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How high-end restaurants are becoming like Taylor Swift concerts

A Deeper Dive: Matt Tucker, head of the reservation platform Tock, explains how his company is working to avoid some of the same issues that have plagued online ticket sales.

Are restaurants becoming like Taylor Swift?

Well, sort of. This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast A Deeper Dive features Matt Tucker. He is the senior vice president with Squarespace and is head of the reservation platform Tock.

Tock was cofounded by restaurateur Nick Kokonas and was sold in 2021 to Squarespace. The company sells prepaid restaurant reservations to customers.

Those reservations act like tickets, which customers can resell. And that could create a market that operates like online ticket sales, where brokers gobble up the best tickets—like Taylor Swift concerts—to resell them at substantial markups.

We talk with Tucker about this, and why restaurants do not want their reservations resold. Tucker talks about what his company does to prevent this. But he also talks about the benefits to restaurants of a model in which diners prepay for their reservations, such as the ability to do more dynamic pricing.

We talk about general trends in restaurant reservations. For instance, is 6 p.m. really the new 8 p.m. and why is that? What are consumers looking for in reservations these days and what is demand for those restaurants right now.

It’s a fascinating conversation about reservations, so check it out.

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