Self-catering dictionary

There is a lot of jargon floating around in this industry, it can be really hard to keep up with. This article (which we’ll update often), will serve as a self-catering dictionary for you. If you have any to add comment below.


Accountancy software – long gone are the days on manually processing your company accounts. Whilst there may still be a need for accountants, there are plenty of online alternatives to doing this yourself. For example: Sage.

Ads – this is the abbreviation for advertisements. An advertisement is information spread to the masses with the intention of selling or promoting something.


#BookDirect – this is a movement by people in the hospitality and self-catering industry that prompts consumers to book direct with the supplier, rather than booking through any third party websites.

BDC/ – this is a commonly used abbreviation for a popular OTA.


Channel manager – this is a product that allows you to manage all listing you have with an OTA (see definition of OTA below). Channel managers ensure you are able to list in multiple places, without the fear of being double booked. Here is more information on SuperControl’s channel manager.

Commission/channel fee – this is a percentage (%) charged against money taken. In this industry you are likely to be charged commission by managers/channels that have taken a booking on your behalf. Have a look at our channel comparison document for an example of commissions taken by the channels SuperControl works with.


Dynamic pricing – this is the concept of varying your prices regularly, based on market research and industry insights. There are tools that allow you to do this with ease, for example Beyond Pricing.


FarmStay – FarmStay is a not for profit farmer owned consortium that offers a range of services for farm based self-catering accommodation.

Following/F – this is something people on social media comment on posts to indicate that they would like to see any updates that appear in this post. Since most social media platforms do not allow you to receive notifications without commenting, this acts as the comment that prompts the platform to notify you.

F/Stay – this is an abbreviation of FarmStay


HRP – abbreviation for Holiday Rent Payment a payment processor that SuperControl links with.

Hospitality – this describes a wide industry. This can be anything from a bar to a chateau rental in France.


KPI – this is shorthand for ‘key performance indicator’.


LoS – this is short for length of stay pricing.

LoS matrix – This is a method of sending/receiving pricing which reflects your pricing model more truly. If you have 2/3/4/etc… nights pricing, LOS will show that exactly, rather than using complex formulae to portray this.


Online travel agents (OTAs) – OTAs are booking websites that market your property to a wide customer base on your behalf, typically for a fee/commission. An example of an OTA is, Airbnb or HomeAway (to name just a few!)


Payment processor – there are lots of payment processors in the market, this is a tool that allows you to accept and process payments from consumers. Here are the payment processors that SuperControl works with.

Property management system (PMS) – this is a product that allows a property owner/manager to efficiently manage their portfolio of properties. SuperControl is a PMS for the self-catering industry.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) – this is a common term to describe a set of security standard that consumers expect payment processors to comply with.


Rate parity – this is where your property’s rates are the same across all of the places you list your property.


SC – this is the abbreviation for Self-catering.

Search engine – a program that searches, based on your input and requirements the world wide web.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – the process of increasing website traffic by ensuring you appear ahead in search engine searches. This blog will help.

Search engine management (SEM) – this is online marketing that sees the promotion of websites by increasing their SEO.

Self-catering – this is a type of vacation rental, that will commonly give guests the ability to cater for themselves (usually has a kitchen or cooking equipment).

Social media – social media comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, most commonly a website that has user profiles and the ability to create and share content. A popular example is Facebook. SuperControl can integrate with Facebook if you have more that 2000 page likes.

SuperControl – we are a booking management and channel managing service that allows you to manage your self-catering accommodation with ease. We aim to save you time, make you more money and allow you to maintain control of your holiday rental business.


Ts&Cs – this is short hand for terms and conditions.

TIA – this is an abbreviation for ‘thanks in advance’.


UpFront Reviews (UFR) – this is a review service, offered as part of SuperControl’s booking management and channel manager service. Follow this link for more info.


Vacation rental – this is a property that is available to be booked by the general public.

VAT – this is short for value added tax. Follow this link for more advice on what VAT is, and if you should be paying.