Ger Klaver enthusiastically answers the phone, even though it turns out he is in the middle of commissioningthe first phase of the new Jan Luyken Hotel in Amsterdam. “Is this really a good moment for an interview?” we asked the Technical Director at Eden Hotels. “No problem, just let me find a quiet corner. I am surrounded by Bulsink workers”, he laughs. “So everything will be alright.”
“We have fourteen hotels, and we have been renovating them one by one over the last eight years”, Ger begins. “It is all part of a larger plan under the motto ‘going for a nine’.”
The L’Osteria franchise chain has over 120 branches in seven countries. In 2018, it opened its first Dutch restaurant, in Amsterdam. A year later L’Osteria The Hague opened its doors. A third location was planned for spring 2020, but the lockdown forced the owners to call it off. Or rather: to postpone.
It does not change the ambitions of L’Osteria, says Raymond Groenteman, who, as one of the shareholders in the Dutch franchisee organization, is responsible for real estate, construction and the financial administration.
“Our ambition has always been to open fifteen to twenty new locations in ten years’ time. We have now been standing still for over a year. When hospitality reopens, we will simply follow our original plan.”
It seems a bit surreal, talking about Basic-Fit’s ambitions at this moment. In March 2021, gyms and fitness centres throughout Europe had already been closed for many months due to national lockdowns. Noneless, Dennis Aarts remains optimistic: “We are going to come out of this stronger.”
Having about 2 million members and 900 clubs in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Spain, Basic-Fit is the European market leader in the “value-for-money” fitness market. As a Project Supervisor, Dennis is responsible for the opening, renovation, maintenance and rebranding of Basic-Fit locations in the Netherlands and Belgium.
In October 2020, the House of Rituals opened the first two of its four floors in the centre of Amsterdam. This is not the usual kind of Rituals store of 80 square metres, but a four-storey department store of 3,000 m2 featuring a restaurant as well as a “body spa” and a “mind spa”, where visitors can immerse themselves fully in everything the brand signifies.
In a video recorded during the construction project, Raymond Cloosterman (founder and CEO) and Richard Lems (the Format and Design Director), explain how they imagine the House of Rituals to be, what is involved in the achieving such a dream, and why Rituals has already been working with Bulsink for more than 15 years.