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ZOKU: Temporary home for global traveler

Temporary home for global traveler

Zoku offers ideal commuting space as well as a social life

Zoku is a special hotel concept aimed at digital nomads. It offers business travelers a cozy loft as well as colorful spaces for social gathering. A home away from home, where you can live and work comfortably. The hotel owners are solution-oriented and creative - and look for these qualities in its partners as well. The choice for Statler was therefore an easy one. The platform helps financial controller Jorrit Zandstra to stay on track.

It sounds so logical. When you're traveling (longer), you don't want a functional, lonely hotel room. You're looking for a place where you feel at home. Where you can work comfortably with all the amenities readily available. And where, if you feel the need, you can spend a pleasant evening with other people. According to founders Hans Meyer and Marc Jongerius, this was lacking in the extended stay hotel market. They therefore opened "their" first Zoku in Amsterdam in 2016 with a clear goal in mind: to rent out cozy, multifunctional lofts as well as to offer a social life at the temporary housing location. You could say that the concept has 'landed' with the global target group. Zoku - Japanese for family or tribe - now has hotels in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vienna and Paris. An establishment in London is in the pipeline.        

Personal touch

Zoku deliberately chooses a defined target audience. It focuses on business travelers who stay between five nights and three months in the city. People who are open to meeting and making local contacts. 'Age is irrelevant, it's about a mindset,' says Jorrit Zandstra. With the needs of these travelers in mind, Zoku developed a fine 'home'. Not the bed is central, but the wooden dining table at which you can receive people. A nice extra are the works of art on the wall. You can choose from a wide collection to give the loft a personal touch during your stay at Zoku.


Zoku's lofts are all flexible live/work spaces; colorful and atmospheric. All the functions you have at home, from a fitted kitchen to a closet, are brought together in lofts ranging from 24 to 46 m2. 'How do we manage that? Thanks to the combination of smart design and custom interior design,' Jorrit explains. 'You can slide in the stairs to the bed, for example, to create more space during the day.' 

'Where people come together, great things happen'

Daily Fika: coffee!

In the hotel, the public areas provide a warm welcome. Guests and locals eat together in the Living Kitchen, where staff also regularly join in. On the top floor are co-working spaces, a bar, a living room, meeting & event spaces, roof terraces and lots of greenery. And don't forget that great view of Amsterdam,' Jorrit laughs. Zoku wants to make it as easy as possible to make new contacts. He therefore holds a daily Fika: the communal coffee break. Longstay guests get an intake interview to familiarize them with the Zoku concept. Those who want can join a community dinner every Tuesday. 'We also organize many events, such as a pita night and music with a Rooftop DJ. If it's up to us, Zoku is so much more than a place to stay. You'll keep inspiring contacts, good ideas and great life lessons,' says Jorrit. It sounds ambitious, but Zoku sees in practice that it works. 'Whether you stay in Amsterdam or Paris, that need for contact is universal.'     


Best compliment 

Since its first location in 2016, Zoku has been growing rapidly in Europe. Behind the scenes a ánother need grew, namely the ability to easily gain insight into finances. As Financial Controller, Jorrit started with countless Excel sheets. 'To put it mildly, that was rather demoralizing and cumbersome.' Through a former colleague, he ended up with Statler. 'The platform produces clear P&L reports and you can forecast on the budget and balance sheet: a big plus. The best compliment, oddly enough, was the irritation among colleagues. 'We were working on Statler's startup and it took a little longer than the planned two days. Colleagues couldn't wait: there was so much need for quick and clear reports!'  

A young, local company like Statler also suits Zoku well, Jorrit thinks. 'Statler also has short lines of communication they can move flexibly with our wishes. That happens regularly, because I like to give feedback on existing options. For example, I wanted fewer empty lines in the P&L and I did have ideas about the arrangement of columns. This is well taken up. As soon as I have wishes about reports, they hold up a mirror to me: do you really think this is important or can it be done differently? I enjoy working together to make a product better. That benefits me, but also Statler itself. 

Back-up in all respects

According to Jorrit, he has an excellent sparring partner in Statler, who dares to be contrary. 'You can rely on that, because owners Stefan and Maarten come from the hotel world themselves. Stefan is a financial expert and advises on data and interpretation. Statler reports according to USALI standards and that software-based thinking is completely in their DNA. For me this is very nice, because it confirms some choices. For example, I had questions about outsourced labor: is that within or outside payroll? Stefan then indicates what the universal standard is - so within payroll. Statler is a good back-up for me, also in my responsibility towards the organization. 

'The USALI thought pattern is in their DNA' 

Within Statler, Maarten has all the know-how in the IT field. Those who sit around the table with him more often know his famous statement: "I am allergic to GIGO. He is referring to faulty administration. Garbage in = garbage out, so you have to make sure the basics are right. According to Jorrit, solutions are always considered. 'For Zoku, guest satisfaction is an important pillar, in addition to finances and staff satisfaction. We therefore want to see data from our program Revinate in the reports. Statler is collaborating on this API connection and an ideal report for Zoku. Right now we mainly use P&L reports and the Daily. The next step is to extract general KPIs from Statler that fit our pillars. Statler is a data gathering place: if you use it well, it's worth its weight in gold.

Comparing apples with apples

Combining data and the option of forecasting creates peace of mind in the organization, Jorrit believes. You can give reliable EBITA figures before the end of the year. Pleasant for management, but also for shareholders and auditors. It results in more confidence, fewer surprises and a sense of control. Zoku has now been running Statler for two years and can finally compare "apples to apples," as Jorrit characterizes it. After difficult years due to COVID, it's time for growth. We are at a kind of zero point. From now on we can compare hotels properly and take even more advantage of Statler. As a young organization, we often ran into underwriting on new projects. We made assumptions about costs for cleaning and linen, among other things, because we couldn't work at a detailed level in the P&L. This is now possible and gives us a better administrative foundation for upcoming projects. Whether this will make a new hotel in London a success? 'The administrative basis and reports are like a house. So we are ready for it!'  







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