Do you remember going to a Blockbuster video store to rent a movie? It went something like this. “Let’s rent a movie tonight.” Your crew would drive to the store, check out the ‘Just Released’ section which was mostly sold out, and then browse by category. Maybe you had a movie in mind, but when you got there it was already gone. A debate amongst your family or friends ensued, and eventually, you settled on a videotape. The search was hunt and peck. The results were often disappointing. The store shelves and configuration seemed haphazard.
Blockbuster is now extinct–well, not quite. One store exists, but it cannot mate. Why? Online movie services, primarily Netflix, first eliminated the drive. Then they did something even better… they began to learn your preferences and make smart suggestions. The search for a movie or show became enjoyable. Discovering new movies–and now music, too, of course–broadens our tastes and expands our entertainment and educational options. But it also has a sense of what we’ll probably enjoy. That’s the way it should work.
Booking a reservation to a restaurant remains primitive. OpenTable took the physical reservation folio used by hosts for a hundred years and listed the names digitally… but little else. Google assistant is now doing robocalls with an AI to restaurants with no awareness of how busy they are, what type of food they serve, or what you even like. Craziness. Why limit the host stand to a landline when we all have computers in our pockets? Very little has changed in the last 30 years, and in some ways, it’s gotten worse.
We have a lot of questions.
Why do booking systems allow diners to filter from thousands of restaurants in any city by cuisine, price, or location only to allow them to click on a restaurant and find that “there is nothing available within 2 hours of your requested time?” How is that a good experience?
Let’s suppose you travel to New York often and dine out frequently there. Your best friend texts you asking for recommendations… Why can’t you easily keep track of and share your dining history, private reviews, and favorite discoveries with the click of a button? Now you can…with Culinary Collections.
At Tock we spent the last year asking these and many other questions, exploring solutions, and designing a set of new services to make booking a dinner reservation as exciting as discovering a new band or watching a great movie. After all, great dining is the most universal entertainment in the world–nourishing, delicious, and made to be shared with family and friends.
Your Diner Profile Just Got an Upgrade–To the 21st Century.
The first feature available in Tock Time is our new Diner Profile page. Free for everyone with a complimentary Tock account and available right now, this is your new home to view, manage, discover and share reservations at thousands of restaurants, wineries, and pop-ups around the world.
While we’ve made the basic reservation functions more elegant with an improved and intuitive interface, the magic happens when you begin to share your preferences. Dietary restrictions or allergies can be easily noted. Dining basics like booth vs. table, still vs. sparkling water, and coffee vs. tea, among many others, can be set once and will be automatically shared with restaurants every time you dine. Magical service is the result of guest preferences and desires meeting hospitality in real-time, every time. That’s Tock Time.
Note your special days… family birthdays, for example, or your anniversary… and Tock Time will give you a gentle, timely nudge reminding you to book well ahead to ensure your celebration is extraordinary.
Your dining history will be mapped, so you can remember that special meal on your last vacation, or jog your memory of a great local spot. It’s fun and useful to explore your dining footprint–and easy to rebook on the spot.
We’ve created a number of fun Culinary Quizzes. Are you an adventurous diner or more cautious? Cocktails, Wine or Non-alcoholic beverages? Locavore or Culinary Traveler? As you take a moment to fill these out, Tock Time will get to know your tastes and make informed, tasteful suggestions.
There are playful badges to earn–Pitmaster, Cocktail Aficionado, Star Collector, and dozens of others–and new experiences to discover. Create Culinary Lists to share with your friends. And many more innovative features are coming in the near future.
But most importantly… Tock will not publish your ratings or opinions, ever. Restaurant ratings should serve you, the diner, to remember what you liked and what you did not, or to let a restaurant know directly that an evening was magical or needed improvement. The conflicts of interest inherent in Yelp, OpenTable, and other sites that both publish reviews and sell bookings will not exist.
The Tock Time Diner Profile remembers all previous bookings on Tock. You can set it up today and it will populate instantly.
And it will get smarter over time.
The Tock Time Digital Concierge–A Culinary Membership to Make Your Life More Delicious.
Launching later this year, the Tock Time Concierge will expand on the diner profile with the world’s first fully digital hospitality concierge. Conceived around how, and more importantly why, you book delicious experiences, Tock Time will be your personal digital assistant working to get you a hard to book table, the winery tour of your dreams, or a last-minute weekend table in your neighborhood.
Join Wishlist™ Not The Waitlist
Your 10th anniversary is coming up in May, but the restaurant of your partner’s dreams is currently booking only until March. You’re in a bind because you’ve also got to book hotels, airfare, and vacation time at work asap. Until Tock Time you had little choice but to call, email, and beg the restaurant for an early booking. Or wait until they open the month of May window, hoping to be lucky enough to grab a table. A few minutes late and now you’re on the Waitlist. Purgatory.
Tock Time’s Wishlist allows you to make a booking wish noting the time, day, and party size you desire–or even a range of days. The millisecond bookings become available Tock Time will automatically hold a table for you for 24 hours and send you an email notification with a link asking you to complete your booking. Just click and book. Wish granted!
Every Tock Time Member will be allowed two concurrent wishes, but an unlimited number overall. Ours is a fair Genie and works to give every member access to their culinary dreams. We’ll also notify you if a particular Wishlist is very popular so Tock Time can offer alternative suggestions that are equally magical.
Who enjoys waiting? The Wishlist is the hopeful, helpful assistant that is lightspeed faster than any human concierge, and doesn’t require a greased palm.
Need Something Now? Show Me the Tables!
It’s Thursday and I need a table for a busy Saturday night… just show me what’s available, ranked by my preferences, history, and desirable times. Throw in some new fun places too. That’s the way it should work, right?
With Tock Time’s InstantBook™ you can see tables available within the next week, for the day and party size you want. Just swipe left or right until you see something delicious. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, it’s like Tinder for your tastebuds. (sorry).
When you find the perfect culinary match just swipe up and your table is instantly booked. It’s that simple.
Sometimes the best innovations are the ones that are so obvious you wonder why it was never done this way before. InstantBook is a simple, elegant, and fun twist on the typical booking process… and you might just discover you have a new favorite dish. (Last time, we promise).
Check Out Your Timeline
All of your Tock reservations are organized on your Timeline–past, present, and future.
Scroll up and down to browse your dining history. Easily cancel or reschedule future reservations. Be reminded of an old favorite in the past and easily click to rebook.
And as you scroll Tock Time notes that cool new pop-up that’s coming in March, your son’s birthday in July, and Mother’s Day Brunches in your area. Pop-in nudges offer helpful suggestions to keep your dining life ahead of schedule and instantly organized.
Tock Time Member Specials
Tock Time Members will enjoy access to surprising evenings, unique experiences, city guides, Chef Collections, and timely discounts on related merchandise like great cookbooks, seasonal food products, cookware, and more. It’s very likely that your savings will exceed the annual cost of membership.
Want to Learn More? Of course you do… !
We’ve set up a handy page to show you what a few of these features will feel like when we launch… but we also have a few surprises up our toques. You can learn more here… and add your name to be notified when Tock Time becomes available, including all pricing, introductory offers, and details.
2020 is an exciting time….It’s the Tock Year of the Diner. And it’s about Tock Time.