Tock, the online booking platform developed by Alinea founder Nick Kokonas, has signed up a number of high profile restaurants in the UK, with more in the pipeline, MCA has learnt.

Berber and Q, Camden Town Brewery, The Wilderness in Birmingham and Michael O’Hare’sRabbit in the Moon in Manchester and The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds have joined the Cloud-based platform, which has ambitions to become the market leader for online booking.

JKS Restaurants’ BAO, Bubbledogs, Gymkhana, Lyle’s, Trishna and Hoppers are already on the platform, as well as The Clove Club and Luca.

Tock aims to help restaurant better manage reservations and reduce no shows, and Kokonas told MCA the UK was the fastest-growing country in the world for take-up.

Developed by Kokonas and former Google engineer Brian Fitzpatrick, Tock enables restaurants to offer a variety of different booking types, such as fully pre-paid tickets, ordinary reservations, private dining, and special events.

It is designed to enable operators to shift demand, lower staff costs and food waste, reduce no-shows and eliminate the cost of accepting reservations over the phone.

Kokonas, a former derivatives trader who founded Alinea, Next, The Aviary and Roister with chef Grant Achatz, developed the idea after becoming frustrated with no-shows at his flagship three star restaurant, which came 15th in MCA’s sister event World’s 50 Best Restaurant.

The Chicago-based business raised $7.5m in investment last year led by Origin Ventures with backing from former Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo.

Kokonas told MCA: “If you have a small restaurant of 64 covers, and eight people don’t show up, that’s 10% of your revenue is gone. Even partial no-shows are equally damaging

“Every form of entertainment going back hundreds of years requires a ticket. Restaurants are the only form of entertainment where you pay after the fact.”

He added: “It’s about educating restaurateurs and owners and chefs. A lot of these folks are really good at providing food and service, but look at the business as a necessary evil.

“Because I came from outside the industry I questioned a lot of the basic practices. We’ve managed to triple our margins where others have been feeling the squeeze with rents.

“What’s happening is that high profile restaurants, just as they’re innovative in their cuisine, they’re the first to question their systems, so it’s natural they come to us first and set the standard for the rest if the industry.

“In the US restaurants are very cautious, but in the UK, once they see Tock, they say, ’that’s awesome, let’s do it.’”