Tom's blog

Laundered money?

Anyone who has tried to snag a reservation at the vaunted French Laundry in Napa Valley knows all about frustration. Probably the most famous and heralded restaurant in California and perhaps the United States, the few tables in the French Laundry are impossible to get even if one works months ahead.

Maybe it will get a bit less frustrating -- but certainly not cheaper -- with a newly introduced reservation system from Tock.

Under the system three months of reservations will be made available online at once. People will grab up the reservations, no doubt, but may be surprised that they have to pay down a significant portion of the dinner to secure a seat. Dinners start at more than $300 and that doesn't include wine. 

The down payment is meant to eliminate no-shows, which undoubtedly cost restaurants a lot of money. However, restaurant owner and chef Thomas Keller is a major investor in Tock.