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Jun 24, 2011 12:08 PM

Next Ticketing and Pricing

I just read this in the WSJ..."Suffice it to say that chef Grant Achatz's new Chicago restaurant, Next, sells its seats through its own online system, and adjusts prices according to a demand algorithm similar to the ones used by airlines."

Am I the only one who thought the tickets were all priced the same? Or is the article inaccurate? And since demand seems to be overwhelming, why would an algorithm be in place to accommodate fluctuation?

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  1. When the restaurant was first announced, they said that prime times (e.g. Saturday evening) would be more expensive than less desirable times. I suspect that, before they actually made tickets available, they were not able to foresee that they would easily sell every seat they could make available.

    1. There is no formal algoithm based on fluctuation. It's based pretty simply on day, time and demand. Getting tickets at any price takes real intention and persistence. It's quite an experience if you can get those tickets.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chicgail

        It's OK but not that great an experience, not for the hype and hysteria the place has engendered. The food overall was also not entirely successful to me.

        1. re: huiray

          I agree that not all the food was as successful as it has been touted, but the overall experience was pretty extraordinary. And yes, the restaurant team has done a brilliant job of creating buzz, demand and expectation that impacts how people experience the whole thing. Any time you have to work that hard just for the privilege of paying $100+/pp plus wine pairings for dinner, is going to leave most of us justifying the cost and effort by saying how good it was.

          "At one time in our lives, Mr. FB and I had been fortunate enough to have eaten our way through the pre-bistro French phase of cooking the permeated upscale Chicago cuisine in the 1970s including restaurants like Jacques, Le Perroquet, and L’Escargot so that much of this meal, while it was a brilliantly executed performance on many levels, was not a total surprise.

          "There were 8 courses, 9 dishes, with studious attention paid to authenticity to the period and the location.The menu, the order of the courses and the style of cooking was exactly right. Even the water served was Badoit, a slightly sparkling French water that was available in apothecaries during Escoffier’s time.

          ..."Caneton Rouennais à la Presse – pressed duck. It was cooked masterfully and served with a reduction of red wine, brandy and duck jus, but Fellow FoodBeest, I was looking for something I had never had before and this was basically just (albeit perfectly) roasted duck breast with some added meat from the leg and thigh."

          Still, I am very curious about and interested in Bangkok 2060. Hooked.

          1. re: chicgail

            Chicgail, I do agree that the overall experience was noteworthy. Yes, the food had some issues, and I have mentioned briefly my impressions of it here: . Clever of them regarding the marketing, indeed. There was also an initial issue with the service for me in that I had to go back up to them after the 1st course and remind them of the double servings I was to be getting (for which I had had an exchange of emails and my reservation was supposed to be clearly annotated/marked appropriately). I got another serving of the hors d'oeuvres and from then on service was very good. Requested & got just single servings of the sweets.

            Nice review you cite - is it yours? :-)

            1. re: huiray

              It's not like the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes. It's more like they've been digitally enhanced.

              Your review was excellent. I totally agree that the highlights of the dinner were the hors d'oerves and the salad. The rest, while certainly authentic and in no way pedestrian, just wasn't new enough or interesting enough to keep me coming back for more or continuing to recall and think about it.

              There does seem to be an expectation, both in the media and nurtured by hype of getting tickets that one should be thrilled by every dish and we just weren't.

              And yes, the review is mine. I'm a little sorry I didn't have the courage at the time to overcome my own thrill of getting to the restaurant with same-night tickets with a somewhat more critical and realistic review of the food.

      2. A friend of mine got same-day, mid-week tickets about a month ago and seats were $85 (plus extras). Currently, same-day tables for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday are advertised for $100/person (plus extras), $110/person (plus extras) for Friday and Saturday nights.

        From what I undstand 90% of all tables for the next menu will go on sale at once, rather than in batches as they did with Paris 1906. I still think demand will far outstrip supply and if there is an algorithim in place, every table will go before anyone can see it in action.

        1 Reply
        1. re: danimalarkey

          They had said that they released maybe 25 tables at a time and had 3,000 people trying to get them.