John van de Bunt became the new Director at HFC Integrated this September. Those who know him well value his genuine interest. On the other hand, he also has a strong commercial drive. After all, there can only be innovation with growth. At HFC, John has one important mission, namely that there are better ways of doing things. We’re happy to introduce him; there is a good chance you’ll run into him someday.

 It hasn’t even been a month since he became the brand-new Director of HFC Integrated. A new challenge means getting to know many new people, meeting clients, exploring the hospitality and facility markets, and making plans.

You have only just started working at HFC. What's your first impression?
 "While it might sound cliché, HFC feels like coming home. It's truly a 'people' company. You can tell they're always happy to see each other, there's a considerable focus on people with plenty of opportunities to grow and develop, and everyone has a healthy dose of ambition. All of this is right up my alley. I love being around people, am always looking for new opportunities, and can apply my creativity to develop solutions."

Why did you take this step to becoming Director at HFC?
 "The great part is that all aspects of my previous positions come together at HFC. In recent years, I have worked as a sales manager and commercial director at the corporate catering companies Appèl en Markies, facility organization ATALIAN and the Hospitality Group, among others. Apart from my work at HFC, I mentor young entrepreneurs and have helped many graduating students. Working with young people with new ideas and a different take on things is so energizing! Collaboration, growth, innovation, hospitality, facility, sales; it all comes together at HFC, and I envision amazing opportunities for our organisation and our clients."

A new Director usually also means a new, fresh outlook. What kinds of steps do you hope to take at HFC?
 "When I talk about the future, I'm referring to a period of three to five years. This is realistic and manageable. HFC is already a truly integrated player with great experience in the hotel business. If it were up to me, HFC would hold a full-fledged position in the facility landscape. I want people to see us as a young, refreshing service provider with an excellent feel for hospitality. I believe that companies can learn a lot from the hotel hospitality concept. This is the future."

Why do you think hospitality is so important for companies and offices?
 "Over the past few weeks, I visited several different CitizenM hotels. We provide facility management services for all CitizenM hotels worldwide. When you walk into one of these hotels, you no longer see an old-fashioned lobby where you're just welcomed; instead, the entrance is a lively meeting place where you check in, drink a cup of coffee, and can often also have breakfast and even get some work done. In short, it's a dynamic and multifunctional space where the expensive square meters are used. So many companies can learn from this concept. How often do you still see these 'old-fashioned' reception areas where you have to give your name and then wait in a seating area for the person you came to meet with? Shouldn't there be a better, more hospitable way? You could easily use This expensive floor space for several different functions."

Different, more efficient, and above all, more guest friendly. But how?
 "We are seeing many more people working from home due to the COVID pandemic. However, many companies would rather see their people returning to the office. This means you have to make the office an appealing workplace. You can work from home but only meet with people at the office. This means you have to set up your facility services in a way that appeals to your employees. Make it a place where it all happens and where people enjoy spending a few days a week. People should feel welcome, and comfortable. This also means you can—and should—better manage the occupancy rate. After all, if everyone comes to the office on the same day, there's a good chance there won't be enough work or meeting spaces available. And on quieter days, it would be a shame if the lights or heating were everywhere even though half of the rooms weren't occupied. This presents an immediate opportunity to save energy. Don't look at a building as a space where certain processes occur, but as a shell within which a lot happens and where people are the focus."

You focus a lot on the people aspect, but the idea is also to earn money. Do these two things go together?
 "Attention for your employees means, among other things, that they feel valued and that you can offer them prospects. This can only happen if the organization keeps up with the times and grows. And this can't be done without commercial drive. Growth also means innovation and, in turn, new opportunities and possibilities. If you want people to come to the office, wouldn't it be great and convenient if they could reserve workspace using an app and order their favorite lunch ahead of time, for example? This is the technical side of innovation. Take our sector, cleaning, and facilities, where we use cleaning robots and sensors for more efficient cleaning. A cleaning robot takes the heavy work off people's hands, enabling them to work more comfortably and continue working longer. I also believe it's essential for cleaning staff to get the appreciation they deserve. Cleaning is, after all, part of the hospitality and experience."

Your message to the business community is that there are better ways. Is this an invitation to get to know you better?
 "Definitely! I welcome companies to come to have a cup of coffee somewhere else, on location, where they can experience the hospitality first-hand. Suppose you're interested in how your company can take a different approach and want to brainstorm other ways to set up your facility organization. Call or email me for an introduction, at no obligation."

Contact information: John van de Bunt,  (+31) (0)6 479 323 48,