Podcast Recommendation: Nick Kokonas [co-founder of Alinea Group] – Know What You Are Selling

Short post here just to share an excellent podcast I listened to yesterday. While I have yet to dine at Alinea in Chicago, I have had the chance to have drinks and bites at The Aviary in NYC (featured image), and what an experience that was. There is also the episode on Netflix “Chef’s Table” that dives deeper into Alinea iteself. But the podcast is more about, as the title suggest, knowing your own products and services and what exactly it is you are selling as well as trusting your employees and your consumers and not being afraid to get to know both sides.


It is well worth 1 hour and 15 minutes of your time to listen.

Nick Kokonas provides great insight and analysis on not just the restaurant industry but over all a different mindset to approach consumer-based businesses. He brings up lots of valid points from both consumer and producer perspectives and his approach is how best to benefit both sides financially as well as joy derived from goods and services provided.

He explains the approach to how Alinea group came to be and how he founded Tock, the reservation platform now used by many restaurants. I admit, the first time I used Tock I was annoyed that I had to financially commit to my reservation so far in advance with very inflexible cancel/transfer policies in place. However, its true, the experience you get from a Tock reservation is near flawless once you dine. I have also come to appreciate the platform a lot more now that I know what went behind its founding and the way it actually works and how I actually benefit from it more than the up front financial commitment I originally was annoyed about.

Kokonas is a sharp minded visionary and I just felt I learned quite a bit from this podcast and have a much better appreciation and understanding of the restaurant industry these days. But again, what he brings up applies to many industries. Especially dynamic pricing, which is fascinating to hear about from the restaurant industry as someone who works in the airline industry that does dynamic pricing, much to the frustration of the public who dont understand it.

Anyways, wont analyze much more or try to convince you otherwise. If you are interested, have a listen, see for yourself. You may disagree, or may agree or may pick up on a few new things.



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