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.

Let us make you world class

Picking the right crowdfunding platform

Picking the right crowdfunding platform



With so many different crowdfunding models and platforms available, picking the right crowdfunding platform for your project may feel quite confusing… Here’s a beginner’s guide to the different types of crowdfunding platforms, which one you should pick for your project and why.

What is the right crowdfunding platform for my project?

Example 1: One-off costs

I need to raise a lump sum to pay for something essential to my project

Perhaps you need to buy new equipment, hire a venue for an exhibition or event, or pay to have your tour bus repaired? For this type of project, you want to raise money to pay for one-off costs associated with a project or starting something new.

What is the right crowdfunding platform for this project?


By using a rewards-based crowdfunding platform or a donation-based crowdfunding platform to raise money, you can gather together lots of small payments from your crowd to reach a specific target before a specific deadline. You are likely to be able to attract larger contributions by using a rewards-based crowdfunding platform as opposed to a donation-based crowdfunding platform.

  • You’ll need to communicate to your backers why you need to make this one-off purchase and how it will improve your life, their life and the lives of people they care about.

Example 2: Regular Support

I run a regular event or produce regular content for people to enjoy

Perhaps you produce things like podcasts, community events, online videos or other things that you don’t charge money for? For this type of project, you want to raise money to pay for on-going costs associated with keeping different activities going.

What is the right crowdfunding platform for this project?


By using a subscription-based crowdfunding platform to raise money, you can gather together lots of small payments from your crowd each month to provide a regular income for your project. This is a way to set up a regular ‘tip jar’ for people who like (or benefit from) what you do to show their appreciation, with lots of small contributions adding up over time.

  • You’ll need to communicate to your backers how their contributions support you to keep your project going, and what value it brings to their life and the lives of people they care about.

Example 3: Making a new ‘thing’

My project will result in a ‘product’ that people want to own or take part in

Perhaps you are planning to publish a new book / album / game etc., devise & show a new theatre piece, or produce a series of artists multiples? For this type of project, you want to raise money to pay for the up-front costs associated with publishing, production or manufacturing.

What is the right crowdfunding platform for this project?


By using a rewards-based crowdfunding platform to raise money, you’ll be able to raise the money for all the up-front costs ahead of the project (through lots of small payments from your crowd) and at the same time have a way to distribute your products (as rewards) to people who want them.

  • You’ll need to communicate to your backers that your campaign is their opportunity to support your new project by ‘pre-ordering’ (ie making an up-front payment for a reward they will receive later. You’ll also need to communicate how their contributions make a massive difference at this stage of the project (ie allow the project to happen at all!) and what value the finished product will bring to their life and the lives of people they care about.

What else should I consider when choosing my crowdfunding platform?

There are a few other special things to note when deciding on which crowdfunding platform to use.

Do I go for “all-or-nothing” or “flexible funding”?

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between All Or Nothing and Flexible Funding models in crowdfunding, with examples of the platforms that use each model.

All Or Nothing

Flexible Funding

You only receive your pledges if you hit your target.You keep all your pledges, whether your projects hits the target or not.
This option is avilable on the majority of rewards-based crowdfunding platforms like KickstarterIndieGoGoCrowdfunder.This is usually the default option for donation-based crowdfunding platforms like JustGiving and GoFundMe and is available on some of the rewards-based crowdfunding platforms like Crowdfunder and IndieGoGo.
For example: For example: 
If you set your crowdfunding target at £10,000 and have only raised £9,000 by the end of your 30 day campaign, in an all-or-nothing campaign you will not receive any funds and no money will be taken from your backers cards.If you set your crowdfunding target at £10,000 and have only raised £4,000 by the end of your 30 day campaign, in an flexible funding campaign you will receive all of the funds you have raised.
All Or Nothing campaigns are best for:Flexible Funding campaigns are best for:
  • projects that need to reach a certain target to be able to actually start the project
    • eg – publishing projects that have a minimum ‘print run’, or something large you need to purchase
  • projects where any amount of money raised will be useful to help the project happen
    • eg – an on-going project where other sources of funding are available, or where the project creator can make up any shortfall in funding themselves
  •  introducing a feeling of jeopardy to your campaign
    • where backers and the project creator respond to the ‘risk’ of not reaching the target, by pushing harder for support and (usually) making higher average pledges.
  • campaigns for charities or ’causes’
    • flexible funding campaigns are more like a way to collect together donations
  • raising more money overall
    • REMEMBER: you need to set your target carefully (to make sure it is achievable, but still covers the costs you need to deliver the project & rewards)


  • raising smaller amounts of money
    • Using a flexible funding campaign will usually lead to lower individual pledges (averaging around £10 per backer)


 Is my project eligible for match-funding?

Depending on where you live, or the type of project you are fundraising for, you may be eligible for matched crowdfunding. Matched funding is the potential to attract extra funds into your campaign from organisations like local authorities, grant-giving bodies or charitable foundations.

I have moved this section to its own post, which you’ll find at the link below:

This type of match-funding for crowdfunded projects is only available on a small number of crowdfunding platforms, and the types of funds available change all the time. You’ll find some examples at:

If you are eligible for matched crowdfunding, this may effect which is the right crowdfunding platform for you, how you set your funding target, the type of information your include in your project pitch and whether you run an All Or Nothing or Flexible Funding campaign.

Read more about this in my Matched Crowdfunding post…

Best crowdfunding models for beginners

Rewards-based crowdfunding

Donation-based crowdfunding

Subscription-based crowdfunding

Project creators offer rewards, “perks” or other incentives to potential backers based on how much money they contribute to the project.Project creators ask backers to make one-off cash donations to support the project.Project creators ask backers to make small regular, on-going cash donations to support the project.
Backers receive the selected reward once the project is realised.Backers don’t receive any  rewards from their donations.Backers may receive access to subscriber-only feeds, products or information.
Example platforms Example platformsExample platforms

Crowdfunding models beginners should avoid

Equity crowdfunding

Donation-based crowdfunding

Project creators offer a small financial stake (or micro-investment) in the project based on how much money a backer contributes to the project.Project creators acquire a loan, financed by backers who lend a small amount of money to the project creator (via a peer lending platform).
Backers receive a financial return on their donations, once the project they have invested in makes an ‘exit’ in the future (eg the company is sold, or shares in the company are launched on the stock market).Backers receive both their original stake and a fixed rate of interest at an agreed later date (like a fixed-term savings account). However, these returns are not guaranteed in the same way as traditional savings and this is a high-risk investment for backers.
This is a type of ‘share offer’, and is an alternative way for start-up businesses to raise money through selling shares in the future success of their projects.This is a type of peer-to-peer lending, sometimes refered to as mini-bonds, and is an alternative to getting a bank loan to fund a project (usually with a lower rate of interest to the project creator / borrower).
 Extra regulations & work involved Extra regulations & work involved
Project creators need to prepare & publish a clear business plan, income projections and other documents for potential backers to examine.Project creators need to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan in the time required and projects must be approved by the lending platform.
 Example platforms  Example platforms

Alternatives to crowdfunding – other platforms you can use to gather money from backers

If you want to set up a ‘tip-jar’ for one-off donations, or simple regular subscriptions:

  • Use Libreapay – low-cost recurrent donations platform (only takes donations in € and $, but can be used by UK users)
  • Use Open Collective – collect recurring contributions from supporters, reimbursing expenses & manage group accounts (publicly, in a transparent way) – potentially useful for meetups, open source projects, small membership organisations, clubs and associations etc.
  • Use a payment processor (like Paypal or Stripe) to set up a “Donate” payment button or recurring payment options to include in mailshots or on your website.

If you want to set up a way for people to make Pre-Order Payments & Delayed Payments, Installments and Split Payments, or embedding these things in your own website:

  • Check out Celery – a custom pre-order payments platform

If you want to sell memberships, online courses, and digital downloads to your audience:

  • Try Podia (although the up-front costs are quite high)

For advanced users: If you’re interested in setting up your own Custom Donation Forms, Donation Pages, Peer-to-Peer Fundraising or Recurring Donations, or embedding these things in your own website:

  • Check out Donately – especially useful for setting up hybrid projects (combine reward-based campaigns with one-off donations, or regular subscription payments)

Read the Original Articles here


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

Reinvesting in your success – The reason to remodel is in the numbers

Reinvesting in your success – The reason to remodel is in the numbers


In the article “10 things you need to know before starting a restaurant remodel” in the open table on June 18, 2021, Olivia Terenzio lists some helpful tips for those considering a renovation of their restaurant space. 
Making sure your concept evolves is key to staying relevant. We agree that the best goal for restaurant owners is to be the leader of the pack, setting the standards.
What this article overlooks though, are steps to ensure that a restaurant remodel is profitable. We would like to add the things that in our point of view are important to consider.  
Read on for our top tips and takeaways.
Realize that a remodel creates a special opportunity for your business. 
With proper planning, a remodel can help you profitably fine-tune your image. 
Customers place added value on a sleeker experience. When you improve the restaurant with an updated design and new features to enhance the eating experience, customer perception can be transformed. In turn, the customer will be more willing to pay for the added benefits. Refreshes can also attract new customers which in turn generate new revenue.
To help win more people over, consider an investment in doing more training with your employees to match this new experience with exceptional service. The value of a visit is based on the entire experience If you increase the value of a visit, customers are willing to pay a higher price, and they’ll come back.
Determine your expectations for return on investment and revisit menu pricing before you reopen. 
A remodel is a big investment on many fronts. Before you start, it’s important to plan for recouping the expenditures and to be realistic about how long it may take. Also, as you estimate the return on investment, consider lease terms and potential loss of revenue due to paused operation during the remodel. 
The ROI analysis needs to include updated menu pricing in the equation. With smart menu pricing decisions, you can offset the costs of the work overtime, without hurting customer traffic. When it comes to adjusting menu prices, this should be determined while the remodel is underway, not after reopening as your opportunity to make significant menu price changes will generally decline once you’ve opened your doors again.
Invest in improving the restaurant when it is doing well
Don’t wait until your location is in trouble. Think about making improvements when you are performing well. If your location is viable, you should always consider how to attract and retain customers, working towards same-store sales improvement.

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 Student Hotel Groningen - Interior Design

The future of the office space in a remote work world

The future of the office space in a remote work world

In this strange pandemic era, we all have very different experiences of the workplace, and it’s been fascinating to watch this develop over the past year. As the rise of remote work accelerated, the immediate hypothesis was that working from home would be the new normal. According to McKinsey 2020 research, 80 percent of people questioned reported that they enjoyed working from home more than going to the office.  

In 2021 we are not so sure anymore. Recent research suggests that there is a negative emotional impact of remote working compared to office-based work. People are feeling lonely and having trouble disconnecting at the end of the day. It seems that even though we can be productive from home, the physical office will not become irrelevant. However, when people come back to the office they will be forever changed by their pandemic experience. This means that what they want will also be different. 

So, what will the new normal really look like?

Workspaces are becoming multi-purpose and multi-modal

The workplace must be a hybrid experience that leverage the best of both remote and office work.The future office is a place that incorporates the best aspects of the office, your home, coffee shops, co-working, and hotel lobbies. 

The future office is a smarter shared workspace

The focus should be on creating a space for the shared activities that work best in person. This means more collaborative workspaces, with fully loaded videoconferencing options to link up in-person and work-from-home staffs. 

The future office uses tech to make things easy and ensure health and safety

In the new normal, office workers will want to avoid crowded spaces and long lines. You might see more usage of mobile apps, where employees can check what’s for lunch or book a conference space. 

The office of the future will succeed or fail based on whether it provides what the future office workers demand. Forget bad coffee and fluorescent lighting. To compete, offices must be a space that holds a thriving community and that is the perfect spot for collaboration, meeting new people and learning new things.

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