Meet the Booking Platform That Wants to Give Mindbody Some Serious Competition

Photo: Getty Images/Grady Reese
Up to now, if you've booked a boutique fitness class online, more often than not, you've had to create a Mindbody account (or several) in order to snag a spot. Keeping track of various log-in details and not being able to connect accounts is a pain for users and a problem for studios that's only increased as the boutique fitness bubble's expanded. But a new platform, Mariana Tek, is trying to streamline the process in as few clicks as possible.

It's the brainchild of Stacey Seldin, John Huffsmith, and Bob Rademacher—who are responsible for building out the custom booking program for Flywheel Sports. "We want to make booking reservations as quick and easy as possible," Seldin, Mariana Tek's chief executive officer, tells me. "We shouldn’t have to take fitness classes to relieve the stress of booking them."

About 11 boutique brands in all, including Barry's Bootcamp (only in U.S. locations), Zenergy Cycling, SculptHouse, and Brrrn have already incorporated Mariana Tek into their backends. And Seldin and her team have been quietly talking to several more but aren't revealing who until studios are ready to go public with that news. "Our plan is to meet the demand that's building for the product," she says. "We're going for a big domestic push—you'll see international coming soon. We’ve crossed all methods—yoga, boot camp, boxing, Pilates, strength. The brands that want to do new things and break new ground have been particularly excited about us and the things that we’re doing."

So what exactly does a studio switching over to Mariana Tek mean for you? In addition to the simple booking features, there are also some major benefits that make your in-studio experience even better. If you're a traveler or don't like to stick to one location, you'll only need to create one account within any given studio, which gives you access to all its locations in every market. That means you can book classes wherever you want—be it in New York City or Los Angeles—in seconds, using the same credits or membership. Because everything is connected, you can also see the total number of classes you've taken across all locations. And if you want to add guests, you can do so in seconds using your own credits—no long process required.

Plus, when you book a class, there's an option to pre-order different amenities, like a bottle of water, food, socks, and bike shoe rentals. It's basically like having easy access to a virtual concession stand of the studio's most popular items. "You know that last-minute crush where people are buying waters two minutes before class. You still haven't put on your shoes, you've got to grab your towel, and get in. There's a two-click buy option for the front desk that gets every customer everything they need in record time," Seldin says. "Sometimes a feature that seems so unsexy actually makes your experience so much easier. Those are the types of things we wanted to build into the system."

With these smart tweaks to the booking process, making reservations, bringing along your BFF, and staying hydrated are truly no sweat.

The newest trend in boutique fitness is about way more than workouts. Or, find out how major hotels are now offering boutique fitness as an amenity. 

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