Founder of OneZone Natasha Zone
Millennials are eating and going out more than any other generation before them – around three to four times a week on average.
One entrepreneur is capitalizing on that through an app that aims to cut down on the time millennials waste on trying to find where to head out.
“We’re about cool experiences and making it quick and easy for an experience-driven generation to find and share them,” says Natasha Zone, the 28-year-old founder of onezone.
“We have to jump between a plethora of search, booking and social platforms such as Google, OpenTable, Instagram and so on to ultimately find and enjoy one single experience.”
Onezone, Zone says, is the solution. Users of the app find, book, keep track of and share destinations and experiences.
“The current state of the smart hospitality industry for us is exciting. The future of ‘smart’ and ‘social’ search and discovery is untapped and ripe for disruption.
Smart Hospitality is growing at a CAGR of 24.3% and the industry is forecast to grow from $8 billion to $44.38 billion by 2026.
“The existing incumbents in the industry underserve and are out of touch with the next generation,” Zone continues. “The last real evolution for search and discovery platforms was in 2000 with the advent of TripAdvisor, and social media platforms haven’t solved the problem either.
“95% of millennials find out information via social media but 90% of restaurant discovery is on-the-go, and when it comes to in-the-moment need, Instagram doesn’t suffice.”
Zone says her company is responding to millennials cherishing time and trust. “onezone encourages trusted interactions and is the positive social network for an industry that is inherently social; you eat and drink with friends, family, colleagues et and you trust their opinions on where to go, eat, drink and what to do.”
Zone founded her company in early 2019 after becoming “the pivot point” for friends when they were trying to find where to go. At the time, she was working at a concierge tech startup with a decade of hospitality experience behind her.
“I quit my job and spent two months researching millennials and the marketplace and figured the things millennials do most is use tech and eat out, and I just wanted to make life easier so everyone can experience more.”
Zone says she took inspiration from the big social and transport tech companies, such as Waze, Instagram and Uber and designed onezone to be both a social and curated app.
The OneZone app
“Compared to the mass-aggregating and industry-dominating platforms like Google, OpenTable and TripAdvisor, onezone focuses upon retaining a standard of integrity, curating our content across atmosphere, aesthetics, service and food,”
Competitors include US and EU-located apps DotSpot, Nava and Skorched operating in the same space.
Zone’s goal for the upcoming years is to find investors with the “Silicon Valley mentality who understand social media”. Zone is keen, however, to not move across the pond like other companies looking to attract US investment, but instead stay put and “challenge the status quo”.
Since launch, onezone has had 20,000 users sign up who, according to the company’s metrics, open the app up to three times a day.
“We have incredible support from industry leaders and major restaurant groups,” Zone adds. “And we’re planning to launch in two new cities this year.”