When Iliana Regan first announced her ambitious "new gatherer" restaurant Elizabeth, a few facets besides the cuisine made it unique and helped to earn Regan a Michelin star. When it opened, the restaurant served three different tasting menus, only had communal seating, and was the first Chicago restaurant besides Next and Alinea to adopt Nick Kokonas' ticket system. Since then, Elizabeth moved to serve just one menu, now has separate tables, and it now accepts traditional reservations in addition to tickets.
An Elizabeth representative says the restaurant has no plans to do away with the ticketing system altogether. "We just wanted to extend the opportunity to people who might not want to use a ticket system, are not able to for whatever reason, or find it difficult to navigate, to be able to make a regular reservation," the rep says. "We are constantly evolving to make the experience for our guests as simple or best as it can be and we thought this was one of the areas where evolution would help."
Online reservations services and ticketing systems are certainly hot topics: Kokonas recently released his ticketing manifesto and will soon make it commercially available, different reservations apps keep popping up, the New York Times published an op-ed on reservations apps and the Wall Street Journal called tickets a "Restaurant Reservation Revolution." However, a ticketing system didn't seem to completely satisfy Elizabeth's needs.
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