4 Booking Solutions for Escape Rooms: A Comparison

Posted in Escape Room Business Management by Katie on Mon 10 February 2020

Every escape room needs a reliable online booking solution.

There are a number of different options you might choose. Some have been specially built with escape rooms in mind, whereas others are more generic booking systems.

Here, we’re looking at four different systems that are each frequently used by escape rooms; Xola, FareHarbor, Bookeo and Resova. Each of these also has an integration with Buzzshot.

We have sourced information from company websites, reviews and online forums of escape room owners. We also spoke with escape room owner, Danielle Mason of Trapped in Tahoe, who has extensively tested different booking solutions for their business. You will see some of her comments on these systems throughout.

Free download: A booking software comparison

#1. Xola

Xola is a popular choice with many Buzzshot users, however, several complained recently after a significant change to how Xola charges for the software. On the whole, escape room owners comment that Xola is a comprehensive solution, providing them with marketing tools, a good user experience on the front end and “no brainer” setup on the back end.

Digging into the nitty-gritty, here is what they offer:

Booking system

Xola is a cloud-based software that offers a clear and simple booking system where customers can easily see the up-to-date availability of the room. “User-friendly” is the name of the game, with the booking solution coded to work well on mobile devices as well as on desktop or laptop.

Escape room owner forums overall report that the back end of the booking system is just as user-friendly and that staff were able to easily get up-to-speed with using it. You can set minimum and maximum room numbers to easily avoid overbooking, or having rooms with just one player.

On the other hand, some reviewers also comment that the number of features in the back end adds complexity to learning how to use Xola. While there are resources available to teach users, some may be overwhelmed by the options.

Of all the booking solutions, this is probably one of the most comprehensive as it is designed for tour operators and companies in the tourism business in general. It includes some detailed reporting functions so that escape room owners can monitor their metrics. Danielle says; “they do a lot of market outreach and analysis for customers, but you have to look at the price they’re charging. For the difference in cost between them and other solutions, you might be able to pay a marketing professional and still pay less.”

The screenshot below shows what the customer side of the booking can look like:

Booking solutions for escape rooms


Xola also has CRM features, for example, allowing escape room owners to export customer information to email for follow-up. The marketing features can also include the sale of gift vouchers and managing coupon codes.


Xola integrates with a number of other tools (Buzzshot among them). For example, you can set up custom or recurring schedules that sync with Google Calendar. They also have a Zapier integration which makes it possible to connect with many other apps. You can see a list of current integrations here and their app store here.

A recent addition that is useful for reducing friction for the customer and for marketing your escape room is an integration with Reserve with Google. When you set this up, customers are able to reserve directly from their Google search results.

Customer service

Xola’s customer support is highly rated by most reviewers. They are responsive and available via chat online or over the phone. Many users also report that they appreciate Xola being proactive about letting them know of any potential issues.


This is where things get sticky for many escape room owners and other users of Xola’s software. They used to offer different pricing options that included monthly or annual packages, with different levels of service for each option. Essentially, escape room owners could pay for the minimum that they required and upgrade to the next tier as needed.

Recently, Xola announced a change to pricing that can greatly impact how much owners are paying. They have moved to a transactional model, where a 6% fee is charged for each booking made. For companies that make a significant number of bookings per month, the amount paid to Xola can jump from $199 per month which they were used to, into the thousands of dollars.

Xola’s response to complaints about this is that moving to the transactional model allows them to offer all users the same features and to avoid putting their monthly rates up. Escape room owners may choose to pass that cost on to customers at the booking stage or pay for it on their own end.

Danielle says; “Industry average around here is 4 people per booking with an average ticket price of $25 each. If you maxed out monthly bookings, you’d do around $30,000 in sales. Xola’s pricing model means you’d pay around $1800 for the month, just to use the booking system.”

Free trial? No

Fixed pricing or transactional pricing for booking software? Weigh up the pros and cons

#2. FareHarbor

FareHarbor is another escape room booking solution that integrates with Buzzshot. It is a booking solution designed for tour and activity businesses, including escape rooms. Of 951 Capterra reviews, it rates an average of 4.8 out of 5, a high score.

Among escape room owners, a comment has been that they’ve made the effort to build features escape rooms value, rather than simply being a generic booking system. However, a common complaint across reviews and escape room owner forums is that they feel FareHarbor uses pushy sales tactics. Many were called multiple times per month to the point that they felt “spammed.” Danielle says she ended up asking to be taken off their call list.

Booking system

Overall, FareHarbor is credited with being a simple solution for both customers and back end users. Some owners reported that they found it difficult to make updates themselves in the back end, however, they found that customer support was excellent and available. Some reported that changes were made to their website in less than an hour.

Another feature that escape room owners like is that each of their employees can have their own login and that the owner can set their level of access. They can also easily track who has done what in the back end. FareHarbor also provides comprehensive reporting options.

FareHarbor works on mobile and desktop or laptop with a clean interface for customers. They offer comprehensive reporting for escape room owners.


FareHarbor offers many integrations (Buzzshot is one). A current list can be found here.

Customer service

Customer service is highly rated by FareHarbor’s users. They are responsive and generally always available to help. For some reviewers, this was tied in with a “con;” some commented that they found setting up some things in the back end to be tricky and felt that the process could be more user-friendly. They had to ask for help, but found they did get good help when they asked.


Like Xola, FareHarbor uses a transactional model where they charge 6% on transactions. Escape room owners who don’t like this have the same objections that they do to Xola - they end up paying more, or the customer doesn’t like the fee. Here is an example from a Reddit forum:

“The system itself was great and I loved how easy it was to use, however the pricing was a huge turn off for customers as it was more than our tax. We had a lot of questions about what the extra fee was and most customers ended up just paying in store during that time.”

On the other hand, some users appreciate the billing as a “pay as you go” option while they’re in the startup phase. For them, it helped that they wouldn’t be billed if they didn’t use the software:

“It's decent software, good support and a pay as you go style billing. It was a better solution for us when we started. Once we open our other two rooms we will look into something better.”

Free trial? No

#3. Bookeo

Bookeo is one of the longer-standing booking software solutions and is used by a number of escape rooms. An overall comment is that they’re not as feature-rich as options like Xola or FareHarbor, but they get the job done and do so for a fixed monthly price.

Some escape room owners in forums talked about how they switched back to Bookeo from Xola or FareHarbor because customers questioned the extra fee attached to booking with those options.

Booking system

Bookeo rates 4.3 out of 5 from 66 reviews on Capterra. An overall comment on escape room forums is that Bookeo is a solid “no-frills” booking system. It gets the job done, but there may be a trade-off in terms of its overall look and functionality.

For example, a few reviewers comment that it has a “dated” look on the front end and the back end isn’t the most user-friendly experience. Some of the slicker, more expensive programs may provide a better front-end experience when you’re concerned about optimising for customer sales.

Bookeo is able to show users the real-time availability of escape rooms and can be configured to sell gift vouchers or set up custom promotions. Danielle says; “Bookeo is your straightforward booking system without a ton of bells and whistles, but what they do, they do well.”

For any businesses with non-standard booking situations, Bookeo probably won’t be the right solution.


Bookeo integrates with Buzzshot and several other systems, although the list is not quite as comprehensive as some other booking options. You can find current integrations here.

Customer service

There are mixed reports on Bookeo’s overall customer service. Some reviewers rave, while others report strongly negative experiences, particularly in lack of responsiveness to issues. According to their website, they have self-service or email options for customer support, while phone options are only for sales.


Bookeo offers tiered monthly pricing depending on what your business needs. At the time of writing this, pricing started at $USD39.95 per month which gives you 1000 bookings.

Free trial? Yes

#4. Resova

Resova was formerly Bookify and added some features along with the name change. It is another popular choice among escape room owners and is the option that Danielle chose after testing a number of solutions.

“It has a few more features than Bookeo and is an easy interface to use,” she says.

Booking system

There are very few reviews to be found on Resova at this time, but there is some conversation among escape room owners in forums. One comment that gets repeated is “Resova has the ‘look’ of the big guys, but is lower cost and easier to work with.”

The front end for customers is slicker than Bookeo and creates an easy experience. Danielle is very savvy with software systems and finds it easy to use for herself, but admits that others who are less-experienced don’t find it so user-friendly on the back end. “The back end stuff falls to me because the others (in the business) would need to spend a lot of time figuring it out.”

Resova has reporting functions, although these aren’t as comprehensive as some of the more expensive software options. “Reporting functions are ineffective for use with bookkeeping systems,” says Danielle. “Daily sales and revenue entry is all manual. Add the fact that they have not integrated a way to attach a swipe reader for taking cards onsite, and that means this can be a very manual-entry system. They need to work on streamlining processes.”

Booking solutions for escape rooms


Resova has a number of integrations, although again, not as many as Xola or FareHarbor. But of course Buzzshot is one them. As Danielle commented, a glaring missing link is with accounting systems. Here is a current list of integrations.

Customer service

Danielle comments that the customer service team tends to be responsive to feedback and overall, the team works to keep Resovo updated.

Like Bookeo, they don’t have a customer service phone number, however, they do have online chat available as well as email and self-service options. Overall comments from other escape room owners are that they tend to be responsive to requests for help.


Resova offers tiered pricing based on what your escape room needs, currently starting at $30 per month for 100 bookings. “No commissions” is part of their appeal for many business owners.

Free trial? Yes

Download our booking software comparison here

Final thoughts

As an escape room owner, it’s important to define what your “must-haves” are for your booking software. You’ll often find there is a compromise between cost and features, however, the bottom line is you need software that gets your jobs done.

We also pay close attention to the customer service the software has on offer. If anything goes wrong, you want to know that you can get attention on it quickly.

What does your escape room use and how do you find it? We’d be interested to hear.

Booking System Comparison