Well-known for its rocky regions and crisp wind-swept landscapes, eastern Spain is home to hundreds of villages. One of which squeezes in between the long trails from Valencia to Barcelona. It is called Castellón.
Far inland sits the Castellónian municipality of Villafranca. This commune’s foundation is a sheer rock face that soars hundreds of meters above sea level. Stand anywhere in this municipality and you’ll catch your breath looking over olive-coloured fields, mountainous terrain, and wide stretches of green below.
The next thing to notice is the architecture. Two great fortified towers are neighbours to La Taverna del Fora Joan Forés, a well-liked restaurant located in the heart of the village.
If you look closely enough, you will see that these buildings belong to the eighteenth century, with Gothic structures built from sophisticated drystone techniques characteristic of the locale.
Duck inside La Taverna and you’ll find more surprises: A wondrously rustic interior with wedge-shaped stone arches that greet the visitor.
We recently spoke to the owner of this star restaurant about why they switched to Carbonara app, a free restaurant management tool, that has helped their team manage customers in recent days.
About La Taverna del Fora Joan Forés
La Taverna is off the tourist trail but still remains a popular destination for customers as far as Valencia. Even after the first lockdown in mid-2020, the restaurant received hundreds — perhaps thousands — of visitors each month.
The explanation is easy: for La Taverna is unique. La Taverna’s locale bridges past traditions with modern-day cuisine. A medieval oven, for instance, has operated in the building for a verifiable seven-hundred years. Few restaurants on the continent can boast such links with the distant past.
Moreover, the restaurant’s food puts care into craft. Ingredients come all the way from coastal markets. On weekends, owner Joan Forés travels about seventy miles away to Sant Cortes de Rapita to gather stock, principally seafood and home-grown vegetables.
Scroll their Instagram page and you’ll soon discover the restaurant’s most exciting project — raising their own animals, starting with two Asturian del Valle oxen.
Quality-wise, professional writers have top commendations to give. Joan Garí, a Valencian novelist, has visited a handful of times since 2019, and has praised the restaurant’s style time and time again. His frequent favourites tap into rural customs, including crunchy octopus, sweet rice, and truffled eggs.
Vibes and Traditions — La Taverna’s Popularity
So La Taverna’s deep connections with this municipality’s past, both its vibes and traditions, have made it a top destination to visit. Arguably the most popular restaurant for miles, La Taverna’s limited capacity has meant the staff ask incoming guests to wait at the door until the next available table is ready.
Yet in a spot as picturesque and atmospheric as Villafranca, who would seriously want to hang tight when the alternative is to step out and explore? Customers juggling with the choice in their heads (to stay or not to stay) would probably leave eventually to check back later — or not at all.
La Taverna has too much to offer to lose customers impatient with the wait. Once upon a time, these customers regretfully missed out on one of Eastern Spain’s first-class culinary experiences.
To keep up with business, La Taverna employed a free solution.
Using SMS Features
Employing a restaurant app was a simple way to alleviate La Taverna’s time-worn scenario — and thankfully, Carbonara app works.
Upon downloading Carbonara app, La Taverna quickly realised how useful the app’s free SMS messaging service helped to facilitate local custom.
Two-way communication features (meaning both customers and restaurants send and receive text messages) allow customers to communicate their plans with the restaurant. When out of bounds anywhere in the municipality, they can both send and receive texts to organise their visit.
Carbonara App has recently integrated WhatsApp, and in Spain’s case, this is extra important. Spain has one of the largest WhatsApp user bases in the world. Customers are more likely to connect using phone data. No problem — either way Carbonara App covers the restaurant’s tariff fees.
The app’s messaging features quickly proved to be La Taverna’s favourite feature. Both handy chat notifications and a simple user interface brought La Taverna joy. “Very good,” said owner Joan, and the app only aims to get better.
A Win for La Taverna
Enchanted, all customers leave La Taverna with a smile on their lips. The double combination of La Taverna’s exceptional location with a unique mode of restaurant operations ensures that customers experience meals they can savour.
Restaurants across Europe can enjoy the same standard. It doesn’t take several days of travel to ensure customers find a table. Give them the freedom to enjoy their wait, not painstakingly abhor it.
We’re helping all non-booking restaurants improve their customer’s experiences. Contact us and discover how a restaurant waitlist app can help you find peace in long waiting times.