Next week, Jose Garces opens the dining room at Volvér in the Kimmel Center, ushering in the era of ticketed dining in Philadelphia. Buying tickets for restaurant seats isn’t new - Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas have been selling fixed-price tix at Chicago’s Next since 2011, and Ludo Lefebvre launched LA’s ticket-only Trois Mec in 2013.
(Slightly different, but a definite forerunner, is David Chang’s six-year-old reservation system at NYC’s Momofuku Ko, which requires you to enter a credit card when you select your dates and will charge it if you don’t show up.)
So there’s no doubt the concept of ticketed dining works in some sense. The question right now is will it work in Philly. Prices at Volvér start at $75 per person (plus tax and gratuity), which is not unreasonable for a high-end dinner. But even if the cost is manageable and the idea proven, is Garces a big enough draw?
What about other restaurants? Are there places you’d like to be able to buy tickets to, guaranteeing yourself a seat and dispensing with the hassle of dealing with the check at the end of the meal?
We want to know what you think. Take the short poll below and we’ll report back next week.