Hospitality is all about experience creation. Michelin starred restaurants and high-end hotels have been doing this for years; focus on the begin-to-end guest experience. The total guest (or customer, but you know who has customers huh 😉) journey is designed in such a way that guests are completely engaged with the product, even before they have actually entered the restaurant or hotel. Thérèse Boer said during the Chef’s Revolution that the best marketing for your restaurant is to become friends with your guests, to understand their wishes. Understanding the total “customer journey” is one of the major assets of these properties.
People want experiences rather than a new pair of jeans
Where this used to seem an international trend for the “big names” only, we see it appearing in smaller businesses as well now. We think it is absolutely amazing! The total hospitality industry is elevating its standards to an absolute next level. No wonder why the hospitality industry is still one of the fastest growing markets worldwide, according to Deloitte’s Travel and Hospitality Outlook 2018. Travel and experience seeking are even outpacing the demand for goods and clothing! The next generations are craving for new experiences to share, so no wonder that this supply is catching up with the demand.
Time to have a look at some very promising locations in The Netherlands that deserve a shout-out for their amazing capability of creating guest experiences. Blogspitality created the list below together with Guts to Glory’s culinary thrill-seeker & partner in crime of Joël Broekaert; Ms Jorane Cuppen and Icing on the Cake’s Hospitality Manager; Ms Roos Steenbruggen.
1. Duke of Tokyo
Located on the Reguliersdwarsstraat in Amsterdam, this venue is definitely one of those you should not skip during your weekend. The total location is decorated in such a way that it makes you feel as if you’re in Asia. It is primarily a karaoke bar, but also a great place for some drinks with your friends. These boys know what they’re doing, which is reflected in their high standards for cocktails. The walk-through to the back seems like a tiny alley, you even pass by an open market-like kitchenette. Oh, and if you like sparkles and glitters, you will definitely spot them on their extravagant lavatories. Their concept was crowdfunded and the dream of the gentleman turned into reality!
On the Prinsestraat in The Hague restaurant Portfolio creates a very informal, nearly Scandic atmosphere. The restaurant is intimate, and the kitchen is fully in display. The chefs prepare the multiple-course-diner for the guests, while the waiting staff takes care of the beverages. If you are the designated driver; try the tea-pairings! What else is really appreciated about this place; eating at the bar is great. The high chairs are comfortable (Yes, thank you!) and allow for a better view into the kitchen. It shows some balls to include the best Wagyu beef (A5) in the decently priced menu.
(Photo credits: The Citizen, Hofkwartier & Blogspitality)
3. Bar Parry
Also in downtown (Jordaan) Amsterdam from the same owner as Balthazar’s Keuken, this new wine bar is located on the Looiersdwarsstraat. This bar focuses on the pre-diner experience, a good spot for an aperitif, a small appetizer and some great charcuterie. They have around 80 different wines you can try! No dress-up here, just a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy your wine, bites and a good conversation with your company.
(Photo credits: bySam)
4. The Five Points Bar & Drink Society
Kind of the only true cocktail bar in The Hague, at the moment. These guys are elevating the cocktail scene in this classy Dutch city. The quality of the products is amazing, nearly going to the Amsterdam-standard (which we think is a high-standard in NL). The bar boasts a bit of a Peaky-Blinders-atmosphere and has a certain Speak-Easy feel, which is very cool. What the Five Points Bar does really well is the organisation of seminars; guest bartenders are invited to give workshops and to share their knowledge.
(Photo credits: Esquire & Entree Magazine)
5. Kaagman & Kortekaas
When speaking about experience creation Kaagman & Kortekaas in Amsterdam is most certainly remarkable. The gentlemen own a venue with the kitchen located in the center of their restaurant, resulting in a possibility to engage and share with their guests. Their weekly altering menu is triggering and they tend to serve a variety of game and poultry. Their ability to successfully combine meat & fish is one of a kind. Products they serve are refined and often home-made.
(Photo credits: Caperleaves & Yourlittleblackbook)
6. Little V
In The Hague, Little V is already a well-known hotspot. Highly appreciated is their large choice of food in a variety of dishes (also for the vegetarians!) that can be combined and shared. This makes the place very suitable for a large audience and an ideal place to go with colleagues and friends. In the afternoon you can enjoy the sunshine on their terrace, which is the perfect spot to try their ‘lunchbox’ allowing you to try all their best lunch dishes. Also: Their cocktails are good, try their pornstar. The place is always packed, so a reservation and a bit of patience are definitely recommended.
7. Coba Taqueria
Restaurant Coba is one of the better reasons to visit Amsterdam-North. The ambiance of the venue is very typical; cactuses, wood, Mexican. To keep it simple: Coba is just the best Mexican taco place in The Netherlands right now. As soon as you walk in it feels like you’ve ended-up in a Mexican fairytale. The Belgian chef most certainly knows how to keep it simple and do that very, very well. Ingredients are treated with love and that is definitely remarkable. Front of the house is organized with so much flair by Mirthe, that you feel right at home in this Mexican part of Amsterdam. Of course, Coba has an extravagant Mezcal menu and great tequilas, including suitable condiments like grasshoppers. Yes, nice.
(Photo credits: Rien Zilvold)
8. Jackies NYC
In the east of The Netherlands located in Deventer, there is a gem called Jackies NYC. They are extremely skilled in providing a wonderful guest experience. Guests are taken on a short trip to NYC, outside of the Big Apple. A must-try is their Dragon-roll! The venue is absolutely stunning and they did a great job decorating the place and make it their own.
9. Rijsel Rotisserie
This restaurant is the perfect venue for your date-night. In an old school building with large windows and beautiful field flowers, Rijsel is creating a typically French atmosphere. Their rotisserie chicken is what they do absolutely amazing, never seen a chick so sexy before. They’re also known for their Russian salad (Huzarensalade), and whenever they get in a whole animal, they process it from nose to tail. Nice tip: On their website you can even find a few of their recipes.
(Photo credits: Cotton & Cream)
10. Huis Vermeer
To close of the list of experience-rockstars; Hotel and Restaurant Huis Vermeer. In this list of trendy hotspots we would like to finish with this more classical location. Appreciated because of its pure beauty and class, this venue is located in the city center of Deventer. The restaurant might have a classical feel, the staff is very fresh and youthful which makes the ambiance definitely enjoyable and not stiff at all. Huis Vermeer produces its own house wine (which is great!) and has a co-owner who is only 23 years old. Offering future hospitality professional this kind of opportunity is an example for the branch.
(Photo credits: MeetingReview)
What is your favourite experience-creating hotspot? Share your advice!