Talented businessman, makes delicious food, controversial personality—there are definitely some similarities between Daniel Patterson and Willy Wonka. So here's another one: Patterson revealed to Eater National that he hid the equivalent of a golden ticket to Coi in the new ticketing system that he debuted on Monday. "We put one table somewhere in September that is $100 per person. It's kind of like finding a golden ring or something," says Patterson, whose Coi meals typically run $195 at peak hours, and can go as low as $145 for early or late weekday tables under the new system. The idea came from the ticket system's creator, Nick Kokonas, who uses it at his own restaurants, Next, Alinea, and Aviary in Chicago. "I thought it was a great idea. It adds an element of fun and interest to the whole thing. You have to actually look through all of the days to find it," says Patterson.
Patterson also talked to Eater National about what switching to ticketing will mean for his business. Thanks to his James Beard Award win this year and Coi's arrival on the World's 50 Best restaurants list, not to mention those two Michelin stars, Coi "gotten a lot busier this year, and the demand for reservations has been much higher." And with reservations come no-shows. "About 15 percent [of diners] either cancel or no-show within the last 48 hours. And within the last seven days, about 30 to 40 percent of the reservations turn over. The problem is, we're a special occasion restaurant for most people, not a spontaneous decision. So people will think about coming to our restaurant a month or two months in advance," says Patterson. And that can lead to trouble: "A very large percentage of people who make reservations a month or two in advance will cancel them or not show up within the last week, and it's very hard to re-book them."
So what does this mean for consumers? Patterson, for one, thinks it benefits them as well. "Right now, we charge a little bit more to account for no-shows, basically...With the ticketing system, we can actually reduce our prices because — at least based on the data that Nick has from Next and Alinea and also from [L.A. restaurant and fellow ticketing user] Trois Mec, and from what I know — the cancellation and no-show rate drops quite a bit. So we're able to pass on that savings to customers."
To find out more about the new system and Patterson's take on how it could change his business and the restaurant industry as a whole, check out the full interview; for more details on how this whole process works, our story from Monday has the intel. And if you're the lucky person who found that $100 dinner, please do let us know so we can congratulate you on your Internet hunting skills.
· Coi Shifts to Alinea/Next Ticketing System For Reservations [~ ESF ~]
· Watch Daniel Patterson Go Out on the Town with Vice [~ ESF ~]
· Daniel Patterson, Brett Cooper Take Beast and the Hare Space [~ ESF ~]