Top 5 Booker Software Alternatives & Competitors 2024

Editorial note: We're committed to providing correct and up-to-date software reviews that help guide you to the solutions that best fits your needs. The Salon Business is a subsidiary of Mangomint (a salon and spa software we love). However, any opinions shared are solely based on our editors' first-hand experience using the tools we review. Learn more...

Looking for better, cheaper alternatives to Booker Salon and Spa software in 2024?

Then you’re in the right place.

Booker, originally founded in 2007 as SpaBooker, is one of today’s most well-known salon and spa software systems. But the truth is that there are many reasons I would recommend other alternatives over Booker for most salons and spas.

I have been very vocal about my less-than-desirable experience managing salons with Booker in our full review, so if you want the tea, definitely go check that out.

But for the sake of today’s look at the best alternatives to Booker, I’ll touch briefly on some of those points of frustration and show you where Booker’s competitors do better.

Like its sister software, Mindbody, Booker offers a boatload of features, but it reigns in the scope of businesses it caters to, making for a more streamlined experience. This makes Booker a better choice than Mindbody for salons and spas, hands down.

However, Booker is certainly not your only alternative, and there are good reasons why you may want to consider another alternative, especially if you don’t want to commit to a 12-month contract.

Booker logo above the word "alternatives"

Why Consider a Booker Alternative?

Some of the reasons you may want to choose an alternative to Booker are:

  1. It’s expensive: Booker’s monthly costs easily creep into the $450-and-up range if you want to take advantage of its best features. While Booker does offer less expensive plans, those plans lack the more advanced features that make Mindbody an attractive choice in the first place.
  2. The clunky, outdated interface: Booker has been around since the mid-2000s and is definitely showing its age. While newer competitors in the salon and spa software space have innovated greatly on their app design, Booker has stayed stubbornly stuck in the past with a clunky interface and a sea of bugs and glitches across its mobile and desktop apps.
  3. Spotty customer support: As your business grows, so will your demand for better support and system flexibility. While Booker lists their support contact info on their support site, getting in touch with them was more difficult than expected in our experience. Many user reviews confirm that poor support is also an issue for other business customers.

As with any system, there are pros and cons of Booker. Let’s dive into my top recommended alternatives.

Booker Alternatives

We’ll start with a quick summary my recommended Booker alterntives. Following this, I’ll dive into each one in a bit more depth.

#1

Mangomint

Who is it for

The highest-rated software for salons & spas. Designed for businesses with a team who want the best design experience, smart automations, and the flexibility to integrate with other systems.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$245 per month

Supported countries

U.S. and Canada

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.9
3.4
Ease of use
5.0
4.0
Customer service
5.0
3.5
Capterra user score
5.0
4.1
G2 user score
4.8
#2

GlossGenius

Who is it for

For independent professionals who want to start accepting payments and get appointment scheduling, a website and marketing up fast without compromising on the experience of their brand

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$48 per month

Supported countries

U.S.

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.4
3.4
Ease of use
5.0
4.0
Customer service
3.0
3.5
Capterra user score
4.6
4.1
G2 user score
5.0
#3

Square Appointments

Who is it for

For solopreneurs or small teams in any type of local service business (salon, spa, fitness, repair, cleaning, and professional services) who want access to Square’s broad range of products.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$45 per month

Supported countries

U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, Ireland, France and Spain.

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.0
3.4
Ease of use
4.0
4.0
Customer service
3.0
3.5
Capterra user score
4.4
4.1
G2 user score
4.3
#4

Vagaro

Who is it for

For cost conscious solopreneurs or smaller teams who are looking for an all-in-one software, with a lot of features, to support their salon, spa, or fitness business.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$120 per month

Supported countries

U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

4.1
3.4
Ease of use
3.0
4.0
Customer service
3.0
3.5
Capterra user score
4.7
4.1
G2 user score
4.4
#5

Zenoti

Who is it for

Business owners who want a highly-detail-oriented piece of salon and spa software that offers deep data insights and great reporting and who need in-depth reputation management tools to build their brand online.

Average price

Note

Assumes you run a business with a mid-size team and have activated the more common add-ons. What you will pay will be lower or higher than this. See the separate section about pricing for full details.

$350 per month

Supported countries

Available in nearly 50 countries worldwide

Overall score

Note

The overall score considers ease of use, customer service, features, user ratings, and cost. Scores are determined solely by our editorial team.

3.6
3.4
Ease of use
3.5
4.0
Customer service
4.0
3.5
Capterra user score
4.4
4.1
G2 user score
4.2

Alternative #1: Mangomint | The Highest Rated Sofware for Salons and Spas

It’s not uncommon for businesses to transition from Booker to Mangomint as their business grows (or their contract comes to a close).

Mangomint is built for businesses with 5+ service providers and offers richer support for small and large teams alike. Although Mangomint offers slightly fewer features compared to Booker, each feature is crafted with a deep understanding of beauty and wellness business owners’ needs, doing more of the heavy lifting and taking the tedium out of everyday tasks.

Mangomint is the fastest and most well-designed platform currently available on the market. With their newly expanded feature set, they’ve brought email marketing tools, making them a feature-for-feature competitor with Booker at a much more attractive price point.

Mangomint also has a major leg-up over Booker when it comes to payroll, offering fully integrated payroll processing for multiple compensation types and unlimited payroll runs.

Mangomint At a Glance

Mangomint is the most modern and well-designed salon and spa software platform in the United States & Canada.

It’s the platform with the most buzz around right now that beats all competitors on user review websites.

Every little detail of this software has been designed to perfection – making it incredibly intuitive and easy to use. It also offers intelligent automations that reduces time spent managing your appointments and business operations.

Mangomint’s vision is to make salon software invisible—so smart and easy to use that it essentially disappears into your day-to-day operations. And boy, is this software a pleasure to use for both you and your clients, which is why it is now, in 2023, my #1 recommendation.

Pros and Cons

  • Modern, easy-to-use, interface
  • Smart automations that help cut down on time spent managing business operations
  • Open data ownership and no contracts (you’re not locked into anything)
  • Can integrate with any other platform that allow for integrations
  • Highest-rated customer service on the market
  • Not for solopreneurs. Only teams.
  • Higher entry-level price than most other salon & spa software
  • Only available in the United States & Canada

Alternative #2: GlossGenius | The Easy-to-Use Alternative for Independent Professionals

If you’re a solo business owner who cares about aesthetics and ease of use, consider GlossGenius. It’s head and shoulders above Booker in its app design and mobile capabilities.

Since GlossGenius is a mobile-focused salon software, you can control most of your business functions right out of their mobile app, but this also means you have fewer features overall compared to Booker.

In our experience, if you are a solo business owner, the feature set on offer from GlossGenius is likely more than adequate. And the headaches saved with its much more modern app make GlossGenius an easy recommendation.

For single service providers, Booker is considerably more expensive, so if you’re on a budget and want to run your business easily from your phone, give GlossGenius a look.

GlossGenius At a Glance

GlossGenius is an all-in-one appointment, payment, and marketing app for salon and spa professionals in the USA.

It offers rich support for independent professionals. Teams can also use the app but it’s primarily designed for solopreneurs.

Here you manage your total business out of an easy-to-use, beautifully designed, mobile app.

In my opinion, it’s the design and premium beauty experience that GlossGenius delivers that makes this tool truly unique. You can even adapt the design of their credit card reader to fit your brand.

Pros and Cons

  • Interface design that signals beauty (and not tech)
  • Intuitive features that are easy-to-use
  • Professional looking website in just a few clicks
  • Integrated payments with beautiful hardware
  • Affordable and transparent flat fee pricing
  • Limited flexibility (you need to follow pre-defined standards)
  • Can only be managed via app (only calendar can be accessed in web browser)
  • There is little team support in case you start to hire so you will likely have to switch later
  • No booking widget to integrate on existing website (need to link to your GlossGenius website)

Alternative #3: Square Appointments  | The Complete POS & Appointment Software with a Subscription-Free Plan for Individuals

Square Appointments, and Square’s offer as a whole, makes a compelling counter to Booker’s messy kitchen sink approach to software.

Whereas Booker is specifically designed for spa and salon businesses with several employees, Square Appointments and Square’s full suite of other business applications make for a great integrated solution for smaller businesses, no matter the industry.

Square is also far less expensive than Booker at its entry price point, offering a subscription-free option, so it may make a better fit for small businesses on a tight budget.

Square is definitely more aesthetically pleasing than Booker, and you also get access to better-designed point-of-sale hardware with Square.

Square can be a bit more complex and involved than Booker, though. Square is built for any business type, so you may need to piece together the apps you want to use when you are getting set up.

Booker is primarily targeted at salons, spas, and wellness businesses, so it has a potentially more straightforward setup process.

Square Appointments At a Glance

Square Appointments is a cloud-based appointment scheduling software for salons, spas and really any other local service businesses.

It integrates with the full suite of local business solutions from Square which makes it one of the most complete business management solutions on the market.

At the same time, it is free for individuals and has therefore quickly become one of the most popular platforms for one-person businesses like beauty booth renters and individual professionals.

Pros and Cons

  • Free for individuals
  • Well-designed, easy to use, interface
  • Integration with the full suite of Square applications for endless possibilities
  • Robust core business management (inventory, reports, and client data)
  • Limited flexibility when designing online booking page, booking widget, e-mails and other aspects that you may want to adapt
  • It gets a bit expensive for the growing team that expands with more locations
  • Only available in the U.S. and Canada at the moment

Alternative #4: Vagaro | The Education & Engagement-Focused Salon Software Made With Marketing in Mind

Vagaro is a natural competitor to Booker and needs to be mentioned in the alternative comparison conversation. It is similarly rich in features and has an established client marketplace that rivals Booker/Mindbody’s in many ways.

Booker does not feature any of the more advanced fitness and class scheduling features that Mindbody or Vagaro offer, making it an even less favorable contender in comparison because its plans use the exact same pricing model as Mindbody.

Keep in mind that Booker is an older platform. If you are considering alternatives for a more modern software interface and app, unfortunately, Vagaro doesn’t offer a major improvement here despite being a newer software.

Vagaro is a much less expensive option than Booker, however, and considering the broad feature set, it makes much more sense for a lot of smaller businesses.

Vagaro At a Glance

Vagaro, headquartered in the US, is one of the most popular salon software options. It is a complete system for salons, spas, barbershops, health, and fitness businesses.

It’s one of the most feature-rich platforms on the market and comes with POS, online appointment scheduling, email/SMS marketing, credit card processing, subscription payments, video streaming, website builder, eCommerce, payroll, hardware, and advanced business reporting just to name a few.

Despite the large amount of built-in features, it’s one of the cheapest platforms on the market. So if you want to spend as little as possible for as much as possible, Vagaro could be the right platform for you.

Pros and Cons

  • Rich in features
  • Affordable price
  • Client marketplace that could help you attract more new clients
  • Integrations with other software (QuickBook, Xerox, Facebook, Zoom)
  • Pages could load faster, and you may find some glitches as you use it
  • Clients need to create a Vagaro account when booking, which some find annoying
  • There is a slight learning curve in the beginning, as a lot of features

Alternative #5: Zenoti | The Enterprise Software for Large Salon Chains

Zenoti is a newer entrant to the salon and spa software world, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at it.

Despite being released a few years after Booker, Zenoti feels much more like a Mindbody contemporary. Its design features are utilitarian and decidedly early 2000s in feel and aesthetic.

That’s not to say it’s all bad. Zenoti offers an incredibly broad suite of features and showcases some of the most in-depth reporting and settings customization options of any salon and spa software on the market.

It’s really important to note that Zenoti is more focused on the enterprise market of chain and franchise service businesses.

While Booker is simpler to get up to speed with, Zenoti offers better options for scaling your business and may even come in at a lower price point, depending on the features you choose to package together and your number of locations.

Zenoti At a Glance

Zenoti has existed in some form since 2010, when it was initially founded as ManageMySpa, officially becoming Zenoti in 2015.

Zenoti’s features build on the blueprint established by businesses like Booker and Mindbody, and expand the customizability and capability of those features with control over even the most minute details. The level of detail in data and reporting is a step ahead of some of the other big-name competitors in the industry, and its reputation management features are rather impressive.

That said, Zenoti also falls prey to some of the same mistakes that veteran salon software companies like Mindbody and Booker are still making.

Booker, Mindbody, and Zenoti all suffer from the uglies of bad, outdated user interface design, sporting plain, drab menu systems that tuck away important features in layers of nested menus and strip out crucial information (such as icon labels) you need to find the tools you need at a moment’s notice.

Likewise, Zenoti doesn’t list their fees online, hiding their monthly pricing behind a demo/sales call just as Mindbody does.

Pros and Cons

  • Can integrate with a large number of third-party applications via an open API
  • Integrated payments through Zenoti Payments
  • Custom reports
  • Help center and Zenoti University (training) available
  • No free trial
  • Pricing is not transparent + high starting cost (minimum $300)
  • Mobile app has low-to-mixed ratings
  • Requires a 12-month contract

Choosing the Best Booker Alternative

I hope this list was helpful in determining if any of these Booker alternatives are a better fit for you.

If it’s a better price-to-performance ratio you’re looking for, Mangomint offers the best features and support for businesses with more than a couple of stylists or estheticians.

If you run a salon or spa and need a new client marketplace at a lower price than what Booker or Mindbody has to offer, Vagaro‘s marketplace is a great choice at a much lower price.

If you’re looking for a great option as a solopreneur, GlossGenius is likely your best bet, but Square Appointments should also be in consideration.

If you run a chain or franchise business and need support for multiple locations with complex management needs, Zenoti is an ideal choice as you scale and grow.

Still unsure which software is the best for you? That’s OK! We’ve reviewed a whole bunch more.

Check out our list of the best salon software in 2024 right now and see how each competitor stacks up in our in-depth comparison!

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