Meal Ticket: Paying for a Reservation at SF Restaurants

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 (Edsel Little/Flickr)

If you want a reservation at a high-end restaurant in San Francisco, you may have to pay to hold your spot. Some restaurants are adopting a new ticket system that requires patrons to pay for their reservation when they make it, reducing the risk of both no-shows and food waste. The pay-in-advance setup is already in use in Chicago and Los Angeles, where chefs had complained about losing up to $1,000 every night due to no-shows. We'll discuss the pros and cons of the system, and how it might change your fine dining experience.


Nick Kokonas, co-owner of Alinea, Next and The Aviary in Chicago

Meesha Halm, local editor for Zagat Bay Area Restaurant Guide

Daniel Patterson, James Beard Award-winner for Best Chef in the West, chef and owner of Coi and Alta in San Francisco, and Plum Bar and Haven in Oakland

David Barzelay, chef and owner of Lazy Bear, a modern American cuisine restaurant that started as a pop-up and is switching to a brick-and-mortar location using the ticketing system