Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Carbonara app cost?

The Carbonara app and service is entirely FREE.
Are there any costs for Text Messages?
No. Text messages are included in the free service.
Is there any per-booking fee?

No. All bookings, whether walk-in, reservation, or online reservations are all free.

Why is Carbonara app Free? How do you make your money?

The Carbonara team is leading the revolution in restaurant software development. As former restaurant operators, we strive to provide great service to our restaurant partners at a price that we think is the most beneficial to restaurants: Free.

We are building out revolutionary new features on our free restaurant platform. See our Truly Free page to learn more.

What phone or hardware is the Carbonara app available on?

Today, Carbonara app is available on any iOS or Android device, including smartphones and tablets.
Is Carbonara app available on laptop or desktop computers?
No, today Carbonara app is only available on phones and tablets.

What type of messaging does Carbonara app offer: SMS? Email?

Carbonara app offers 2-way SMS messaging to customers. The app includes pre-programmed, customizable messages that are automatically delivered to customers in the waitlist and customers that have reserved a table. Customers can respond to the SMS that restaurants send, and restaurants can respond to customer SMS messages.
Can I customize the messages?

Yes. You can customize most of the body of the message, however we require that every message begin with the restaurant name and include certain information, like the waiting time for a waitlisted party, or the date and time of the reservation for a reservation party. Does Carbonara app offer email?
Carbonara app does not currently support email between restaurants and customers, and does not offer any email marketing program at this time.

What does Carbonara app do with customer phone numbers?

Customer phone numbers that are added to the Carbonara system are stored in a secure server and are only shared with our 3rd-party messaging service in order to deliver messages to customers.
Does Carbonara app send customers marketing messages to their phone numbers?
No, Carbonara app does not use customer phone numbers for any marketing purpose, whatsoever. Carbonara app only uses customer phone numbers to facilitate seating at the restaurant and furthermore, restaurants have control over what messages are sent to customers by operation of the app.

Does Carbonara app offer online reservations - a way for customers to make their own bookings at the restaurant?

Yes. Carbonara app offers free online reservations for any restaurant that wishes to accept them. Contact us to obtain your online booking link.

Using the Carbonara app waitlist, are restaurants required to include the wait time in the SMS message?

Yes. Carbonara app requires that for waitlist parties, the message must include both the name of the restaurant and the estimated wait time. This ensures that the customer has, at a minimum, a rough approximation of the waiting time. Experience has shown that giving customers an estimated wait time increases the likelihood that customers are willing to wait, as having more information about the waiting experience lessens the burden of waiting.

Do I need to hold a table for a party that I have notified and hasn’t returned to the restaurant?

Our experience shows that it is ideal to notify the party prior to the table becoming available. This helps to ensure that once the table is fully vacated and reset for the next customers, the table can be filled quickly and does not sit open.

We recommend that restaurants using the waitlist feature for walk-in business do not let tables sit open for longer than 5 minutes.

What do I do if I give away a table for a party that hasn’t returned, but then the party returns and wants to be seated?

If a party is late to return for their table, it is best practice to move on to the next customer in the list. Should the party that is late to return then arrive and ask to be seated, we recommend to keep that party at the top of the list and give these customers the next available table that will accommodate them.