Pay Now, Eat Later

25 Sep 2014
2 min read
A trend is emerging throughout the fine dining eateries of the US: restaurant guests are paying upon reservations, and eating later. We give you some of the restaurants that are in on the craze…

Next | Chicago

Pioneering the pay now, eat later ticketing system, Nick Kokonas and ’ Chicago-based restaurant Next has shaken the traditional restaurant routine since opening in 2011. The acclaimed fine dining eatery has reduced cancellations enormously, thus ensuring an ever-full dining room. As well as applying the same protocol to the bar area, Kokonas has recently been overheard discussing the idea of spreading the concept to the UK.

Coi | San Francisco

’s Coi in San Francisco is his 2 Michelin star flagship. Embracing the ticketing system in 2014, the restaurant has been showered in accolades since opening in 2006, but began to see a steady percentage of diners either cancelling or not showing up. Not only is this reduced, but he also mentioned in an interview with Eater that Coi was able to lower its prices as a result.

Qui | Austin

Launching earlier this month, ’s restaurant Qui has embarked on a ticketing system, seeing it become the first of its kind in Austin, Texas. Trained in classic French and Japanese cuisine, takes a modernist approach towards food, where there are no boundaries. The entire restaurant prides itself on its organic, simple design. Dishes hold flavours at their forefront, with presentation coming close behind with clean aesthetics and fresh flavours.

David Chang | Momofoku Ko

Combining the unlikely likes of fine dining fast food noodles with a prestigious ticketing system has worked trumps for Chef . He has been showered in awards, being deemed one of the most influential people by Time 100. His empire has been slowly but surely expanding over the years, with over ten restaurants currently under his belt.


Having had a plethora of experience in three Michelin star restaurants, Ludovic Lefebvre opened Trois Mec in 2013 to the peering, excited eyes of Los Angeles. The restaurant opened with its ticketing system in place, ensuring its limited 24 seats to fill up as soon as tickets are released. Although only one menu is in place each evening – with exceptions for vegetarians and vegans – the tables are ever-full thanks to the excellent cuisine that’s dished up, turning international flavours and concepts into masterpieces.