hotelkit was born seven years ago. It wasn’t the first business I had started. I had actually failed three times already and was close to admitting myself that I was not made to become an internet entrepreneur.
I had just taken over the family business and was really frustrated with the way I had to collaborate with my 20 employees in my 50 room boutique hotel in Salzburg, Austria. There were many things I wanted to improve, but the simplest tasks seemed to be difficult to communicate. Getting a hold of hotel employees isn’t as easy as one might think – staff work different shifts, don’t have personalized email addresses and were occasionally impossible to find in the hotel. In terms of internal communication, hotels still seemed to use the same tools they did one hundred years ago: pen, paper, patience.
But, as every cloud has a silver lining, my struggle led to another spark of ideas. I reached out to colleagues in the hotel industry, wondering if they were feeling just as exasperated with communication as I was. They were. So, I convinced my co-founders from the previous projects to give it one last try. Together we started developing a communication software specializing in the needs of hotels. We moved into our very first office – room 404 at my hotel (that room number still makes coding geeks laugh) – and we bought our very first office coffee machine. Shortly thereafter, we launched hotelkit.
It has been quite the journey! Despite a rough start with constant system crashes and the like, we learned from our mistakes and, eventually, we had a product. We got our first group of hoteliers and their teams on board and perfected it according to their feedback. Being an open-minded company, inviting clients to be involved in the innovation process hasn’t been easy. Nonetheless, I firmly believe it is the right way to go. We are building a platform for the hospitality industry that changes the way hotel teams collaborate – so we love to listen to these teams and we take their feedback seriously.
Today, I am incredibly proud to announce that hotelkit has reached 1,000 clients in more than 40 countries. Over 50,000 hotel employees are simplifying their operations with the help of our software. The feedback we receive is incredible – we truly change the way hotel teams collaborate. Nobody could have dreamed of this seven years ago. I certainly did not. It is a fantastic achievement for the entire hard-working team. We operate from six different locations with a stunning 450 m² headquarter (ping-pong table and all) in Salzburg. hotelkit has grown from a tiny company with a “get things done attitude” to employing 50 exceptional young professionals from over a dozen different countries, who are pouring all their passion into building an excellent product and providing outstanding service to our clients.
Our software is now available in 18 different languages, and a multilingual support team takes care of our clients. Their professional client service and support is reflected in our near non-existent churn rate. We are constantly adding new functionalities and tools tailored to the needs of our clients – from small, independent hotels like my own to big hotels with over 1,000 rooms, from 2 to 5 stars, from well-known international brands and chains to hotel management companies. We certainly are here to stay.
Besides celebrating ourselves, this is a great occasion to applaud our clients. They are the real heroes of this success story. Without that first hotel to give us a chance, there never would have been hotel number 1,000. An enormous THANK YOU to our clients for always challenging us, for recommending us and for encouraging us. We appreciate each and every one of you!
What does the future hold? Of course, we intend to keep developing our product, improving our services, and growing our company. As we celebrate this milestone and look forward to welcoming another 1,000 customers to our hotelkit family, we are in the midst of launching our newest solution, which focuses on the needs of housekeeping departments. There is a strong demand in these departments for a tool to help tackle their challenges in order to provide an outstanding service to hotel guests. Find out more about our most recent project here.
Innovation is in our DNA, it is the driving force behind everything we do. I am excited to see what the future has in store for us. My thanks go out to everyone supporting us on our journey – my co-founders, my team, our clients and partners, and my wonderful family, who always believed in me.
Thank you for your continued support!