#429: Nick Kokonas on Resurrecting Restaurants, Skin in the Game, and Investing
"It remains to be seen, of course, whether or not this works. But what I didn't want to do was wait to see what happened." — Nick Kokonas
Nick Kokonas (IG: @nkokonas, TW: @NickKokonas) is the co-owner and co-founder of The Alinea Group of restaurants, which includes Alinea, Next, The Aviary, Roister, St. Clair Supper Club, and The Aviary NYC.
Alinea has been named the Best Restaurant in America and Best Restaurant in The World by organizations and lists as diverse as The James Beard Foundation, World's 50 Best, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Gourmet Magazine, and Elite Traveler. His restaurants have won nearly every accolade afforded to them.
Nick has been a subversive entrepreneur and angel investor since 1996. He spent a decade as a derivatives trader, has co-written three books, and believes in radical transparency in markets and business. As an outsider to the restaurant industry, Nick's approach to the business of restaurants is markedly innovative, and he has been featured in Businessweek, Fast Company, The New York Times, Forbes, and Crain's Chicago Business, among other publications. He has given talks on innovation, entrepreneurship, and experience design across the country.
He is also the founder and CEO of Tock, Inc, a reservations and CRM system for restaurants with more than 10M diners and clients in more than 30 countries. Tock also recently launched a to-go platform, which has helped restaurants pivot to fulfill pickup and delivery orders.
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