How to choose event management software for restaurants, hospitality groups, breweries, and other event venues.
If you’re looking into catering and event management software for your venue, you’ve probably come across Tripleseat, and it’s for a good reason. According to Tripleseat’s website, it was founded in 2008 and has several thousand hotels, unique venues, and larger restaurants as customers. Tripleseat offers many of the key features businesses are looking for in event management software — a lead form that integrates with your website, a single place to track all events, automatic BEOs, secure online guest payments, and more.
However, Tripleseat isn’t for everyone. Tripleseat is primarily for larger venues and chains, so it is more complicated and expensive than many venues’ needs with most venues paying around $3,000 per year for each location. Gather was another popular event management software program, but they were acquired by Tripleseat in 2020 and are no longer an option. Here’s a quick rundown of Tripleseat and popular alternatives so you can make the right event management software decision for your venue!
1. Perfect Venue
Best for: Independent Restaurants and Venues, Caterers, Hospitality Groups, Breweries, and Unique Venues
While Tripleseat is designed for hotels and national chains; Perfect Venue is designed for independents and hospitality groups. With this in mind, Perfect Venue is designed for venues that don’t need the complexity (and added cost) that comes with a complicated system like Tripleseat. Perfect Venue offers a simple, but powerful tool that allows you to easily send templated emails, digital proposals, automatic document generation, and more. You can even try it out for free without a demo.
If you have a large team of event sales managers or have multi-day bookings, it’s probably a good idea to check out Tripleseat or Planning Pod, which are better designed for more complicated venues.
- Recurring Charge: Starts at $99/month with unlimited events
- Credit Card Processing: Starts at 2.9% for all cards (including Amex), with some plans being higher
Get Started: Try Perfect Venue for Free
2. Planning Pod
Best for: Large Hotels and Large Event Centers that need many complex features
Planning Pod is a solid option if you’re a larger venue with two or more dedicated event sales managers. They have many 22 tools, and their complimentary floor plan product is great if you are working with large rooms with frequently changing room layouts. They also offer a free trial, and being a newer company than Tripleseat, have a more modern user experience in our opinion.
Similar to Tripleseat, their main strength is also their Achilles heel. They have lots and lots of tools (22 to be exact), which is great for larger venues but can turn into a maze if you aren’t a full-time power user. They also aren’t cheap; with a cost of over $1,000/year. Especially during the current uncertainty with events, it is nice to not have to commit to a large annual bill.
- Recurring Charge: Starts at $99/month with charges for additional events
- Credit Card Processing: 3.2% with Stripe, more flexible plans are available
Get started: Planning Pod Trial
3. Generic CRMs (Dubsado, Honeybook)
Best for: Venues with really unique needs
Generic Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are exactly that — generic. They take a core group of features like tracking projects, scheduling, and payments and then provide the flexibility to create your own custom process. They are used by a wide variety of businesses like photographers, lawyers, freelancers, and other creative professionals. This can be nice if you have a really unique venue and want to put the time into creating and managing unique workflows.
With that flexibility, though, comes a cost. First, you have to set it up, and since they aren’t specific to events, you may have to do a lot of maneuvering to get it set up the way you want. Sometimes you even need to hire a separate consultant or developer to set up and maintain the CRM for you depending on your needs.
Second, they often do not have functionality that is unique to events such as:
- Ability to generate BEOs
- Ability to have multiple tax rates and/or gratuity
- Event-specific language
- Ability to charge a card on file
- Recurring Charge: Varies. Typically start at around $500/year or ~$40/month. Look out for additional charges, like for extra users.
- Credit Card Processing: Again, processing rates vary, but they are often around 3%.
Notable mention: Caterease
What you need to know
Caterease was founded in 1991. It has been around the block for a while, and its user experience shows. Furthermore, it isn’t cheap and has a complex list of add-ons and integrations, each with additional charges. It starts at $85-$165/month depending on the package, but they charge an additional $35 per additional user per month. Furthermore, they charge for many add ons that are included in the other options listed above like contact management and website integration that cost anywhere from $30-$60/month. They do offer discounts for annual plans.
Juggling a hodgepodge of spreadsheets, PDFs, and Google Docs get old and costly mistakes can add up. Event management software is a great way to streamline these processes, saving you time and money. Here is an overview of our top alternatives to Tripleseat.