Per Se and French Laundry go pre-paid

American chef Thomas Keller’s three Michelin-starred restaurants Per Se in New York and The French Laundry in Napa Valley are to go pre-paid next year.


As reported by, both establishments will request that diners pay for their tasting menus at the time of booking rather than after the meal, while drinks and wine pairings will be paid for at the restaurant.

Per Se and The French Laundry are due to go pre-paid next spring, when Keller will start using Tock, a booking system founded by restaurateur Nick Kokonas.

Eater reports that Kokonas has been trialing a pilot version of the booking system at Alinea and Next in Chicago, which he co-owns with chef Grant Achtaz.

Oysters and Pearls

Oysters and Pearls

Kokonas devised the system to help free up cash flow for restaurants and lessen the risk of no show diners.

Tock features a “dynamic” pricing policy that allows restaurants to adjust the cost of their tasting menus depending on the time and date of the booking.

Alinea charges as little as US$210 for dinner bookings made early in the week and as much as $275 at peak hours.

The nine-course tasting menu at The French Laundry costs $295 both at lunch and dinner, while Per Se’s nine-course menu is priced at $310 with no single ingredient repeated throughout the meal at both restaurants.

The French Laundry remains one of the hardest restaurants in America to score a booking at, while it’s relatively easy to land a reservation at Per Se.

The French Laundry has held onto its three Michelin stars since 2006, while Per Se received three stars in 2010, which is retains to this day.

Among Keller’s signature dishes are “Oysters and Pearls” made with Island Creek oysters and sterling white sturgeon caviar; and Alba white truffle risotto.

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