This article will walk you through how to create a typical discount rate type. In our example, we will create a 10% discount for repeat guests, but the same principle and steps can be used to create a different percentage discount or a discount for another purpose, such as a AAA or military rate.
In ThinkReservations, a Rate Type holds the deposit policy, availability, rates & restrictions, and optionally, a promotion code. The promotion code is what allows a guest to qualify for the rate type. If they don't enter the promotion code before choosing their room, then they haven't indicated to the system that they qualify to view a certain rate. Promotion codes don't discount a rate, they allow a guest to have access to a certain rate type.
Create the Rate Type using Derived Rates
- Navigate to Settings > Rate Types
- Click on the black New button on the top right
- Fill out the information on the Details tab for this new rate...
1. NAME: Give the Rate Type a NAME. The name is arbitrary but will appear to your guests.
2. DESCRIPTION DISPLAYED IN THE BOOKING ENGINE: The description here will educate your guests on what this rate is. This box supports simple HTML formatting.
If Customer Group is selected, the guest will be able to select their group from a list when using the booking engine, rather than typing in a code.
If Staff Only is selected, the rate type will only be bookable via phone. It will not appear on the booking engine or on OTAs.
4. PROMOTION CODE: Type in the code guests need to input for the booking engine to offer this rate type. This is not case-sensitive. The following special characters are supported in the promotion code along with all numbers and letters: !@~$
Adjust the Minimum Nights qualifier and Maximum Nights qualifier if necessary. Remove the checkmark next to any room types which should not be offered in this rate.
In this example, the Best Available Rate is the rate type which the Repeat Guest Rate is derived from. Any changes made to the Best Available Rate will automatically update the Repeat Guest Rate.
6. PRICING ADJUSTMENT: If applicable, choose an adjustment. In this example, the Repeat Guest rate is a 10% discount off the Best Available Rate. The adjustment is set to "Subtract," the value is "10," and the type of adjustment is "Percent."
Select a Yield Management Plan if necessary. Typically, the Yield Management Plan should match the Plan set with the parent rate type.
Click Save on the bottom right to save the rate type.
Since the rates and restrictions are derived from an existing rate type in your account, there is no further action required! However, the rate type will have the same prices, minimum restrictions, maximum restrictions, closed restrictions, and stop sells as the rate it is derived from.
If you want to control rates, restrictions, or availability uniquely for this rate type, then select "Set rates and restrictions manually" under Pricing.
Related: How to Set Room Prices.
Not using Derived Rates?
Sometimes a special rate like this needs to have unique availability, room pricing, or restrictions. If that is the case, you may not have a parent rate type to select with the availability/pricing or restrictions to selectIf you are setting your rates and restrictions manually, make sure not to skip actually setting your rates and restrictions manually. Do this in the Rates & Restrictions tab of the rate type.
Pricing = Availability ...so by publishing rates, you are also publishing availability. If you don't have rates, you don't have availability. Keep this in mind to control what rooms and dates this particular rate type is available for guests to stay. For example, if your special is only available for guests who are staying during the month of October, only put pricing for the month of October. Don't forget to set restrictions if appropriate.
The fastest way to do this is using the "Copy from..." button found in the top right of the Rates & Restrictions tab.
Learn about that here: How to Copy Rates and Restrictions
Test your new rate type
- Navigate to the main booking calendar.
- Choose the new rate type from the drop-down right above the calendar.
- If you don't see the rates superimposed on the calendar, toggle them with the View button.
- Verify your new rates are accurate.
Next, let's test the online booking engine.
- Navigate to your online booking engine from your website.
- Enter your test travel dates that coincide with the dates that you made your special available.
- Indicate that you have a Special Rate by clicking on Special Rates - if you don't have them expanded by default.
- Enter the promotional code you chose to use in the box.
- Click the blue Search button.
- Check for your discounted rate, and make sure the name and description look the way you would like it to.
Step 5: Promote and use your new Rate Type
When you and your staff are booking this rate, they don't need to know the promotion code, they just need to select the new rate type from the drop-down above the calendar and book on that rate type.
They can also change the rate type for a reservation by editing the booking. You edit the booking by clicking the pencil edit button below the status on the right.
When you edit the booking, just select the rate type from the dropdown under RATE and click Update.
To make it easier for your prospective guests to enter the promotion code, you can make the Special Rates box that allows the guests to enter the code to be expanded at the start. To do this:
- Navigate to Settings > Booking Engine
- Check the box labeled: Default the special rates to start off expanded
- Ensure this box is also checked: Allow guests to select special rates (Promotional Codes and Customer Groups)
- Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Finally, you can also create a special link that has the promotion code built right in. This makes sharing the special via email and social media easier for your guests. For example:
See here for more on special links and how to use them.
If you have any questions, please reach out to support!