Nick Kokonas: Derivatives Trader Turned Fine Dining Visionary
Nick Kokonas, founder and CEO of Tock, joins Jason Buck, co-founder and CIO of The Mutiny Fund, to share the lessons he has learned on his path from a derivatives trader, to a restauranter, and to a technologist and fine dining innovator. Kokonas recounts his beginnings in finance in Chicago’s trading pits, where he witnessed firsthand the perils of selling tail-risk, or extremely out-of-the-money options. Kokonas and Buck exchange outlooks on options trading and “the Greeks,” before Buck prompts Kokonas to share how he founded restaurants such as Trio, Roister, and Alinea (the only restaurant in all of Chicago to retain three Michelin stars). Kokonas shares how identifying and solving the multitude of problems that befall the restaurant industry let him to create Tock. Filmed on March 19, 2021.
Key learnings: Most restaurants waste a tremendous amount of time and money, and Kokonas uses the skills he gained as an options trader to spot inefficiencies and innovate in common practices such as dropping checks, making reservations, and ordering ingredients.