|Grant Achatz sells tickets to his restaurant |
Imagine a restaurant where you buy tickets in advance like you do for a sporting event, a concert or an airplane flight? The price varies based on when you want to eat.
I recently learned about Next Restaurant in Chicago that is
the brain child of famed chef Grant Achatz who determined to do something
dramatically different. The concept is intriguing because it challenges what it
means to be a restaurant where you make a reservation, you show up and you
order off of a menu. He has taken away all of that and you buy a ticket and the
price includes every decision for you.
Like Ikea, SouthWest, Drybar and others businesses, he has taken
away a given within the traditional business model and has created something
new. Like an airline, he is trying to use the same pricing model that says that
a reservation (or ticket) on a time (flight) at great demand should be priced
differently than at off-peak hours.
Frying the Friendly Skies:
From the FAQ on the website, you can see how this works...
Why tickets instead
Unlike an a la carte restaurant with many walk-in customers and dozens of menu
items, Next is creating a truly unique dining experience and doing so at an
amazing price. By eliminating no-shows, requiring pre-payment, and varying the
price by time and day we are able to create a predictable and steady flow of
patrons allowing us to offer a great deal more than would otherwise be possible
at these prices.
What does the ticket include?
Your ticket is inclusive of all food and any beverages you select. Please
arrive within 15 minutes of your ticket time or we may be unable to serve you.
Can I get a refund once purchased? Can I
exchange my ticket for a different night?
No. Just like a sporting event, concert, or theater ticket all sales are final.
Can I give my ticket away or sell it?
Yes. The ticket is completely transferable. However, selling tickets for greater
than face value may be illegal in your area. Anyone who purchases a ticket from
another patron should take care to be sure that the beverage pairing options
are as claimed by requesting both an email confirmation from us as well as a
printed ticket from the seller. Any tickets purchased on the secondary market
are at the purchaser's risk. We will not be held responsible for forgeries or
But the larger issue for me is an attempt to stand out and
be noticed. I applaud the idea of doing
something that separates it from everyone else who calls themselves a
Why do I think this such a big idea?
CURIOUSITY: Are you just a little intrigued to find out
about this restaurant where you can’t make a reservation per se, you have to
buy a ticket?
A GREAT STORY: This restaurant’s story will be spread by
word of mouth by consumers who want to share their unique experience.
Finding something new and different to tell your friends about gives you
a social currency of value. Next has baked it into the pie.
if the food is terrible, the service sucks and people are complaining no amount
of creative business modeling will overcome those deficiencies. But if you have
something that others can’t easily replicate and you are first, it gives you a
strong advantage if you get all the fundamentals right.
you are thinking of opening a new business or launching a new product, what
will your customers talk about when they experience your products and service?
If you don’t arm them with a something powerful to share with friends, you will not get
the amplification needed to help raise awareness among potential customers.
just hope the restaurant doesn't charge for luggage too.
Note: When I am not trying out new restaurants or searching for interesting marketing models, I can be found trying to unravel the mysteries of marketing. Won't you come along for the journey and share this blog with friends who might find these posts of interest?
Labels: business models, Marketing Moments, Next Restaurant