No reservations: Popular Twin Cities restaurant will sell tickets to dine


Sick of standing in line to get a table at one of the Twin Cities' hottest restaurants? Well, they've come up with a solution – buy a ticket.

Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale is known for a few things, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says – "really good food, an absolutely tremendous Kickstarter campaign and incredibly long lines to get in."

The restaurant doesn't take reservations, so to help with the lines and to improve the dining experience it will be selling tickets, Travail announced on Facebook Tuesday, just like buying a ticket to a concert or sporting event, WCCO explains.

How much will it cost?

The price of the ticket (which includes Travail's multi-course dinner) goes up and down depending on time and day of the week, according to Travail's website. Ticket prices are per person, unless it's for the "kitchen table," which seats six, and an additional service fee, which includes 18 percent gratuity, will be added to the final price of the ticket, Travail says.

Here's the pricing:

Seventy-five percent of the tables will be these ticketed reservations, while the rest will be kept open for walk-in diners, Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine says.

Travail will begin selling tickets for March "reservations" starting next Wednesday, Feb. 18. After that, tickets will typically be released three months at a time – with April, May and June tickets going on-sale sometime in March, the magazine notes.

Sign up for the restaurant's newsletter, visit its website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter to find out when tickets will be released.

The restaurant has used this ticketing system from time to time for special events, and as part of its Kickstarter campaign, which raised nearly $256,000 to help the restaurant reopen last year.

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Do other restaurants do this?

This "pay-up-front reservation" practice has been used for years in other industries – hotels, airlines, concerts, sporting events, Uber taxis – but it's fairly new to the dining scene.

Restaurateurs told the Wall Street Journal last year it's a way to maximize peak and off-peak hours, with the newspaper noting it takes "some of the risk out of running a restaurant," essentially eliminating reservation no-shows and making sure the kitchen has enough food for the number of people planning to dine.

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