Customer relationship management (CRM) software for businesses engaged in hospitality services, such as restaurants, event planners, and hotels, provide tools to engage potential customers, schedule reservations or bookings, and manage event-based projects. The best also include features like service ticket generation and payment processing functionalities. We evaluated various CRMs for hotel and hospitality businesses based on cost and these needs.
The top six options are:
- Freshworks CRM: Best overall for general guest and marketing management
- CaterZen: Great for small businesses engaged in food delivery and catering
- Guestware: Ideal for small and medium-sized hotel businesses
- Revinate: Suitable for larger hotel businesses with multiple locations
- Tripleseat: Recommended for event planning businesses
- Cendyn: Best for hospitality businesses that want content management capabilities
How We Evaluated the Best Hospitality & Hotel CRMs
Hospitality and hotel CRM providers should provide solutions addressing unique industry-specific needs. To determine the best options, we evaluated costs and capabilities specific to businesses in hospitality, such as direct marketing tools, collaboration capabilities for various projects, and built-in functions for servicing customers. In addition to that, we also considered other factors associated with product usability and customer support.
Based on our evaluation, Freshworks CRM is the best overall CRM choice for those in the hospitality industry due to its overall broad range of marketing capabilities. It offers automated email campaign generation, email subscriber management functions, the ability to segment various target markets, and lead generation through online webforms and advertisements.
The tabs below offer insight into our evaluation process for choosing the best CRM software options for hospitality businesses and hotels:
30% of Overall Score
Total costs and various pricing options are typically the most important criteria for any small business decision, so it was most heavily weighed when reviewing the CRM providers for hospitality businesses. We considered the availability of a free plan, varying subscription options, and whether or not there are monthly billing plans available.
25% of Overall Score
The purpose of any CRM is to provide functional solutions associated with sales, marketing, customer service, and project management. Specifically, we looked at features we consider necessary in a solid hospitality CRM, including inventory management tools, reservation tracking mechanisms, and tools specifically designed for marketing to direct consumers.
15% of Overall Score
The functions of any application are only as beneficial as it is usable. These criteria were analyzed by knowledge required to set up the CRM, skill needed to operate the platform, and intuitiveness of navigating the user interface.
15% of Overall Score
Extensive support and service can prevent issues that a user might encounter when using the platform. These were evaluated in terms of customer service hours and availability of support through various channels like phone, live chat, and email.
15% of Overall Score
In addition to our first-hand experiences with the providers, we evaluated what other users are saying about each CRM. These criteria consider how customers feel based on their reviews to gauge overall popularity, ease of use, value for money, and how helpful some of the built-in features are to users.
Freshworks CRM: Best Overall Hospitality-ready CRM
*Pricing is based on a monthly billing option. Annual subscriptions are available as well for those who prefer long-term contracts.
Freshworks CRM is an excellent option for marketing hospitality businesses, especially for those who generate revenue from recurring customers like hotels, bars, restaurants, and travel agencies. It has tools for designing, deploying, and automating email campaigns and can assist in preference management for email subscribers. It also collects lead information through online webforms and ads.
Freshworks CRM lacks some of the more hospitality industry-specific functions. For instance, it doesn’t offer built-in tools for planning events or booking reservations, but can work with many third-party integrations. Some alternative solutions on this list provide features for those specific needs without requiring an add-on, including Guestware for smaller hotels and Tripleseat for event planning at restaurants, hotels, and other venues.
Freshworks CRM Features
- Ability to create email marketing campaigns through drag-and-drop design and premade templates
- Mobile application offers service tools for obtaining customer signatures, tracking employee time, and managing new service tasks, all on the go
- Subscriber preference center tool to manage which emails subscribers want to receive from your business
- Multiple built-in contact communication channel options, including phone, email, live chat, WhatsApp, SMS, and Apple Business Chat
- Marketing segmentation features that allow users to create marketing lists and target an audience based on demographics, geographic location, and behaviors
Check out our Freshworks CRM review to explore other features that this platform offers.
CaterZen: Best for Small Food Delivery & Catering Businesses
Businesses involved in delivering food to a location, either through a catering service or as a restaurant with food delivery options, benefit from CaterZen’s marketing and operational features. Users can generate leads through webforms and email campaigns and design systems for referral generation and loyalty programs.
CaterZen also enables businesses to manage delivery services through driver tracking, delivery schedule reporting, and the ability to obtain orders through a customizable, online ordering interface.
Hospitality businesses that are looking for an alternative solution to CaterZen that can offer email marketing features, even on the lowest-priced plans, should look to Freshworks CRM, which can handle bulk email campaigns on their Growth plan for just $29 per user, per month.
- Built-in e-signature tool for an unlimited number of catering service contracts
- Credit card gateway integrations with Braintree and Authorize.net
- Integration with Tango Card for customer loyalty rewards
- Built-in driver tracking to allow customers to track the delivery status
- Referral system within the platform to obtain and monitor catering service referrals
Guestware: Best for Small to Mid-sized Hotels
*Pricing is based on annual billing, and the total cost depends on the number of rooms.
Guestware provides small to mid-sized hotels (50 to 200 rooms) tools to manage hotel operations. There is direct integration with room booking applications, as well as loyal program functionality to assist with the marketing side of the business.
Also, while Guestware cannot directly integrate with some of the common, small business email marketing applications like Mailchimp and Drip, there are API integration capabilities for email marketing applications
Guestware also has built-in tools for managing guest complaints and property servicing while in the field. Guestware integrates with other property management systems, including Oracle, Infor Hospitality, and Protel.
Since Guestware can’t offer event planning solutions, an excellent alternative for this is Tripleseat. It has a set of specialized features for booking and managing events, specifically at hotels.
- Interactive voice response (IVR) quickly reports room issues to the engineering team, generating a rapid response system for fixing urgent problems
- Guest recognition tools within the CRM streamline the front desk process before important guests arrive
- Incident tracking sends alerts to facilities management personnel to resolve guest issues and to collaborate on preventive solutions
- Integrates with booking application SynXis Booking Engine
Revinate: Best for Hotels With Multiple Locations
Revinate can manage multiple hotel properties and centralize lead information from various locations, making it best suited for multilocation hotel businesses. There are also many features for engaging guests and potential guests through email marketing tools, market segmentation functionality, and upselling capabilities, all within the platform.
Revinate does not have any type of telephonic features. Businesses looking to place, receive, and monitor phone calls through their CRM should consider Freshworks CRM. It provides viable phone solutions for hospitality businesses.
- Built-in, automated email marketing tools to send out promotions, discounts, and special offers
- Integrations with Google, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor to monitor and manage hotel reviews
- Advanced guest data generates information based on customer behavior, hotel history, and client satisfaction
- Built-in upselling features that offer personalized amenities and room upgrades to enhance the guest experience
- Benchmark reporting to evaluate competitive trends between other hotel chains based on reviews, ratings, and popularity
Tripleseat: Best for Event Planning Capabilities
Tripleseat and Gather merged to provide an ultimate event planning CRM software. It offers value to businesses planning events at restaurants, hotels, and other unique venues. Through various integrations and built-in features, companies can easily acquire customers through online lead generation forms. These leads can book a venue, then check out with payment and e-signature in one process.
In addition to booking the events, Tripleseat users can convert new events into a set of automated tasks that need to be completed by both the team and guests through built-in event management tools.
- Tripleseat Booking Network allows users to browse and book thousands of hotel, restaurant, and unique venue locations
- Free banquet event order (BEO) templates and guides offered by the platform
- Payment processing integration options include CardConnect and Stripe for online credit payments and Toast for onsite payments
- Through combined integrations with online web forms, Tripleseat Booking Network, various payment processors, and a built-in portal for guest e-signatures, new leads can be converted into paying clients in a matter of minutes
Cendyn: Best for Content Management Solutions
Cendyn offers a built-in content management system (CMS) and tools for website design within the platform. Thus, it’s best suited for hospitality businesses that want content management capabilities in their CRM. In addition to website design, Cendyn users can create blog articles, manage search engine optimization (SEO), and generate click traffic all through one system.
While Cendyn offers guests the ability to book events and schedule components of an itinerary, users cannot manage the project tasks of the scheduled event. However, businesses that regularly need event management tools should consider Tripleseat as an alternative solution.
- Automated communication tools for pre-arrival and post-stay emails
- Built-in e-proposal features allow users to generate proposals quickly, store request for proposal (RFP) content in a library database, add video messages, and monitor the pipeline of each submitted proposal
- E-menus tool gives businesses the ability to create cuisine visualizations and promote offerings for both restaurant menus and catering ones
- Advanced hotel guest insights with personal information, contact information, stay history, and spending history on various hotel amenities like the minibar, pool, spa, and restaurants