Booker vs. Zenoti: Salon Software Comparison 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...

Booker vs. Zenoti – Both are highly popular choices for salons and spas but are targeted at very different businesses and users.

Which will you choose?

In this comparison, I’ll give you all the information you need to make a solid decision between Booker and Zenoti.

Both have carved out their distinct places in the market, with Booker appealing to a wide range of businesses looking for a comprehensive and user-friendly platform and Zenoti targeting franchise and enterprise businesses in search of a system with detailed reporting and technical capabilities above all else.

Booker has been around since 2007 when it was founded as SpaBooker. It’s a product that has thrived under the Mindbody umbrella since its acquisition in 2018, offering a blend of marketing, booking, and sales tools that are intuitive yet powerful.

Zenoti, founded in 2010 as ManageMySpa, has emerged as a global force, supporting over 25,000 businesses worldwide through its extensive suite of features. It stands out for its in-depth analytics and granular control, catering to salons, spas, and wellness businesses that need comprehensive management tools and are willing to navigate a more complex interface.

Booker presents itself as an accessible, almost turnkey solution for many salon and spa operators, with its simple interface and straightforward functionality.

Zenoti, in contrast, offers a deep dive into the operational analytics that larger or more detail-oriented businesses crave, even if it means a steeper learning curve.

Read on to find out which platform is the best choice for your salon or spa’s needs.

Booker vs Zenoti

Let's kick off with an overview of the two platforms we're diving into today.

Booker

Zenoti

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.

3.4
3.6

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.

$450 per month
$350 per month

Who is it for

For the new and growing business with funds to spare that needs integrated marketing tools and must have a first-party online marketplace to drive new client acquisition.
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.

Ease of use

4
3.5

Customer Service

3.5
4.0

Countries

Available almost worldwide

Available in nearly 50 countries worldwide

Key features

  • Two-way messaging available (only on Ultimate and Ultimate Plus)
  • AI chatbot feature to help with scheduling (only on Ultimate Plus)
  • Integrated payments through MindBody Payments (US & Canada only)
  • Mindbody Explore Marketplace listing included with all subscriptions
  • Integrated email marketing suite
  • Two-way client messaging (via paid add-on feature: ezConnect)
  • Reputation management suite (via paid add-on feature: ezRepute)
  • Employee performance tracking (via paid add-on feature: ezPulse)

A Double-Click on Each System

Let’s look at the details of these two platforms and analyze the pros and cons of each.

Booker At a Glance

Booker by Mindbody, is a subscription-based salon and spa software that has existed in some form since 2007. Booker is headquartered in San Luis Obispo CA, and is available nearly worldwide.

Booker’s strengths lie in its new client acquisition opportunities and integrated marketing capabilities.

While Booker’s lowest-tier plans are relatively affordable compared to the competition, they lack many of the noteworthy features that make Booker an attractive option, putting them somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to price-to-feature comparisons.

Pros and Cons

  • Straightforward pricing
  • Enhanced new client acquisition opportunities through MindBody Explore marketplace
  • Integrated email marketing suite (on higher-tier plans)
  • No free trial
  • Must commit to a minimum 12-month contract before ever using the software
  • US-based customer support only available to Ultimate and Ultimate Plus plans (outsourced on Starter and Accelerate plans)

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

How Do They Compare? Strengths and Weaknesses

I’ve already noted that Booker suits salons and spas that value simplicity over complexity. Its interface is user-friendly, and the process for scheduling and point-of-sale transactions is something that has been overall streamlined (although adding new clients from the calendar is still a bit of a pain), emphasizing the software’s strength in simplifying everyday tasks.

Yet, the Booker interface hasn’t kept pace with the visual and functional updates that define contemporary software solutions. Its dated look and feel may not resonate with those who desire a modern software experience. For those benefits, you’ll have to look elsewhere since both of these software solutions suffer from the uglies of bad user interface design.

Turning our attention to Zenoti, the platform is a powerhouse when it comes to analytics and detailed reporting. Salons can use this data to make informed decisions that drive business growth and enhance marketing strategies.

Zenoti is markedly more complicated than Booker, with cascading sets of menus and seemingly infinite controls to tweak within the settings.

Likewise, the complexity of Zenoti’s menu systems will require more onboarding training hours and post-launch education, a better fit for larger businesses with staff dedicated to management and knowledge-sharing than small teams.

For both platforms, the high initial investment and lack of a free trial can be significant barriers to moving forward with a subscription. Furthermore, the mobile app experience often falls short of expectations for both brands, with user reviews reflecting a range of experiences from functional to frustrating.

In my view, Booker is likely to appeal more to those who prioritize ease and efficiency in software management, while Zenoti will attract larger and multi-location businesses that require extensive data insights and are prepared to navigate its complexities.

Booker vs Zenoti

Let's kick off with an overview of the two platforms we're diving into today.

Booker

Zenoti

Ease of use

4
3

Design

3
2

Customer service

3
4

Pricing

3
2

Calendar and appointment management

4
3

Online booking

4
4

Point of sale and check out

4
3

Client data

4
4

Client communication

4
4

Inventory management

4
4

Team Management

4
4

Payroll

4
3

Marketing support

5
5

3rd party integrations

4
4

Mobile and tablet apps

2
2

Let’s Talk Features

The basics are well-covered across both platforms, with an intuitive calendar and appointment booking system, online booking features, POS, and integrated payment solutions. Both apps also have premium add-on features like two-way messaging and an AI booking chatbot.

Starting with Booker, it’s clear that the platform has been designed with a team-oriented business in mind. Its feature set aligns well with a salon or spa that has multiple staff members and requires a system that can manage a busy schedule.

However, Booker may not be the ideal choice for solopreneurs primarily due to its high average price point. In that regard, Zenoti is also not a great choice for solopreneurs or small teams.

Zenoti impresses with its suite of reputation management tools and robust reporting functions that cater to a busy salon’s need for detailed data and actionable business insights.

Booker vs Zenoti

Booker or Zenoti. Let's go through what these features are and where they differ.

Booker Zenoti
Online Booking Booker Zenoti
Website booking widget

Note

Can you integrate the entire online booking experience directly into your website?

Note

Not included by default. Requires custom web development and API access fees.

Branding control

Note

Can you customize the look and feel of the booking experience to fit your brand?

Note

Not included by default. Requires custom web development and API access fees.

No-show protection

Note

Can you store credit card details and charge deposits to reinforce your cancellation policy?

Service customization

Note

Can clients adapt their service when they book, and can this change the price and duration of the booked appointment?

Free from account creation

Note

Can clients book without having first to create an account with the software?

Integrated gift cards

Note

Can you sell digital gift cards as part of the booking process?

Calendar and Appointment Management
Customize notification messages

Note

Can you change the text sent to your clients as part of appointment reminders and other messages?

Customize notification timings

Note

Can you change when reminders and other messages go out to your clients?

Client waitlist management
Rooms and resource scheduling

Note

Can you manage equipment, rooms, and other resources required to complete a service?

Repeat appointments

Note

Can you schedule clients for recurring appointments?

Time block

Note

Can you block out time on your calendar?

Processing time

Note

Can you allow for double booking of service providers by accepting appointments during service processing time?

Duration and price by staff

Note

Can you adapt the price and time needed for a service based on who is performing the service?

Automated check-in

Note

Can clients check in to their appointments themselves?

Note

Not by default. Available through Zenoti Go add-on.

Point of Sale/ Check out
Tablet compatible

Note

Can you run the POS on any tablet or do you need special hardware?

Dedicated POS hardware

Note

Does the system provider offer hardware to improve the check out expereince?

Self check out

Note

Can clients check out from their appointment themselves?

Note

Not by default. Available through Zenoti Go add-on.

Route payments to renters

Note

If you have booth renters in your business, can you route payments directly to them?

Cards on file

Note

Can you store credit card details and charge the customer later?

Integrated payments

Note

Does the software offer a first-party payment processing solution?

Client Data & Communication
SMS Notification
Email Notificition
Dedicated business SMS number

Note

Do you get a business phone number that your messages and notifications are send from?

Note

Available on Ultimate & Ultimate Plus plans only

Note

Available through ezConnect premium add-on for an additional fee

Two way SMS communication

Note

Available on Ultimate & Ultimate Plus plans only

Note

Available through ezConnect premium add-on for an additional fee

Forms

Note

Can you create intake forms, store SOAP notes, and have clients sign your forms?

Client notes

Note

Can you store notes about clients on their profile?

Client files and images

Note

Can you store files and image on in the client’s profile?

Note

Can upload files to forms, but not client profiles

Inventory and Product Types
Inventory tracking

Note

Will the system keep track of stock levels, notify you when it’s time to re-order?

Purchase orders

Note

Can the system create automatic purchase orders for you?

Retail
Memberships
Packages
Gift cards
Team Support & Payroll
Fully integrated payroll

Note

Can you run payroll and cut paychecks directly through the software?

3rd party payroll integration

Note

Does the software allow you integrate and share data with a 3rd party payroll solution (e.g. Gusto, ADP, Paychex, etc)?

Payroll reports
Commission support

Note

Can you track and report on commission for service, retail, and other product types?

Multi-location support

Note

Does the system have specific support for businesses with multiple locations

Booth renter support

Note

Can the system help with rent collection, payments, and other booth renter management tasks.

Marketing Support
Email marketing
SMS marketing
Website builder
Client marketplace

Note

Does it offer a platform where potential clients can browse businesses using the software?

Add-on offers

Note

Can you promote service add-ons/upsells as part of the online booking flow?

Cloud & Mobile App Access
Full-featured mobile app

Note

Can you access all software features in the mobile app?

Web browser
iPad
iPhone
Android

Integrating with Other Platforms for Additional Features

Integration is an area where Zenoti pulls ahead of Booker. While both platforms have open APIs that allow connecting with third-party apps, Zenoti offers far more direct integrations right out of the box.

Over 200 apps are available to connect with the Zenoti platform, spanning categories like payments, eCommerce, marketing, telephony, analytics, and more. This means you can easily expand functionality without needing advanced technical skills.

Booker has the potential to integrate but will require more heavy lifting. You’ll need to license Booker’s open API to build those connections or (more likely) hire a developer.

This may deter less tech-savvy business owners or those who don’t want to pay for development and licensing fees on top of their monthly subscription.

If integrations are a must-have feature that you cannot live without, check out other great alternative platforms on my top salon and spa software list for 2024.

Booker vs Zenoti

Booker Zenoti
Custom integrations

Note

Does the platform allow you to create new integrations to support your business-specific needs?

Native integrations

Note

Built-in integrations that you can activate as needed

  • iCal
  • Google Calendar
  • Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • Smartkart
  • Wisely
  • Gantner
  • Gympass

Pricing

Zenoti doesn’t disclose standard monthly fees on their site. Pricing is customized based on your business needs, and you must take a sales call with their team to get pricing information. As a potential salon customer, Zenoti offered me an entry-level package price of over $300 – considerably higher than Booker’s.

With Zenoti, you pay for the specific features you want rather than traditional package tiers. This à la carte model works better for large businesses with a more complex management structure (eg. there are likely multiple managers making business decisions about the software that their team will be using).

When it comes to value for money, Booker likely wins for smaller salons on a tighter budget. Its straightforward pricing makes it easy to predict costs and its simpler app means less fiddling with settings to run daily operations.

Zenoti offers greater customization as your operation expands, but its opaque pricing makes direct comparisons tricky for potential customers and requires them to get on a Zoom call for information that should legitimately be on the website.

If low cost is important to you, neither of these solutions is the best option. For better alternatives, check out our list of the top salon and spa software for 2024.

Booker vs Zenoti Pricing

Booker has more transparent pricing.

Booker Zenoti
Average Price
$450 per month
$350 per month
Trial Options
No free trial
No free trial
Minimum contract length
12 months
12 months
Plans
  • Starter: entry-level plan – $129 per month
  • Accelerate: mid-tier plan – $269 per month
  • Ultimate: most popular plan – $429 per month
  • Ultimate Plus: premium plan – $549 per month

Zenoti doesn’t offer transparent pricing information on their website. These are the “recommended packages” they offered us as a potential salon client:

“Recommended Option #1” – $350 (per month, per location)

  • “Salon Core Package”
  • ezConnect (two-way SMS feature)
  • 7500 marketing emails
  • 1000 marketing texts

“Recommended Option #2” – $450 (per month, per location)

  • Everything in Option #1, plus
  • “Marketing Plus Package”
  • Custom-branded client-facing mobile app
  • ezRepute (review management feature)

“Recommended Option #3” – $500 (per month, per location)

  • Option #1, plus
  • Smartbot (AI powered chatbot feature)
Plans
  • Starter: entry-level plan – $129 per month
  • Accelerate: mid-tier plan – $269 per month
  • Ultimate: most popular plan – $429 per month
  • Ultimate Plus: premium plan – $549 per month

Zenoti doesn’t offer transparent pricing information on their website. These are the “recommended packages” they offered us as a potential salon client:

“Recommended Option #1” – $350 (per month, per location)

  • “Salon Core Package”
  • ezConnect (two-way SMS feature)
  • 7500 marketing emails
  • 1000 marketing texts

“Recommended Option #2” – $450 (per month, per location)

  • Everything in Option #1, plus
  • “Marketing Plus Package”
  • Custom-branded client-facing mobile app
  • ezRepute (review management feature)

“Recommended Option #3” – $500 (per month, per location)

  • Option #1, plus
  • Smartbot (AI powered chatbot feature)
Add-ons

Messenger[ai] feature can be added on to Accelerate and Ultimate packages

  • ezConnect – In-App Two-Way Text Messaging: $29 – $169 per month per location
  • ezRepute – Reputation Management Suite: $189 per month per location
  • Smart Bot (Web / IVR): $150 – $400 per month per location
  • ezPulse – Employee Performance Tracking Suite: $49 per month per location
  • Credits (Email & SMS Marketing Campaigns): $180 – $1500
Add-ons

Messenger[ai] feature can be added on to Accelerate and Ultimate packages

  • ezConnect – In-App Two-Way Text Messaging: $29 – $169 per month per location
  • ezRepute – Reputation Management Suite: $189 per month per location
  • Smart Bot (Web / IVR): $150 – $400 per month per location
  • ezPulse – Employee Performance Tracking Suite: $49 per month per location
  • Credits (Email & SMS Marketing Campaigns): $180 – $1500
Credit card fees

Credit card processing rates through Mindbody Payments:

  • US:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.75% per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 3.5% + .15 USD per transaction
  • Canada:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.39% + .10 CAD per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 2.89% + .25 CAD per transaction

Credit card processing rates through Zenoti Payments:

  • Card Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.45% + 10c
    • Amex:  2.95% + 10c
  • Card Not Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.95% + 10c
    • Amex:  3.25% + $0.10
Credit card fees

Credit card processing rates through Mindbody Payments:

  • US:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.75% per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 3.5% + .15 USD per transaction
  • Canada:
    • In-person – Card-present (CP): 2.39% + .10 CAD per transaction
    • Online or on-file: Card-not-present (CNP): 2.89% + .25 CAD per transaction

Credit card processing rates through Zenoti Payments:

  • Card Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.45% + 10c
    • Amex:  2.95% + 10c
  • Card Not Present
    • All cards except Amex: 2.95% + 10c
    • Amex:  3.25% + $0.10

What Do Users Think of These Platforms?

Alright, now that you’ve read what I think about Booker and Zenoti, let’s see how salon and spa owners rate the two platforms.

Booker vs Zenoti

Let's compare scores for these systems on the major user review sites.

Booker Zenoti
4.1
4.4
4.2
3.7
2.6
1.7
1.4

What Alternatives Should You Consider?

Booker and Zenoti are two great options for more established businesses. If you’re still unsure if either is the right fit, consider the platforms below.

Mangomint is the highest-rated software for salons and spas. If you have a team and you want the best customer service in the industry, I highly recommend you give them a try.

Square Appointments is a popular alternative for smaller businesses, serving independent professionals on a budget with a suite of must-have features.

Mangomint vs Square Appointments

A quick comparison of these two Booker and Zenoti alternatives.

Mangomint

Square Appointments

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
4.0

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
$45 per month

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.
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.

Ease of use

5
4

Customer Service

5
3

Countries

U.S. and Canada

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

Key features

  • Modern, intuitive, and easy to use
  • 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 who allows for integrations
  • Highest-rated customer service on the market
  • Large amount of native integrations with other apps
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-use, marketing tools
  • Best looking POS hardware on the market
  • Free, sophisticated, website builder and online store

Conclusion

I hope this comparison was helpful in your search for the right salon and spa software for your business!

For more alternatives, please read my list of the best salon and spa software of 2024.

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