Today's NYT Food Section highlighted a new restaurant concept from Chef Grant Achatz (Alinea Restaurant
) called Next Restaurant.
"Anyone wishing to eat at Next after its scheduled opening in the fall will pay in advance on its Web site. Like airlines, Next will offer cheaper tickets for off-peak hours. A table at 9:30 on a Tuesday night, say, would cost less than one for Saturday at 8. Ticket prices will also vary based on the menu, but will run from $45 to $75 for a five- or six-course meal, according to the site, http://nextrestaurant.com
. (Wine and beverage pairings, bought with the ticket, will begin at $25.)"
“There’s no transactions in the restaurant at all,” Achatz said. “So you can literally come in, sit down, start your experience, and when you’re done, you just get up and leave.”
There's also a major difference in how gratuity is handled. "By law, restaurants may distribute tips only to those employees who work in service. But the service charge included in the ticket price “gives him control over the money,” said Bill Guilfoyle, an associate professor of business management at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. “He can give it to whomever he sees fit.” This can easily level the income field for everyone in the restaurant, and even attract additional cooking talent with the extra dollars.
The menu will change four times a year, always focusing on cuisine from a particular time and place e.g. "Paris in 1912, with painstakingly researched evocations of Escoffier-era cuisine. Three months later, the kitchen will turn out a fresh set of recipes — evoking, say, postwar Sicily, or Hong Kong 25 years from now, with modern techniques employed to imagine the future of Chinese cuisine."