Snagging a table at the world’s hottest restaurants is about to get a little bit easier.
Tock, a Chicago-based restaurant reservation startup, just landed its first round of institutional funding. Origin Ventures led the $7.5 million round with participation from a number of restaurateurs, chefs and hospitality groups.
Tock will use the funding to launch in new markets and expand its product offerings.
“We are thrilled to have Origin Ventures as our lead investor,” said Tock CEO and co-founder Nick Kokonas in a statement. “They helped Grubhub grow from a company with five employees operating only in Chicago to the national brand that owns the online restaurant delivery industry.”
Tock’s restaurant reservation software lets restaurants sell and manage different types of bookings, ranging from regular table reservations to private dining, special events and fully pre-paid tickets. These fully paid tickets help restaurants reduce no-shows and introduce discounts for patrons willing to dine during off hours.
They also increase the number of patrons a restaurant can serve in a night by cutting down on the time spent waiting for a server to take orders or bringing the check — which is good news for diners hoping to get into hot spots like The Aviary or Next Restaurant.
One of Built In Chicago's 50 startups to watch for 2016, Tock has processed more than $102 million in pre-paid bookings and seated over one million patrons in nine countries since launching last year.
Kokonas isn't just running Tock; he's also a customer. Kokonas is the restaurateur behind establishments like Alinea, The Aviary and Roister, among others. When Tock first launched in 2015, his restaurants were among the first to offer bookings on the platform.
“We believe that Tock is another transformational company in the restaurant industry,” said Origin Ventures partner Jason Heltzer in a statement. “Tock proved that ticketing works at Nick’s restaurants. Tock’s innovative booking methods and dynamic pricing capabilities have attracted all types of restaurants as customers.”
Image via The Aviary.