From selling rooms to selling space and time: How Zoku built the infrastructure to support ‘hybrid hospitality’
“One of the key things we learned is we’re no longer just selling rooms as a hotel,” Reinier Bunnik, Operations Director at Zoku, told us. “We’re selling time and square meters, and this is where we had the opportunity to provide what we call ‘hybrid hospitality.’”
Zoku is a fascinating story of hospitality provided for the growing population of globetrotting professionals, digital nomads, and remote workers. Opened in 2016, the Dutch brand invented a new category in the hotel industry with its home-office hybrid concept, Zoku Loft.
The brand aims to support the future of work with its multipurpose business facilities that allow employees to connect while working from anywhere. The concept, which goes beyond the standard hotel goal of “putting heads in bed”, has won numerous awards and received glowing reviews from guests for its vibrant Social Spaces, sustainability initiatives, and unique community that facilitates connections between residents and locals.
Reinier knows something about that globetrotting life himself, having lived on three continents and worked at everything from 3-star hotels to 5-star resorts. “I think I'm probably a good example of a hospitality nomad,” he laughed. “One of the greatest things about hospitality is that you can throw a dart on the global map and you can probably work there. This industry certainly provides the greatest adventures and stories to tell in the bar at night.”
Shiji Group is a multinational technology company that provides software solutions and services for enterprise companies in the hospitality, food service, retail, and entertainment industries, ranging from hospitality technology platform, hotel management solutions, food and beverage, and retail systems, payment gateways, data management, online distribution and more. Founded in 1998 as a network solutions provider for hotels, Shiji Group today comprises over 5,000 employees in 80+ subsidiaries and brands in over 23 countries, serving more than 91,000 hotels, 200,000 restaurants, and 600,000 retail outlets.
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Based in Houston, Texas, USA, Valencia Hotel Group is a hotel management company specializing in the development and operation of full-service luxury hotels.
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