Leo Thompson stands in front of his isolated home, where he has lived for 35 years, on the Navajo Nation reservation. Like an estimated 18,000 Navajos homes, his his isn't connected to the electrical grid — it's a half-mile from the nearest line — and until recently Thompson used a generator for power. Ibby Caputo for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ibby Caputo for NPR

Chef Grant Achatz places one of many courses on a server's tray in the Alinea restaurant kitchen in Chicago in 2008. In 2012, the restaurant got rid of reservations and started selling tickets. Earlier this summer, the company announced how effective it's been. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP hide caption

toggle caption Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

A peek inside the kitchen of Next, an early adopter of the ticket system that's replacing reservations at some restaurants. Courtesy of Christian Seel hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Christian Seel