“I just look at some things and go, ‘Why is that? Why does it work that way?’ Oftentimes, the people most entrenched in a system have no idea why.”
— Nick Kokonas
Nick Kokonas (IG: @nkokonas, TW: @NickKokonas) is the co-owner and co-founder of The Alinea Group of restaurants, which includes Alinea, Next, The Aviary, Roister, and The Aviary NYC. He is also the founder and CEO of Tock, Inc, a reservations and CRM system for restaurants with more than 2.5M diners and clients in more than 20 countries.
Alinea has been named the Best Restaurant in America and Best Restaurant in The World by organizations and lists as diverse as The James Beard Foundation, World’s 50 Best, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Gourmet Magazine, and Elite Traveler. His restaurants have won nearly every accolade afforded to them.
Nick has been a subversive entrepreneur and angel investor since 1996. He spent a decade as a derivatives trader, has co-written three books, and believes in radical transparency in markets and business. His latest effort is The Aviary Cocktail Book, which is perhaps the most gorgeous book I’ve ever seen. It is self-published, has already pre-sold nearly $1M in copies, and is being released and shipped in October of 2018.
We’ve been trying to get this interview going ever since Nick was of immense help to me for The 4-Hour Chef, so I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. We talk about much more than the restaurant business, including philosophy, derivatives trading, favorite books, and how Nick tends to break every industry he enters in the most productive way possible! Enjoy!
- Listen to it on Apple Podcasts.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another episode with someone else who understands that the most interesting way to do something isn’t always the easiest? — Listen to this episode with Astro Teller, CEO of X on moonshot thinking, mutilated checkerboards, “safety third,” and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download.):
This episode is brought to you by 99designs, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together. From logos to apps and packaging to books, 99designs is the go-to design resource for any budget.
Right now, my listeners can get 50 dollars off a logo and brand identity package from 99designs, plus a free upgrade that lets you promote your project on the platform (an additional 99 dollar value), by visiting 99designs.com/Tim50.
This episode is also brought to you by Charlotte’s Web, which makes a CBD oil, a hemp extract, that has become one of my go-to tools. Charlotte’s Web won’t get you high, but it does have some pretty powerful benefits, and it works with your body’s existing endocannabinoid system. Some of the most common uses are for relief from everyday stressors, help in supporting restful sleep, and to bring about a sense of calm and focus.
Visit cwhemp.com/tim to take a quick quiz, which will determine the best product for your lifestyle. Charlotte’s Web is also offering listeners of this podcast 10% off with discount code TIM.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…