Galicia Restaurant Le Coq Santiago Gastro Cafe and Carbonara App

The Surprising Success of a Restaurant App in Northern Spain

The yellow-stone cathedral dominates the skyline of central Santiago de Compostela, a medieval UNESCO world heritage site about a mile from Le Coq Santiago Gastro café, a popular hospitality business in the city. Stonemasons, the unsung heroes of the twelfth century, crafted and built this cathedral city’s key locations. Like so, Le Coq Santiago sits in the thick of historic stock.

Boasting an international menu that specialises in Venezuelan cuisine, Le Coq Santiago also pays tribute to the deep-rooted traditions of the region. “We specialise in chicken, the star of the menu,” the owner Irene Zoco told us. 

Yet this doesn’t stop the team from blending current culinary styles with the traditions of home, working with a first-class product range, both fresh and local to the region. “There is a gluten-free menu and options for vegetarians. In fact, we are certified by the Celiac Association of Galicia and Spain. They recommended us.”

A stone’s throw away from the city’s world-famous cathedral square (which attracts an estimated 350,000 international visitors in Spring alone), Le Coq Santiago sits snugly in a busy urban street, rife with various businesses. As such, many customers pass through the restaurant’s doors — and they’ve proved a hit, capable of satisfying most palettes and preferences. 

We spoke to the team about a new addition to their business: Carbonara App. We talked about their experiences with the app and how it has helped their business thrive.

Hoping to hear from insider experiences on restaurants using Carbonara App in Spain? Have a chat with us about how restaurants can benefit from the app — or reach the end of our article for more stories from Spain.

The Old Ways

Adjacent to Galicia’s old town, Le Coq Santiago’s inner-city placement has ensured continual business over the years. They opened in 2017 and have enjoyed a steady trade ever since.

So on average how many customers come in per week? Irene gave us a rough figure. “Around 500 diners a week”, making that about 2,000 average covers per month. In other words, a heavy guest count to manually process with the traditional booking methods Le Coq Santiago was using at the time.

Streamlining Bookings

“We managed bookings manually,” Irene explained. “We kept a notebook or an Excel spreadsheet.” Though the team used a partial electronic setup to log their guest bookings, Le Coq Santiago’s guest-flow process still over-relied on one problematic manoeuvre: it was manual.

However, Irene reflected, “it didn’t really give us problems. What Carbonara [App] has improved is simply its immediacy because it streamlines the booking record. [The app streamlines] customer notifications, allowing bidirectional communication [with customers].” Practically speaking, Carbonara App preserves the function of the old ways, the traditional methods — but dramatically improves them, all for free.

Irene and her team were pleased to find that Carbonara App provided an intuitive service. In fact, restaurants can set it up in less than five minutes and begin using it immediately, transitioning instantly from age-old pen-and-paper processes. 

Courtesy of Le Coq Santiago Gastro Café (

What to Know About Customer Notifications

Initially, Irene’s team went with Carbonara App because it was completely free, but found that it provided much, much more. 

“It met our needs,” said Irene in a quick sum up. “Apart from having all the customer details [in one place], the notifications [were the most useful feature for us].”

Carbonara App provides a free SMS messaging service with WhatsApp integration. Restaurants love it as:

  • notifications cut down on customer mistakes, conveniently guaranteeing guests make their bookings without forgetting key details
  • reminders ensure guests can cancel and modify bookings as needed
  • restaurants gain key information about a guest’s dining requirements — all it requires is a few taps of a button from the customer

“We also keep track of bookings that are fulfilled and [the role of] no-shows. Thank God, it is not a major problem for us.” Carbonara App reduces no-show rates, and restaurants are no longer witnessing them as frequently. 

“Furthermore,” Irene added, “if it is necessary to modify the reservation, the client can respond to us and make the appropriate adjustment, that is, a smooth communication.”

Did Carbonara App Improve the Overall Customer Experience?

All importantly we asked Le Coq Santiago if Carbonara App has improved their customer services. This is a primary concern for the app’s team — that is to say, if Carbonara App cannot improve customers services, then it is not doing its job right.

Thankfully, once more Carbonara App has helped Le Coq Santiago improve the overall customer experience.

“Indeed,” Irene said, “it [the customer’s experience] has been improved. The client views it as an organised and rigorous system, they can verify if the reservation is correct and they have the assurance that the reservation has been confirmed.”

Since 2017, Le Coq Santiago has grown as a business and now Carbonara App is part of the overall plan for success. “You must keep upgrading your restaurant,” Irene said, using an appropriate tech-world image. “We make changes gradually, little by little but continuously, and Carbonara [App] is one of them in terms of providing a better service.”

Le Coq Santiago Commends Carbonara App

In the end, Le Coq Santiago’s team now enjoys an easier, more relaxed and even-paced workflow thanks to Carbonara App. Irene wrapped up our conversation, commending the app’s functions as an excellent tool for locally owned hospitality venues like her own. 

So, overall, would she recommend it to other restaurants thinking about trying out the app for the first time?

Most definitely. “I think some people are afraid of changes and Carbonara [App] is an easy one. Try it out because it improves the internal management of the restaurant; it is convenient and intuitive!”

Special thanks to the team at Le Coq Santiago!

If you liked this story, read about how other Spanish restaurants are meeting their customer demands in Northern Spain.

Le Coq Santiago Gastro Café is one of hundreds currently using Carbonara App to enhance their guest services. One of the app’s greatest features allows customers to make and organise online reservations.