Backlinks: are you exposed enough?

Backlinks: are you exposed enough?

Okay, we know what we did there. This has nothing to do with your privacy. Or maybe it does. No, we were just joking again. We want this article to provide a quick guide on how to improve your business’s digital presence through *crescendo sound of drum beats* backlinks.


This incredible way to boost your awareness on Google is as useful as forgotten.

Backlinks are links on a website that take you to another website. Yes, as simple as it sounds, they have been present since the beginning of the Internet as we know it nowadays.

So, if this is that simple and has been with us all this time, how is it so neglected? Why aren’t many businesses and brands making it a priority for their SEO strategy?

Well, if we want to know the answer to these questions, we will have to clarify what is Google’s position on this and how they want them to be used.


Suppose we had to mention just one aspect that will undoubtedly boost the quality of the backlinks redirecting to your website. In that case, authority is the word that could answer all those questions previously stated.

good backlink

As we all know, what makes your website rank on Google’s search engine better than other websites, is the quality of your site. In other words, Google gives it authority after considering the value it provides to its audience.

That being said, the authority the website hosting that link holds influences the relevance of the backlink. Therefore, the real challenge for new brands is to get quality backlinks.

But don’t discourage yourself since even the highest-ranked website was a newborn brand that started from zero some while ago.

lost meme

Here we will share with you three ways of getting backlinks for new brands:

1.Content has been and always will be king → First things first, you need to provide your audience and future visitors with some value. Start writing posts and articles on your website, content that must be of great value for your current audience and future visitors.

Once your website is valuable enough, you can start sharing your content on your socials or even with other content creators in your field. Knowing that your content is beneficial and trustworthy, your website will begin to be mentioned by other websites or content creators. Soon you will be counting your first backlinks from sources of great authority.

2.Guest posts → Creating content is not an easy task, not to mention keeping consistency over time. Believe it or not, content creators struggle with consistency and lack of ideas.

How can you help them and get some high-quality backlinks in return? Simply by reaching out to them and lending your hand. Offer to write or create some content for them to help them remain consistent and relevant. As a consequence, at the end of every post or article, they will provide their audience with a link taking them directly to your website. That’s what we call a win-win.

Make sure the web you are providing content to is in your niche or field; that way, you will ensure that Google will consider that link as a high-quality one.

3. Influencer outreach → This should not be a way of getting backlinks on its own, just a complementary tool to boost your number of backlinks knowing that you are already providing value through your content.

Once your content and posting are solidified and consistent, you can reach out to some influencers in your field for collaboration. The aim should still be to enrich your audience and genuinely interact with them through content of great value.

If what you have to offer is good enough, you will get those collaborations. And together with them, some high-quality backlinks from websites or socials of paramount authority will expose you enough.

You’re on the right track!


Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class


What’s the deal with keywords? A brief ‘ABC’ for scaling up your marketing strategy

What’s the deal with keywords? A brief ‘ABC’ for scaling up your marketing strategy


Scaling up your business is an effort, especially marketing wise. The better you position yourself, the higher the chances in front of the competitors. Online, we’re talking about SEO, keywords and web performance metrics. These elements translate into a well integrated digital marketing strategy.

Surely, you have heard about the importance of keywords or at least the notion of ‘keywords’ once. You know that they are essential to work well with the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your website or your blog content, but you do not quite understand why…

This article will explain what keywords are and why they are essential for your marketing strategy. In addition, we will explain step by step how to choose the best keywords for your plan and what tools you may need.

Shall we start?

To begin with, we are going to define what keywords are. The keywords or simply keywords refer to the terms (composed of one or more words) that Internet users use to search in the digital world in general. For example, ‘inbound marketing’ and ‘small business digital marketing’ are possible word combinations users might type in their browser’s search box.

Why do we need keywords?

And as you may have already guessed, doing good keyword research is essential for many reasons:

  • Keywords are the primary way for users to find our blog or web page since, today, there are very few who write the URL directly in the browser. Therefore, they are the first step to guarantee the visibility of our brand online.
  • A good selection makes it possible for our website to appear higher in the search engine results and, therefore, attract traffic that is much more organic.
  • Keep in mind that the first three results of Google monopolize the majority of visits, and that very few users go beyond the first page of results.
search keyword

Keywords are also extremely helpful in defining the main content and its structure and the different posts published.

You have already seen that keywords are essential pieces in the complex gear of positioning (SEO). Therefore, it is necessary to correctly select the ones you will use on your website or blog and in its different posts.

The selection is a complex process in which the analysis is mixed with a web page and its ideal audience (buyer persona) and the competition.

One step at a time.

The search process can be divided into the following phases:

1. Analysis of the website or blog

This analysis must be complete and broad since you have to consider the topics you want to deal with and the possibilities of your page and its situation compared to the competition.

2. Define your buyer persona

Once you are clear about the position of your website against the competition, you can move on to the next phase, which consists of the exhaustive definition of your ideal audience or buyer persona, their needs and how they perform searches to solve them and obtain information.

3. Choose the keywords to position

You have to find a balance between the searches generated by these words and your competition.

4. Identify long-tail keywords

You have to find a balance between the searches generated by these words and your competition. (e.g.instead of using ‘food’, use ‘healthy food in Amsterdam’)

5. Algorithm changes and how it affects keywords

It would be best to keep in mind that numerous algorithm changes in Google reaffirm the positioning of keywords.

And you? Have you already started with your keywords or keywords strategy? What are the results telling you? 

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class

world innovation

The future of your company vs the future of the world: embrace innovation

The future of your company must align with the future of the world: embrace innovation

world innovation

The complexity of humankind is what makes us move forward and differentiate ourselves from any other species of the world. For us, human beings, survival is not enough to keep going and stay alive, unlike the other species; we rather feel the need to be better than our ancestors were. Our eagerness to constantly renew ourselves is innate in us. Creativity and innovation are in our DNA.

So, knowing the reasons behind our kind’s success and its lead on the world, we apply that exact same key ingredient for our company’s potion of success.

Vertical farming as a way of enriching our world

The start-up Plenty is a great example that shows the path we all should follow: caring for the world’s tomorrow and acting in that regard.

That’s why we decided to share this article on our LinkedIn account last Tuesday because this is a great example that corroborates the possibility of attaining the previously stated.

sustainable innovation

The vertical farming proposal brings plenty of benefits for both the companies involved in this field and the wellbeing of the entire world itself. Seeing Walmart investing and supporting this type of business scheme is certainly something to celebrate. This sets an example for many other players in the retail industry and not only.

For that, we will see noticeable improvements regarding the spatial distribution at any kind of store implementing this new concept (in relation to leaving more room for other similar innovations). Moreover, we expect an upgrade regarding sustainable production and eventually its perpetual promotion by industry giants who take corporate social responsibility a level over and above.

solve challenge
What is Our role in this?

At Kajola, our purpose is to provide something valuable to the world. We do this by helping those who are passionate about the food and beverage sector and providing them with the best solutions that will boost their impact in this field and allow them to make a difference by keeping them innovative. Being different keeps you ahead of the game.

Kajola, beyond business?

To sum up, the main goal of this article was to do justice to what Kajola really means, the poetry behind the letters. Kajola’s meaning in Nigerian is  Let’s make it together. Because we are here to make the difference, to enrich the hospitality and food & beverage sector, but most importantly, to make it together. That is why we are among the first to be proud of our counterparts’ achievements and share their successes with the world. It is all about our individual contribution to bettering the world measured through our collective blood, sweat and tears.

Innovation is the most difficult thing to achieve, nonetheless the only way of moving forward. Thus, if we all agree on it, let’s handle this challenge shoulder near shoulder. The future is in our hands, and learning with and from each other is easier than struggling alone.

Let’s make it together!


Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class

the purpose statement

Strong and thriving organisations: The power of a purpose statement

Strong and thriving organisations: The power of a purpose statement

purpose ideation processThe complexity of the human ideation process is rather challenging to transpose into words. However, delimitating patterns in our thinking, ordering our ideas and capturing them in phrases helps us find meaning and reasoning in our daily lives. Products of the human mind – business ideas, plans and strategies need careful precision and sculpting to become individual and functional entities.

purpose ideation process
Putting your business’s DNA on paper

Nowadays, any well-established brand has set and defined the following aspects:

  • Mission – what they do
  • Vision – what their direction is
  • Strategic goals and objectives – what they want to achieve in the short/long-term
  • Norms and values – what they stand for

But what about the ‘why’? What about a company’s reason for being, beyond what it does, makes or sells? It is certainly a vital piece in the identity puzzle of a brand. It is not only about justifying your value transparently in the eyes of the consumers. It is also about giving your employees and partners a reason to believe in your brand, make them want to contribute to the whole; a purpose.

So, what is a purpose statement?

Let’s define first the notion of purpose. The purpose ‘is a central, organising principle that guides employee actions at all levels of the company and provides an authentic foundation for strategy, culture, investment decisions, and societal impact’ (BCG, 2018). Implicitly, the purpose statement is an official declaration of the company’s fundamental reason for existence. Google’s ‘Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible’ would be an example. It is essential to notice that it highlights an everlasting social good, independent of profit and never wholly possible.


To say that companies have historically missed the ‘purpose’ aspect would be deceitful and illogical. The purpose is the naturally occurring intersection of the two fundamental questions: ‘who are we?’ and ‘what societal need do we meet?’. Now, the importance attributed and the extent of its enforcement make today’s purpose different from the purpose of the past. Moreover, the birth of this trend is also owed to a shift in stakeholders’ attitudes.

the purpose statement
stakeholders need purpose

Today’s stakeholders care. From customers to employees to suppliers, vendors and investors, the accent falls on the greater value: the commitment of your brand to ensure sustainable growth, fair returns and positively impact society.

Lately, we have witnessed a significant rise in people’s consumption consciousness and beyond-profit decision-making. Read here our last article! This has naturally strengthened the need for meaningful and inspiring market models: purpose-driven companies.

These are the companies that successfully embed the purpose element in both their internal and external climate. They create deeper connections with consumers, do more for the communities they work with, attract and retain talent.

Entrepreneurs, take notes!

If you’re setting up your brand, then do so authentically! Build the purpose of your company righteously from the beginning and learn to implement it across all levels of your business. As an entrepreneur, you obviously have to understand and believe in your brand, but the challenge lies in inspiring and making others believe in it as well. The purpose will form the underlying pillars of homogeneity and compactness of your organisation.

Nourish the power of a good purpose
  1. Tell your story. Make it sound.

Authenticity starts with quality storytelling. See Airbnb and their highly famous: ‘Belong anywhere’ purpose statement. It moved the brand away from the business of houses and rooms to the business of home and experiencing a place like a local. The company even launched a campaign using ‘Belong Anywhere’ to raise more than $1 million for refugees through USA for UNHCR.

  1. Act and stay accountable. 

Being an authentic, purpose-driven business starts with storytelling but overruns the words dimension. Take action, be responsible and communicate your steps honestly. This will effortlessly instil trust and loyalty in your customers. Max Burgers, a Swedish fast-food restaurant chain, launched in 2018 the world’s first climate-positive menu. The company took the initiative to tackle the climate crisis and reduce green gas emissions proving its commitment towards social responsibility and the courage to be original. This way, they earned an undeniable ‘trusted brand’ status.

  1. Touch.

Don’t forget that you need to impress humans ultimately. Leading with purpose means resonating with all stakeholders involved. Make your story touching, be relatable, listen and include.

  1. Once you plant it, let it grow!

All brands are born with a primary purpose. But nobody said that this ‘why’ is not subject to further evolvement and refinement. It is equally important to know that an authentic, deeply-rooted purpose is the result of a collective and inclusive process involving all stakeholders of your business. Activating and implanting true purpose in your company’s culture means taking your hands off. Once articulated, it must transcend the organisation, nurture bonds and a shared value system. From there, it will grow organically and reinforce your company’s DNA over all communication channels.

Our purpose at Kajola

Create solutions that have an impact.

We’re devoted to making the hospitality, food, and drinks scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for experience seekers everywhere. It all starts at our heart. We’re just people who are passionate about food, drink, and great guest experiences. Thus, we translated this passion in the form of ‘Kajola’: sharing our creativity and knowledge with the rest of the world. We made this our purpose.

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class

climatarian protesting

Climatarians on the rise: conscious consumerism

Climatarians on the rise: conscious consumerism

You might have heard of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian…but climatarian? What does this novel term entail? Is it a way of eating? Is it related to environmental activism? Does it describe a new buying behaviour? Is it really novel?

The answer? It’s all of them and more.

Climatarians are here and they care. They care about how their present actions impact the future and they are willing to change, adapt and most importantly, advocate while doing it. 

However, it is not about a collective movement or pattern, but about the variety of small, individual details at a personal level that could make a difference. It is about one’s concern for tomorrow and drive to make today better. From eating habits to travelling preferences and resource management, it all comes down to generating the least environmental impact. Climatarianism builds the fundaments of a new embracing-all-manner social and economic behaviour.

A brief look at the roots 

The term ‘climatarian’ was first popularised through a publication from The New York Times in 2015. Its appearance was stirred by the emergence of a diet practice aimed at reducing the carbon footprint. One year later, the word became listed in the Cambridge Dictionary defined as ‘a person who chooses what to eat according to what is least harmful to the environment’. As society’s awareness of climate change has continued to grow, so the notion of ‘climatarian’ has begun to grasp new valences.

climatarian protesting
From thinking beyond your plate to thinking beyond your every step

Today’s climatarian still places importance on conscious eating in all its aspects: sourcing, logistics, packaging, seasonality, plant-based alternatives and waste. However, genuinely caring and trying to drive change implies more. Besides their food choice, today’s climatarians think about how many emissions are generated by the way they dress, move around or entertain themselves. Cloth recycling, train rides over flights, cycling over driving and sustainable home appliances are few of the infinite range of climatarian-friendly practices.

Lead others by inspiring them: how to become a climatarian

We’re going to say it again. The number of possible every-day actions with which we can fight climate change is infinite. Being a climatarian means more than an adjective. It translates into an honest commitment to protect yourself and the planet by starting with minor daily gestures.

Are you ready to make a change for yourself?

Here are some suggestions on how you could lower your footprint successfully (and your costs!).

  • Reuse. Recycle: assess critically your needs, lengthen goods’ life or find them new a purpose

Did you know that recycling 1 glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours?

  • Practice sustainable mobility: choose the least polluting transport mode

Did you know that Amsterdam-Brussels by plane generates between 26 and 56 kg of CO2, while doing the same journey by train produces emissions of just 1.7 to 2 kg?

  • Eat wisely: select the most local, seasonal, least processed and least packaged products possible.

Did you know that local food has more nutrients? The time between harvest and your table is shorter, thus it is less likely that the nutrient value of the product decreases. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has travelled and sits in distribution centres before it gets to your store.

  • Avoid use of plastic

Did you know that the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the oceans every minute?

  • Forget the price, check the label first: look for certification marks that guarantee low impact on the planet such as EU Ecolabel.

Did you know that as of September 2021, 2 057 licences have been awarded for 83 590 products (goods and services) in the EU market?

  • Make your home more sustainable: improve your energy and water use efficiency

Did you know that an incandescent lamp converts about 9-10 percent of the energy fed to it into light, whereas LEDs convert nearly 100 percent of the energy they consume as light? Wow. Your wallet definitely felt that.

sustainable packaging
sustainable transport
sustainable home
Living to make a difference

Let’s be frank. Reaching the status of a perfect climatarian is anything but easy. We live in a social and economic context that wants us to consume frenetically. We are used to squandering energy without asking ourselves where it comes from or the consequences wasting it. Nonetheless, we are becoming more aware, more educated and more action-driven. Being consistent with some of the above-mentioned suggestions on a daily basis already makes one part of the progress. So, let’s make it together.

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class

co-founder UK

Co-founder search: projecting the role and casting the right partner

Co-founder search: projecting role and casting the right partner

co-founder UK
lone wolf or team player?

Initiating, building and managing a brand is just like producing a movie with one major difference. In the filmmaking process, you have more than one leading brain. The film producer handles the business side of the filmmaking process from coordination, budgeting, crew hiring to marketing. The film director oversees and operates the creative process of the movie meaning controlling the film’s artistic and dramatic aspects.

However, business founders often find themselves lone wolves in the process of sculpting and crafting their business idea. Writing the script, finding actors, leading them, stirring the creative direction, revising the progress, keeping everything together and moving is a permanent commitment. Thus, at some point, solo founders happen to realize that they can’t make or don’t want this to be an individual commitment anymore: they want a partner.

Co-founder compatibility can MAKE or BREAK a business.

Whether this takes place in the starting phase of your brand’s journey or further down the line, deciding to share ownership is a critical moment. Obvious or not, co-founder compatibility and characteristics can MAKE or BREAK a business. Finding ‘the one’ is nowhere easy, but it all comes down to asking the right questions.

abc of co-founder casting

Let’s start with the alphabet. There are three important questions you need to consider before arranging the actual casting.

A: Why do I need co-founder?

Well, it is most certain that you want to share the workload. But the ‘why’ here encompasses the exact reasons for which a partnership would be a solution. Here you outline the exact set of complementary skills you look for in a possible partner. Every co-founder should be indispensable, essentially compensating for abilities that the other lacks. These could be hard skills (technical abilities, analytics or marketing) or soft skills (leadership, tenacity or communication). This is the moment to sketch the competence profile of the desired co-founder.

B: Who do I want to be co-founding my business with?

This is not about hiring. You’re going to build and drive the whole thing together through blood, sweat and tears. Make sure you understand the impact of getting someone on-board to lead with you. It is vital that your visions align and that you have mutual value systems. Furthermore, true of commitment is another essential pillar for a collaboration. How many working hours are you dedicated to invest on a weekly basis? And what about the long-term time investment?

C: How am I going to find this co-founder?

Now that you’ve established the portrait, you can begin your quest. Scrutinize all your network, offline and offline/ personal and business.

  • Consider family and friends
  • Get the word out through your social media accounts
  • Widen your network via events, conferences and other business fairs

It’s all in the first-touchpoints.

Prepare thoroughly the first touch-points. With a bit of luck, a few interested parties will emerge for you to organize an informal kick-off meeting. Be clear, be open, be honest! In order to explore your compatibility and work synergy, work on a trial project together.

Provided the collaboration is successful, congratulations! You’ve found your co-founder.

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class

consultancy UK

Hospitality consultancy agencies in the UK – Choose the best

Hospitality consultancy agencies in the UK - Choose the best

consultancy UK
What’s the deal with hospitality consultancy agencies?

Well, one could simply see a hospitality consultancy agency as a professional sports coach. Doing business in the world of hospitality could be both as physically and mentally consuming as training for a sport discipline. Athletes strive to get under the wing of top-skilled coaches in order to take their performance to a different level. But what about businesses? Could they also reach out to a coach?

This is where us, consultants step in. We are the business coaches you look for in order to help your business move forward. Our main purpose is to assist and guide you through the challenges of your business. Therefore, our services are tailor-made to your needs and wishes. From concept and business model development to financial and marketing advice, our expertise models itself in line with the client’s request.

Why should you hire a hospitality consultancy agency?

Why not?

As a hospitality business owner, whether your company is young or well-established, you are determined to go up to the hilt in order to get your business to flourish.

In other words, you are not afraid of rolling up your sleeves and putting your back into it. But that costs you two of your most valuable resources: time & money. And it wouldn’t be a problem if you: do continuous research, know the market like the back of your hand, have eyes and ears everywhere, market like a pro and the list goes on. However, you are not a superhuman and this is serious workload. Thus, we come to lend a hand so that we could share this workload together.

We provide you with our extensive knowledge. We give advice based on our experience with the industry and we connect you to our network. To come back to the association with sports, Michael Jordan said ‘talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships’.

Kajola Consultants – How could we coach you?

Kajola is lead by Bunmi, a Londoner now based in Amsterdam. We are a small international team of dedicated creatives, designers, strategists, analysts, architects and project managers. The passion of creating solutions that have impact stays at the core of our services. Part creative agency, part consultants and part advisors, Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for hospitality, food and beverage start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates on an international scale.

Kajola consultants

Spanning 35 years we have delivered numerous hospitality, hotels, hostels, commercial building developments, restaurants, bars, cafes, retail and the odd film and tv production. Have a look at our portfolio.

Kajola consultants UK
Kajola Consultants – Why us?

We’re backed by years of experience and award-winning success stories, but…

At our heart, we’re just people who are passionate about food, drink, and great guest experiences. We’re devoted to making the hospitality, food, and drinks scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for experience seekers everywhere.

Let us be your coach!

business coaching

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class


Hospitality 2.0: a hybrid of automated customer service and human contact?

Hospitality 2.0: a hybrid of automated customer service and human contact?

Hospitality in its essence

The world seems to continue to reconfigure itself under the irreversible pandemic effect. 2020 was a critical turning point for all business sectors, especially for hospitality. Being a polysemous term, one should not only think of the disastrous effects on the industry. Yet, one should also consider the deeper meaning of the term ‘hospitality’. Hospitality symbolizes the simple and genuine relationship between the host and the guest, the ability to make someone feel welcome, to create a bond. It is essentially the main support for creating dialogue, trust, and long-term relationships with your customers regardless of the product/service you’re selling.

What do we see?

However, 2020 was about everything but creating bonds. Social distancing became the new norm and technology and automation were rapidly introduced to reduce inter-human touchpoints. As a result, hospitality as we all had been knowing it has been threatened. E-commerce and delivery services have started playing strong and driving sales greatly. Digital innovations have stepped more and more bravely into the spotlight and concepts such as ‘ghost kitchen’ and ‘grab & go’ stay at the core of new hospitality business models.

Will hospitality survive the transition to the online environment? Could we say that we are witnessing the development of a new hospitality ‘species’? Hospitality 2.0: a hybrid of automated customer service and human contact?

Certainly, the industry will not be the same. Hospitality as a practical philosophy (Jan Gunnarson’s ‘hostmanship’ theory) will adapt to the new world setting. It is a widely held axiom, that the rarer something becomes the more people place value on it. Thus, service providers who manage to successfully embed traditional hospitality in their customer relationship management will undoubtedly differentiate themselves in the market.

Online retail

For example, online retail data shows that, in the first quarter of 2021, the expenditure of Dutch consumers in EU webshops increased by 63% compared to the same period last yearThat is of course a considerably sized marketplace, however, the Dutch also occupy the first position in the EU when it comes to online returns (13%). In this sense, a customer service specialist listening and reacting empathically would significantly influence the result of the return process. As an outcome, the business will enjoy recurrent activity, increased levels of customer satisfaction and even customer loyalty.

online retail
experience retail
Experience retail

In addition, looking at the popularity of experience retail, the ‘buy-online & pick-up in store’ services or VR shopping are both hospitality-dependent models. As a consequence, customers expect real assistance and care.                            Amazon Explore’s one-on-one VR retail allows Americans to virtually visit boutiques as far as Tokyo. This does not only require an attendant who has top skills in welcoming and treating people but is knowledgeable about cross-cultural communication and etiquette.

Beyond the private sector

Apart from the private sector, the art of welcoming is slowly becoming a valuable asset incorporated in public infrastructure. Governments and their customer relationship management have not enjoyed the best reputation over time. With the increase of globalization and work mobility, this factor is of major importance for ex-pats. And the reason is really clear. Cities that manage to integrate newcomers into their community by providing careful guidance and support will overshadow other less hospitable ones. Therefore, the new reference governments should consider is how hospitable the nature of their services is. Carefully designed on-boarding frameworks and accommodation support will instantly make certain cities/countries more attractive.

We believe that authenticity wins

It is irrefutable that society has been deeply wounded during this world crisis. As we emerge, the hospitality of empathy and compassion will be one of its most precious cures. From a business point of view, it will be the source to create profitable and viable customer relationships. As hospitality scholars call them, the ‘moments of truth’ are the guest-host contacts where the magic happens. Take care of them, make them authentic and you will thrive!

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

Let us make you world class

Hospitality & Food & Beverage Trends, predictions with Bunmi Okolosi

Bunmi .jpeg

It’s that ‘back to school’ time of year again, which always feels like the beginning of something new and exciting. In honor of that atmosphere, we sat down with one of our favorite market predictors Bunmi Okolosi founder of Kajola to get his predictions, insights and hear about his latest projects. Bunmi has worked as an international consultant for Hospitality, Food & Beverage companies for over 6 years. His company Kajola is dedicated to helping start-ups, scale-ups & corporates become world-class! Bunmi is also a co-founder and moderator of our KR Academy program, that has helped launch +30 start up businesses over the last 4 years.

So spill the beans, what are your predictions for the coming fall and winter months within the industry?

Staffing struggles will continue, well into next summer for most. I think employment methods and practices will need to change for entrepreneurs. They’ll need to do things like reduce hours, increase pay, reduce shifts and most importantly utilize necessary software tools to help streamline their operations.

In New York, for example, major restaurant groups have had to be really creative in order to stay competitive with how they recruit and hire. So some have started to offer a signing bonus. When you sign a contract with them you get a bonus immediately and it’s yours to keep when you stay there for 9-12 months. Hospitality needs to turn to creative tactics in order to stay competitive.

“… mental space and joy will dictate more people’s decisions than perhaps they did before COVID. ”

Interesting! And what more? 

I suspect that there will be more people volunteering for a brand because they believe in it and/or want to enhance their experience with that brand. I also think that mental space and joy will dictate more people’s decisions than perhaps they did before COVID.

Which new food opportunity since COVID do you find striking? 

We will experience more of the 10-minute grocery market and market of convenience options (like Gorillas and Flink). This type of leisurely up to the individual’s needs will dictate the market. While COVID restrictions had a lot of downsides, people will still want to utilize aspects of the leisurely, on-the-go services that cater to an individual’s needs.

Of course, there will be consolidation in that market too, they won’t all be able to compete in this market together forever. Eventually AH and Jumbo will see the chunk of business that these 10-minute grocers have taken from them and probably by next summer they will start trying to acquire them. This is already happening in Spain and Italy. COVID has just accelerated the dark kitchen wave and the 10-minute grocery delivery has spun that model further.


Speaking of dark kitchens. How do you think this model will continue?

They are here to stay without question but what’s a more interesting question is what will the volume be? Will it maintain or decrease? I say it will decrease because people like to go out, we all want to go out again. What you will see more of within delivery and dark kitchens are the more bespoke experiences. At home food experiences like Rijks and Ron Blaauw’s rijsttafel, these types offer people an exciting food encounter in the comfort of their own home.


For all those people still on the fence about starting a new food business in today’s world, do you have any advice for them?

To me, I would recommend a person to think about several things. Do you understand the market and who you are trying to target? Cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht have a lot to offer already and are highly competitive markets. So if you don’t know your audience you will have an upward battle.

Yes, take advantage of the opportunity that is there but do your research. Know your target personas, their habits, where they shop, what they like, what they don’t like, what content they consume online and offline, etc. This way you can target them and let them know, you know. Unless you have one of those amazing kickass products that get discovered quickly by influential influencers and trend spotters you are in for a long stoke. Tourism will come back but that’s a long way off from where it was before COVID, I predict it will be almost 2 years before we get back to pre-COVID revenue levels.

“People are not loyal when they have a large amount of choice. ”

Have any tips on creating target personas?

At Kajola we use a ‘buyer mentality matrix’ – and in this method there are 2 persona types: a buyer or a maker. A buyer is a person who prefers the efficiency of buying over making something from scratch, while a maker prefers the opposite. And within those personas there is also a classification of a maximizer or satisfier. A maximizer would rather have the best food experience rather than just a satisfying food experience. This categorization alone can help you establish how to approach and sell. We use and perfected this method in our work with big players in the industry like: Unilever, Nestle, Dr. Oetker, etc.


Where do you see great potential for both food service and retail sectors to venture into?

Partnerships. They are the most cost effective to leverage a business day to day and prevent overexertion in order to get additional sales. Everyone is looking to create a lower threshold partnership in some way or another so it’s a fresh environment to tap into and can benefit all parties involved.


Can you tell us a bit more about your participation in one new initiative called Melting Pot?

Yes, Melting Pot sprung up through my involvement with Joris Bijdendijk, Lowfood Movement, Clubhouse conversations and working alongside other top industry leaders who want to see a bigger push for diversity in the Dutch market. We are just in the phase of defining our plan of action and our mission is:

‘Melting Pot’ is a group of Horeca professionals with an initiative to create more diverse representation within the hospitality industry in the Netherlands. It was born from an idea and the understanding that diversity within the industry is seriously lacking and misrepresented on multiple levels. Melting pot would like to change that for the better. Normalizing a multicultural Dutch cuisine and shining a light on the appropriate people can only enrich the industry, making a more representative and thus tastier culinary landscape.’


Sounds amazing, have you seen any expansion and push for diversity currently?

I’ve been developing an impact fund that focuses on finding investors that truly care about diversity in hospitality, food and beverage and are ready to put their money where their mouth is. I’m talking about investment into LGBTQ and people of color businesses so that they can have the opportunities to grow and be seen. Right now I am working on a big deal with this black female hotel owner who embodies exactly what I think needs to be seen and celebrated today. I think now is the time to talk about diversity. The work that Mitchell Esajas over at Black Archives is doing has caused so much awareness on race and helped momentum. Truly, it’s about having these discussions so that diversity can happen. My team always talks about supporting ‘businesses of tomorrow’ and what that means to be a business of tomorrow is that above all: people, planet and profit are your base for what you accomplish.

These 3 P’s are important and when we talk about the people portion that means we need to think and uplift all people and the market today lacks diversity. All people must be given the same opportunities and chances for development. My impact fund is not only about money but also offering people of color or LGBTQ companies more guidance in a market they have been left out of.

Do you feel like here in the Netherlands we are having a reckoning like what’s happening in the States or France for example?

Nowhere near, it feels a bit mentally cocooned here. But you have to remember the Dutch are on their 3rd or so generation chef like with Joris Bijdendijk, Denis Huwaë, or Sidney Schutte who are pushing to open the culinary landscape beyond their predecessors. Now when you look at immigrant families here, they are only in their 2nd generation chefs. Probably their parents started their food businesses in the 60s-70s and those 2nd gen kids still want to maintain their parents mentality and approach: “Dutch people love our food, they are doing us a favor.” And in this mindset they don’t think or feel a need to break free of the Dutchified commonly bland spiced variation. This is not just in the food industry, it transcends into many other sectors like politics. Did you know that the 1st black female founded political party leader (Sylvana Simons) entered the Dutch government only this year? But don’t get me wrong, Dutch do like the flavors and will frequent places that offer them when they know about it but having open, frequent conversations are just not happening and awareness is how we break barriers.

Thank you so much for having this open conversation with us Bunmi and we hope there will be many more to follow!

For all you who want to learn more about Kajola be sure to visit their website, feel free to contact them through their media outlets. The Kajola Guidance Program is going on now. They work with startups, scale ups and corporates to help in all facets of what each business level needs.

Kajola is dedicated to creating solutions for international hospitality and food start-ups. We’re devoted to making the hospitality and food scenes richer, more diverse and more rewarding for food lovers and experience seekers everywhere.

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