Nothing is more compelling than the historical sites in Galicia, the north-western region of Spain. On the coast about 125 miles from the inland provinces sits the famed Tower of Hercules, a lighthouse from the ancient world. Historians have said that engineers built the lighthouse in the second century AD, during Spain’s Roman colonisation. Still functioning today, UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 2019.
Zoom in more inland, however, and Galicia’s natural wonders — its mountains, fjords, and valleys — become more apparent.
Far from the coastline is the Ourense province. Atop a hill a restaurant, Casa Grande de Cristosende, overlooks a rich tapestry of verdant valleys. Stone buildings nest on the hilltop. The centre has a granite church with a baroque look, sitting on the crest of the locale. Suffice to say, this is a restaurant that mixes location with beauty.
Because Casa Grande de Cristosende is also a hotel, the owners typically see business rise during peak seasons. The company is a “rural tourism house”, Mar Varguez the manager explained to us. However the restaurant serves anyone willing to pass through its doorways, being open since 2019.
Casa Grande de Cristosende sports Galicia’s most-famous produce: wine. Galician growers cultivate a wide range of wine varieties. But albariño, Galicia’s favourite grape varietal, is available on the restaurant’s Carta del Vinos.
“In the low season,” Varguez said, “we are only open on weekends and it is 50 per cent full. In the high season (from Easter onwards), the demand is higher.”
During peak times, Casa Grande de Cristosende’s visitors know beforehand that this place is popular. The normal motto here: Be sure to book.
As such the restaurant staff sought out technology to aid the guest booking process. Here’s what Varguez had to say about switching to Carbonara App.
Summary — What’s Inside:
Beforehand, seeing that more guests arrived during peak seasons, Casa Grande de Cristosende trialled out other reservation software packages. This included some of the top-tier high-cost models provided by some of the big names in the business.
But then unforeseen circumstances came.
“The pandemic hit and we realised [the software] wasn’t a good fit for us,” the manager said. The other software, Varguez said, “didn’t allow us to do much more than capture online bookings. The other types of bookings had to be entered manually”. Plus, more importantly, Casa Grande de Cristosende was forking out money for not using a reservation system — a big ask when the pandemic meant that the restaurant was closed.
Apart from this, Varguez had little to complain about rival reservation systems — only that they provided the sole, barebone basic features. Casa Grande de Cristosende needed more.
“It’s not that [other systems] gave us problems,” Varguez said, “but Carbonara [App] has given us more solutions”.
One of which was Carbonara App’s in-built analytical features. “The pen-and-paper system is not so good for analysing your business data and being more aware of how the business/service is doing.” As a small, locally run business the Casa Grande de Cristosende team found it much more preferable for a system to automatically analyse their number, providing statistical breakdowns, all for free.
Likewise, cloud technology was also a welcome addition. “Carbonara [App] is simpler to manage as it is in the cloud. [Bookings] are all synchronised and you can enter [them] through more channels. A lot of information is provided to the staff in service that day.” For restaurants that rely on bookings, Carbonara App is the ideal way to manage guest reservations, including their indoor requests.
Overall, Varguez told us that Carbonara App works best because Casa Grande de Cristosende is a tightly run business. Other reservation systems, Varguez said, are strictly “geared towards larger restaurants and [don’t] provide us with anything beyond online reservations. Not that it was costing very much, but it was very tedious for our restaurant.” Thankfully Carbonara App is geared towards all restaurants, big and small.
This is also where Carbonara App’s best features come in.
Mar complimented Carbonara App’s online reservations features the most because they simply made life easier for the restaurant’s staff.
“Online reservations are convenient,” Varguez explained, comparing Carbonara App’s features to the ease and simplicity of a hotel booking website. “You only need four details [from the customer] and that’s it.”
This was especially important when the restaurant interacted with guests who cancelled their bookings or wanted to switch to a different date. “You don’t need to use the phone,” Varguez said, pleased. “Some customers are busy and can’t always answer the phone.” Mix this with cloud technology and Casa Grande de Cristosende found that Carbonara App works better for handling their guest arrangements.
In sum, the restaurant gained three improvements for free.
Mar enthusiastically told us about the improvements this made. “The system is accessible from many devices, no need to worry about the hours and/or place where you are!”
As the pace during peak seasons gets faster and faster, Casa Grande de Cristosende lauded Carbonara App for lending a helping hand — all for free.
“The improvement comes from the simplicity of the program’s use, making restaurant management user-friendly.”
Like Casa Grande de Cristosende, many restaurants may feel reluctant to abandon the traditional pen-and-paper system to manage their guest bookings. But at the end of our chat, Mar recommended that all restaurants give Carbonara App a try.
Should other venues download Carbonara App to try it out?
“Do it. First of all, it doesn’t cost anything. It won’t incur a cost to you. It does not require too much time to test, unlike other programs.”
Does that include restaurants interested in only basic features?
Yes, answered Varguez. “You can start using more features as you decide whether you are interested or not. We started slowly, first with online reservations and then moved on to more features. In the high season, we will probably be using more features, such as the wait list.”
The good news for restaurants is that there is no trial period: Carbonara App is completely cost free. Learn more.