef Elise Fields told Eater, Koslow neglected to give her staff 𠇊ny credit for the popularity of the sorrel rice bowl, or literally anything else that’s ever taken off on that menu.”

Koslow, for her part, apologized for “mistakes” but claimed that “there is an existing structure in our industry for how restaurants retain the creative recipes and techniques that many chefs contribute to the place during their employment and I will consider my part in this system as we move forward.” (In light of these revelations, Food & Wine changed the attribution of a Sqirl sunchoke hash recipe from Jessica Koslow’s byline to former chef de cuisine Ria Dolly Barbosa with the agreement of both parties.)

The problems at Sqirl, in particular, seemed rooted in some staff members’ perception of her lack of culinary cred and contribution to the restaurant menu from its beginnings. Another Sqirl pastry chef, Sarah Piligian, told Eater: “I literally worked for Jessica for almost three years, and I’ve never seen her cook,” and Balo Orozoco, a former Sqirl catering chef installed at another of her restaurants, Onda, also claimed “she doesn’t cook.” In that way, from these chefs’ viewpoints, the Sqirl blow-up over recipe attribution seems to be more akin to a hypothetical situation in which restaurateurs like Danny Meyer or Maguy Le Coze told a magazine to put their names on a recipe created at one of their restaurants. Still, other unnamed Sqirl chefs told Eater that working at Sqirl was the first time they𠆝 been paid fairly or that the claims that she couldn’t cook were misogynistic.

Recipes are famously difficult to copyright, and restaurant concepts are, too𠅊s Charles found out when she tried to create a legal precedent before settling out of court with MacFarland. While legally, recipes don’t belong to anyone, Wolfert argued that, according to the Author’s Guild, “you can only own the language of a recipe, the written text.” But without hard-and-fast rules, context is key, and it varies between restaurant traditions and those of cookbook authors, with different agreements, implicit or explicit, and many hands involved along the way. Much is muddied because many recipes themselves draw on multiple influences.

𠇎verything I do is collaborative,” says New York Times food columnist and cookbook author Melissa Clark. “What I do is hire recipe testers. I have a recipe vision. I will type out a recipe. If something is wrong, they change it. Do they get credit at the end of the column? No. But everyone needs to be paid a fair wage, and everyone needs to be on the same page.” Clark does credit her recipe testers in the acknowledgements of her cookbooks.

Few if any would argue that the cook who suggests adding a thyme garnish deserves credit to a recipe or that every chef who has had input in a dish should have their name directly below the dish on a restaurant menu. At many restaurants, particularly larger ones or those part of sprawling global behemoths, the chef de cuisine’s role is more akin to a speechwriter, who collaborates with a politician to channel their vision, but ultimately knows that part of the deal is that it is the politician, not the speechwriter, who will deliver those words on television and receive the historical attribution. In the ideal scenario, chefs de cuisine, like speechwriters, then parlay that experience into future career moves (see: Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Favreau or any number of political commentators). Holding the title of chef de cuisine or sous chef is, ipso facto, an acknowledgement of that person’s contribution of creative and technical expertise to a restaurant. Still, many chef-owners go beyond that in acknowledging the work of their staffers.

In working with publications, many chef-owners insist that the chefs in their restaurants get credit for the dishes they are largely responsible for creating. Farideh Sadeghin, culinary director for Vice’s Munchies, always asks who she should credit a restaurant recipe to, and very often the chef-owner cites another chef. In more clear-cut cases, when chefs are leading entire segments of a restaurant, they get brand-building treatment through both affiliation with a more famous chef and a byline: chefs de cuisine are often listed at the top of menus or on websites. Rene Redzepi shares a byline with the restaurant’s head of fermentation, David Zilber, on The Noma Guide to Fermentation, as does Yotam Ottolenghi with Helen Goh, the pastry chef, for Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi. Chefs like Daniela Soto-Innes at Enrique Olvera’s Cosme, Eunjo Park at David Chang’s Momofuku Kawi, and Maura Kilpatrick and Cassie Piuma at Ana Sortun’s Sarma and Sofra, respectively, have all received promotion from their more-established bosses in the media.

Why wouldn&rsquot you give credit where credit is due?

“I had a technique I took from Clio to Alinea to wd

50, and I never felt bitter about that—you leave your influence behind,” says Alex Stupak, now chef-owner of four restaurants in New York City, while conceding that he first became a pastry chef, in part, because it was almost the only name-building role in the kitchen other than chef-owner. “If a cook is developing something within the four walls of a place, then it’s for that place. If it’s not, then you’re making the argument that you’re making research and development for yourself on someone else’s dime.” That all said Stupak also argues that attribution helps increase team pride. “Why wouldn’t you give credit where credit is due?”

And Cal Peternell, who worked for decades at Chez Panisse, and was paid extra to do some recipe testing and development for the restaurant’s cookbooks, sees it similarly. “If the restaurant is paying you and paying for all the ingredients, then the things you’re doing there are the restaurant’s intellectual property,” says Peternell, who was credited in the acknowledgements of cookbooks to which he contributed, but didn’t see a headnote attribution as necessary for a handful of recipes. “Part of working, yeah, I’m giving them some of my intellectual property, but I’m getting a lot back. I was learning and getting better and I was giving back. I certainly feel lucky in that way.” Of course, if a chef doesn’t feel as though they are learning or gaining future opportunities or getting paid extra for recipes beyond the restaurant menu, the exchange on a cook’s salary may feel exploitative.

More commonly, instances of recipe theft tend to involve strangers using recipes without any credit: Chefs mimicking other popular restaurant dishes without acknowledgement, blog aggregators nabbing recipes, or food-media brands that have systematically erased the names of recipe developers. Ben Mims, now a cooking columnist at the Los Angeles Times, recounts that some cooking outlets would  attribute a recipe to the faceless “Test Kitchen” if the developer was not a celebrity chef. He had to fight to get credit for developers in the acknowledgements page. “It’s a bigger deal now than ever,” says Mims. “You’re there to make your name. And giving proper credit, even if it’s just a recipe, can matter in quality of life and the next job you get.”

Recipes have life. They have a backstory.

Tina Ujlaki, former executive food editor at Food & Wine, also pushed to make sure every recipe coming out of the magazine’s test kitchen had its main recipe developer’s name attached, even when it was a printed tag attached to bottlenecks at events. “You should always give credit where credit is due,” says Ujlaki. “There are a lot of mags where you contribute to the pool—it’s work for hire. I never thought that way. Recipes have life. They have a backstory.” An added bonus was that readers built a relationship with those recipe developers, knowing that they were investing time and groceries into a recipe from someone they trusted.

Still, Ujlaki says that the recipe world is rife with copying—Marion Cunningham’s yeast-raised waffles have appeared unattributed all over the place for years𠅎ven if there are generally accepted guidelines. “The rule has always been, if you change two ingredients, the recipe is technically yours,” says Ujlaki. “So, if you don’t list salt and pepper, and list ‘seasoning,’ is it yours?” (Other recipe developers go by the theory of changing three things, including both ingredients and techniques.)

In America, in particular, there is a grievous past to who gets their name on a printed recipe, particularly in the South, where enslaved Black men and women brought the ingredients of their homelands and created a new style of cooking with them, while they were often barred from reading and writing. The narrative of Southern food has been so weighted towards white figureheads that two books in the past five years have launched as correctives: Toni Tipton-Martin’s The Jemima Code, chronicling the creativity and technical finesse of Black women in shaping Southern cuisine, and Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene.

Who holds the keys to a certain story or represents a certain ingredient or technique? This is the politics of who can share recipes and who can&rsquot.

“It’s the imperialization of food. The identity politics of food. It’s the colorism of food,” says Lazarus Lynch, a chef, musician, and author of Son of a Southern Chef. “I think it’s part of the fractured history of Black Americans. We weren’t allowed to read. In the Black community, there were house negroes, who were privileged to education and nursing, and field negroes, who were not. Who holds the keys to a certain story or represents a certain ingredient or technique? This is the politics of who can share recipes and who can’t.”

On a granular level, there may not be a great transgression in one chef signing up to sell their creativity to one restaurant, particularly if the chefs are white, educated, and male and have easier access to capital and media buy-in to later build their own brands and restaurants. A larger question may be: Who gets to be a chef-owner? Who gets to be a food columnist? And who does the media seek out for recipes in the first place? As Priya Krishna and Yewande Komolafe point out in Bon Appétit, recipe writing, itself, can get whitewashed when editors assume a white audience𠅊nd perhaps that influences who is sought out to represent a culture’s culinary traditions. Stupak recounted, with great frustration, how when he opened his first restaurant in 2010 with his wife Laura Resler, who is Mexican-American and was then the pastry chef, media outlets would credit her dishes to him, despite the couple’s efforts to get her press. “I’m glad things are the way they are now,” he says of the conversations about race and gender in attribution.

When it comes to the chef recipes published in media outlets, Sadeghin acknowledges that sometimes an editor just wants a recipe from one with name recognition—not any recipe from any chef. But “part of our job in food media is to discover talent, not just to give the same people credit all the time,” she says. And that’s essential to a greater responsibility. “Naming recipes with their original titles, and not English descriptions—not dumbing it down for white audiences. It’s our job to teach, not making it always more palatable for audiences.”


Alinea, moto - reservations / chi lunch questions?

my wife and i are likely going to be in chicago the weekend before thanksgiving, and i was thiking of going to alinea one night for dinner, and moto the other night. yeah, i know what the costs are of both, but the knockout food reviews are so enticing.

-> i saw through this link (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397556) that alinea takes reservations 2 months out. is moto the same way? i would try calling on sept 1 to book for both places, or is that too early?
-> do we have to let them know that we'll have the tasting menu when we phone reservations? if so, do we have to let them know which tasting menu? since we're coming from the east coast, we would NOT be looking for an 8pm sitdown, for example.
-> what are the dress requirements? i know per se is men jackets. but wd-50 is just nice casual.

lunch - knowing that i'll be going to those places for dinner, any suggestions on lunch in the vicinity of monroe/state street station? i don't like sausage or hot dogs it could be a generic dive place with a small meal, or even as simple as a chicago style pizza place that's overlooked.

finally - i'm not into the arts, the bears and don't need to see the CBOT/CME. what's some good things to do in chicago on a friday and saturday? i'm comfortable with nyc subway, so public transportation isn't a concern.


America’s Best High-End Restaurants

Led by chef/owner Grant Achatz, Alinea is Chicago&rsquos only Michelin three-star restaurant and was recently named the World&rsquos Best Restaurant by Elite Traveler for the third consecutive year. Winner of multiple honors, including five James Beard awards and protégé of the French Laundry&rsquos Thomas Keller, Achatz is a master of avant-garde food preparation, with an impeccable attention to detail. The seasonally changing prix fixe menu currently features 18 incredible dishes, including oyster leaf mignonette, lobster with carrots and chamomile, a black truffle explosion with romaine and parmesan and the delightful balloon dessert with helium and green apple &ndash a tantalizing dessert replete with edible helium-filled balloons made of dehydrated apple. Following the success of the ticket system utilized by Achatz&rsquos second Chicago restaurant &ndash Next &ndash Alinea sells advance tickets two to three months in advance and encourages guests to view ticket sale dates through its Facebook and Twitter pages. Top attractions within a few miles of Alinea include Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.Related: On Two Wheels: America&rsquos Best Bike Destinations

Photo Credit: Commander’s Palace

Arguably the most famous restaurant in New Orleans, Commander&rsquos Palace has been enticing customers with haute Louisiana Creole dishes for more than 130 years. Executive Chef Tory McPhail, last year&rsquos James Beard winner of Best Chef: South, continues a long-standing Commander&rsquos Palace tradition of celebrated executive chefs, including two of New Orleans&rsquo most famous &ndash Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Yet unlike other high-end restaurants, the chef&rsquos tasting menu is a splendid bargain at just $95 with optional wine pairing for $48. The dinner menu, which changes almost daily, may include sweet Florida stone crabmeat, the classic sautéed Louisiana crawfish with fried green tomatoes and smoked tomato rémoulade and Lake Pontchartrain soft shell crab served with fresh local and seasonal produce. Located in the stately Garden District, the Commander&rsquos Palace has won numerous awards, most notably Zagat&rsquos Best New Orleans Restaurant an astounding 18 times, three-time winner of Food and Wine Magazine&rsquos Reader&rsquos Choice Award for Best Restaurant in America and a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for co-owner Ella Brennan, whose family owns several well-known restaurants, including Mr. B’s Bistro and Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse in the historic French Quarter.

Photo Credit: Eleven Madison Park

Ask a New York foodie what the city&rsquos best high-end restaurant might be and the answer could involve a painstaking thought process. That&rsquos because New York boasts seven three-star Michelin restaurants, all with consistent inclusions among lists of the world’s best. But by virtue of recent awards – S. Pellegrino’s fifth best restaurant in the world, 2012 James Beard Chef of the Year for co-owner and Executive Chef Daniel Humm and perfect ratings by The New York Times and the Michelin Guide, Eleven Madison Park seems like a worthy choice, although celebrated restaurants such as Daniel, Le Bernardin and Per Se will rightfully disagree. Yet all will agree Eleven Madison Park is consistently ranked among the top five and continually raising the bar in fine dining excellence. Sample dishes from the restaurant’s multi-course menu include sturgeon-smoked tableside poached lobster with escarole and almond and langoustine with fennel, sour cherries and clam. Located in the historic Metropolitan Life North Building overlooking Madison Park in Manhattan’s historic Flatiron District, the restaurant is co-owned by restaurateur and native New Yorker Will Guidara, who previously served as the restaurant’s general manager.

MGM Grand Hotel (L) – The Emerald City (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Michelin no longer produces a guide for Las Vegas, but if it did, at the top of the list would be Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. That&rsquos because it’s the only restaurant in the Gambling Capital of the World to earn that distinction. Led by the legendary French chef once named as his country’s Chef of the Century by the revered French restaurant guide Gault Millau, the Vegas restaurant is also the only one in the U.S. to bear his name. The 16-course menu dégustation is among the world’s most expensive including signature dishes such as La Langoustine, Le Poulet Fermier and L&rsquooeuf de Poule. Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand also offers an a la carte menu and prix fixe a la carte menu. With 12 restaurants located throughout the world, Chef Robuchon currently has 25 Michelin Guide stars, the most of any chef in the world.

The Napa Valley (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Nestled within the pristine hills of the Napa Valley, the fabulous Restaurant at Meadowood Resort is just one of two restaurants west of the Mississippi River to earn three Michelin stars. Executive Chef Christopher Kostow, last year&rsquos James Beard winner for Best Chef West, is a master in precision food preparation and presentation in the dining room and his arrival has been credited for catapulting the restaurant into the world&rsquos upper echelon of fine dining. For the ultimate dining experience at Meadowood, Chef Kostow offers a 15- to 20-course Chef&rsquos Counter Tasting Menu, which may feature lavish dishes such as tuna venison kohlrabi sorrels caviar and king crab uni cauliflower butter presented over several hours. The restaurant&rsquos wine list features more than 1,200 selections, including selections from the Napa Valley&rsquos Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle wineries, owned by Meadowood partners H. William Harlan and Stan Kroenke.Related: Best Summer Backpacking Trips In America


How Restaurants Retooled for Takeout—and Survival

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Photograph: Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

You do not want to be an independent restaurant right now. Depending on where you’re located, first you had to close, then you got to open, then you had to close again. Over 100,000 establishments have shuttered either permanently or long term since March, according to recent numbers from the National Restaurant Association. For those that are managing to survive, takeout is now an essential part of the business model. That means figuring out how to make nice meals travel well, and some restaurants, bars, and even technology companies have figured out how to make their offerings shippable, shelf-stable, and more broadly applicable.

When the Ramen Shop in Oakland opened in 2012, its owners were adamantly against selling hot ramen to go. It’s a dish meant to be eaten as soon as the broth hits the bowl. “We wanted people to have the best experience possible,” says co-owner Sam White. Made from intensely savory soup, compact and toothy noodles, and delectable toppings, ramen is a staple food that chefs spend years getting right.

This is how it’s supposed to work: You sit at the counter, place your order, and watch the show. Your drink arrives. Billowy columns of steam rise up from the noodle boiler. These noodles cook fast. Line cooks heat the broth—poultry, vegetarian, dashi—which is blended with fat and tare (pronounced ta-reh), the main seasoning in ramen soup. Line cooks use a thimble for near constant taste tests. Ten minutes pass and your bowl is in front of you—noodles folded, broth blended and ladled, goodies placed. A wise diner begins slurping immediately because if ramen noodles sit too long, they sop up broth and become a mushy mess.

This is why hot soup to go was a no. The Ramen Shop owners, all alums of Chez Panisse, didn’t want to compromise that one perfect bowl when the pandemic first hit—they figured they could ride out a few weeks of being closed in March. But then suddenly it was May, and they knew they needed to find a way to send ramen home. That meant tinkering with the recipe, and sorting out how to package the dish up.

The egg noodles were the main problem to resolve. What if noodles sat out in the car, got left out of the fridge, or, worse yet, were reheated days later. “It would taste gross,” says White. After trials that included adjusting the flour blend and tweaking the rolling amount, they figured out that eggless noodles were more durable you could even freeze them if you had to. Eggless noodles had a little less richness and color, but that was OK. Another side benefit was, you know, vegans.

The recipe, already simple, became even more so. Made daily, it includes a blend of organic flours, water, salt, and konsui—a mixture of potassium carbonate and sodium carbonate that makes noodles springy and provides tension. Without konsui, ramen noodles would be elastic, but not firm. Pre-Covid, the Ramen Shop staff could crank out 500 orders a day using their prized Yamato machine brought over from Japan. Today, sales are slowly climbing back to that level.

They also had to streamline production. “It’s been a process to tighten up the systems,” says White. Tare and fat are pre-portioned ahead of time. Stock options simmer on the stove. When a ticket is called, the chef combines them at predetermined amounts. No stops to taste. After a quick boil, noodles are plunged into an ice bath. This helps noodles seize up and stop cooking they won’t soak up steam or get mushy. A quick squirt of olive oil keeps them separate, then they’re folded into a compostable bowl. Then, say, for the miso ramen, they’re topped with pork chashu, Brussels sprouts, shoyu-marinated egg, and greens. The finished soup goes into a second compostable bowl. Take it home, combine, and eat.

The owners’ resistance to takeout is almost forgotten. “If we want the business to survive, we had to change the business model,” said White.

Another restaurant rethinking form and function is Planta, a Miami-based chain of plant-based cafes. Earlier in the pandemic, business was limping along with limited indoor dining and a modicum of takeout. For Steven Salm, Planta CEO, and his partner, chef David Lee, the only way to sustain 10 restaurants and 550 employees was to fashion their food into something that could be shipped across the country, which meant rethinking how to prep, cook, freeze, and seal pizzas, burgers, and dumplings, their most popular item.

Stuffed with a range of veggies—shiitake, spinach, and potato—dumpling wrappers stick like glue to keep their contents contained. They also stick to other dumplings, which can lead to falling-apart-ness. Planta had to engineer a precise system for laying out the dumplings, flash freezing, and vacuum sealing them: If there was too much moisture in the freezer bag, the wrappers would stick together. If there was too much oxygen, the dumplings would smush and lose shape. If they weren’t packed tight enough, just barely touching but not sitting on top of each other, the freezer bag would roll like a toothpaste tube and crack the things open. As they were working out the process, Salm sent daily dumpling packages to friends and influencers who would take photos of every corner and crimp upon arrival before receiving the go-ahead from Salm to toss them in a pot of simmering water.

Now the restaurant chain is sending out hundreds of next-day boxes a week, kept cold by dry ice blocks, though Salm would really like to figure out how to send them second-day instead. Much cheaper. And Salm and Lee aren’t slogging through this “little” project only to pivot back when the restaurant industry comes back online. “We wanted the Planta-at-home brand to feel special,” says Salm. Dumplings arrive accompanied by cute glass jars filled with truffle soy sauce and chili oil. Once they’re empty, you’ll keep them around.

At Bathtub Gin, a somewhat hidden bar in New York City, the problem was how to keep selling cocktails even when no customers were allowed inside. “It’s been a long, hard struggle,” says beverage director Brendan Bartley. Prior to Covid, Bathtub Gin was known for its intricate cocktail menu—a 30-ingredient concoction was common. Once the pandemic struck, Bartley set to work recreating his drinks so that he could bottle them for takeout, delivery, and eventually national shipping. For bonus points, the Australian spirits expert also wanted them to be shelf stable for six months. When the bar reopens, the plan is for a single staffer to make use of those same bottled cocktails—fewer people meant a safer workforce. And he wants zero waste.

Some drinks like the complex 17-ingredient, 15-step “If You Like Piña Colada” could be made in advance and bottled. Others, like the “Lime-Less Margarita,” were tougher than you might think. Bartley says the problem with limes, and really any citrus, is that they’ll eventually ferment in the bottle and spoil. But acids give that pleasant tang, and, well, a margarita needs lime like the rim of the glass needs salt. Bartley was able to replicate the crucial fruit by adding citric, malic, and tartaric acid plus lime oil to a blend of tequila, agave, and distilled water. “We have this ideology that fresh is best,” said Bartley. “But it’s not always the best thing to use when you’re trying to make things consistent.”

Not to be dark, but one thing people don’t need right now is dinner reservations. This left restaurant reservation apps like Resy, Tock, and Open Table scrambling to figure out news ways to make money. Pre-Covid, Tock allowed fancy restaurants to sell prepaid dinner reservations, what Nick Kokonas, CEO and founder of Tock, calls “tickets.” When the pandemic struck, Tock was sitting on tens of millions of dollars in restaurant tickets that would need to be cancelled and refunded. “There was an existential risk to both of my businesses,” he said. (Kokonas is also the co-owner of The Alinea Group in Chicago, which includes the three-Michelin-star Alinea.)


Watch the video: ACT-POS u0026 Aldelo - Chapter 1 - IntroductionOpening the Program (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Bairrfhionn

    It - is pointless.

  2. Nour

    Not in it the main thing.

  3. Chayne

    Directly in the purpose

  4. Colin

    Sorry to interrupt you, but I propose to go the other way.

  5. Totilar

    You are not right. I'm sure. We will discuss it.



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