Momofuku's David Chang on the Impact of Reservation No Shows

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Restaurants in the Momofuku group are booked solid...and turn away potential customers in droves. But this is risky business. While precious few garner a coveted reservation, "no shows"--people who fail to arrive for their scheduled reservation, can cripple business.

Last year, Momofuku Seibo opened in Sydney, Australia. In an article in The Sun, Chef David Chang fields a question about their reservation policy, and weighs in on the impact of "no shows." His response is buried in the comments, but it's critical commentary, and worth bringing to light:

People need to understand that if you lose one table for a night that could be an entire week's profit. That's how slim the margins are in this business. I know people aren't being malicious in not showing up but we are well on our way to pre-paid dining, just like when someone goes to the theatre.The price is charged according to the time you eat. So a premium time, say 7.30pm, the dinner will be more expensive than say, 5.30pm.
I was very excited that Grant Achatz is doing the pre-paid ticket system at Alinea and Next in Chicago. A pre-paid ticket system is something I have wanted to do for a long time but I didn't have the balls those guys did. I really couldn't be happier that they're doing it and I hope it is something more restaurants institute. 
So much has changed in how and what we eat in the past 15 years. What is lagging is how everyone approaches eating and going to dinner. It is time for a lot of changes. 
I would be very happy to see some changes to the status quo. I understand it may make people mad, we're still adhearing to a dining protocol that's over 100 years old and it seems out of date to me.

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