For years Nick Kokonas and Chef Grant Achatz, founders of Alinea restaurant in Chicago, spent $140,000 a year on staff dedicated to managing reservations. They also lost an average of $260,000 a year on cancellations. Convinced there had to be a better way, Nick started work on a crude ticketing system.

The homemade platform was a success at Alinea. Soon after, Nick founded Tock with Brian Fitzpatrick, the first engineer in Google’s Chicago office, with the goal of making a robust toolset—a reservation platform, CRM and table management system—available to restaurants across the world.

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