Ryan’s notes

Know What You Are Selling with Patrick O'Shaughnessy & Nick Kokonas

Nick Kokonas is the founder of Alinea, Next, The Aviary, and Tock. Before that, he studied philosophy and worked as a derivatives trader. He comes off as an absolutely brilliant business person, and one of the few people who actually makes good money in the restaurant business.

  • When starting Alinea, he was clear that this was a business and not a passion project.
  • He pushed for up-front and variable pricing at his restaurant. People told him he couldn't do this, but he didn't understand why restaurants couldn't operate like entertainment venues where you buy your tickets up front, and you pay more for more desirable time slots.
  • Used improved cashflow to pre-order expensive food items like dry aged beef. This was so valuable to certain suppliers that they gave him massive discounts.

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