The future is now. After announcing the name and a plethora of information on his highly-anticipated ticketing system Tock in November, Alinea, Next and Aviary partner Nick Kokonas rolled out the beta version of the system today. The ticket page at Next's official website now leads to a Tock page, next.tocktix.com, a sleek new interface that's the template that the many restaurants around the country that have signed onto Tock will be transitioning to soon.
On the Tock blog, Kokonas today writes that the rollout is a "small but significant milestone," that "the new system is still a work in progress" and terms it "real world testing." Saying it's "organized by experiences not reservations," on the Tock page for Next one selects the type of seating desired (prix fixe for two or four, kitchen table for six, or private dining room for 7-10), before moving on to choose the exact number of people, pick from available dates, and then all time slots for that day appear with pricing and number of tables left for each. Comparatively, the Alinea website, which is under the previous system, is just arranged by calendar with time slots arranged by parties of two, four or six, and the pricing for what's available.
Kokonas, in an email, says this version of Tock "is very close" to the finished product. He'll migrate Alinea and Aviary to the new Tock "soon," followed by the "pilot program restaurants" around the country that were already on board. Play around with Tock, which is available on mobile and tablet in addition to desktop, and prepare for it to come to other restaurants in the very near future.