A fresh start for the hospitality industry

Client Hygeniq

Partners Jasper Spronk (website & Design)
Schoonmaakwoede (cleaning)

The Covid crisis hit the hospitality industry hard. Bars and restaurants were forced to shut down for months in a row, cutting the sector’s revenue by nearly 34 percent compared to the previous year. So when the Dutch terraces were allowed to open their doors again on 28 April 2021, there was a general sense of great relief. Bijl PR came up with a campaign in which HYGENIQ, producer of sustainable cleaning supplies, could show their support for business owners in the field.


HYGENIQ’s campaign wanted to give restaurant and bar owners a fresh start, literally and figuratively. We played into current events while making a sympathetic gesture to restaurant and bar owners, in a way that fits the brand. HYGENIQ’s helping hand provided a green and clean kick-off to the outdoor season. A Fresh Start – literally. Of course, we also involved the Dutch public in this event by enabling customers to nominate their favourite bar or restaurant for a cleaning session. Twelve businesses, one in every Dutch province, were in the running for a big spring cleaning, so that they were fully prepared and ready to go for the grand re-opening.

Thijs Nijboer of café De Beiaard, the proud winner in Overijssel
Thijs Nijboer of café De Beiaard, the proud winner in Overijssel

Together with our friends at Jasper Spronk Design, we developed a brand image and a website: www.geefdehorecaeenfrissestrart.nl (‘give the hospitality industry a fresh start’). We kicked off with the website launch.

Then, we announced the event on several different channels: a combination of paid, owned and earned media. Through HYGENIQ’s online channels, using the hashtag #geefdehorecaeenfrissestartand national and regional press releases, we urged everyone to nominate their favourite restaurant or bar (with an outside area/terrace) for a fresh start. We approached businesses and unions and informed them about our campaign, and encouraged them to share the event on their own channels using a custom-made visual and the hashtag #geefonseenfrissestart (#giveusafreshstart). We created attention via owned media channels as well. Thanks to publications in trade media, local media and a broad reach on social media, we received thousands of votes within the first three days, from all over the Netherlands. During the voting period, the national top 3 was visible in real-time on the website.

Bijl PR is a young, fresh and creative agency. They have a hands-on mentality and demonstrated that right away, during this first campaign we got to work on together. The Fresh Start was a big success, and one that they were a very important part of. From coming up with the idea, to the execution, the planning and their enormous flexibility: truly a next generation agency.

Joyce Roelofsen
Marketeer at HYGENIQ


Half-way through the campaign it became clear that restaurants and bars were forced to remain closed for longer than was first expected – just as everyone was gearing up for opening up their terrace again. To keep everyone’s attention, we started approaching local and regional media with press releases again. Using up-to-date data, we communicated the intermediate positions at a local and regional level and called on local customers to vote and show their support for their favourite bar or restaurant. Local media throughout the country once again paid attention to the event and en masse: thousands of people casted their vote.

A Fresh Start for Restaurant Mondani
A Fresh Start for Restaurant Mondani


Right before terraces were about to open up again, HYGENIC cleaning teams showed up at the winning businesses for a through cleaning. Armed with the ‘Clean Air Fogger’, HYGENIQ’s show pony, and a box full of cleaning supplies, they made sure both the inside and outside of the place were as good as new and squeaky clean again. In many provinces, this happened under the watchful eye of local media, who would then report on it extensively. To follow-up the Fresh Start, we sent out image press releases to local, regional, national and trade media, which once again led to dozens of publications. The participating restaurant owners – winning and losing – had nothing but good things to say about HYGENIQ’s event, and felt greatly supported.

Owner Mike Lodder of Taveerne de Danne won in Utrecht and the Netherlands as a whole. His bar-restaurant was nominated a whopping 1167 times.

Fantastic, to be the winner in both our province and the country. It’s a great feeling to have the support and get the votes of so many people.

Mike Lodder
Taveerne De Danne

Mike Lodder of Taveerne De Danne, National and local winner A Fresh Start
Mike Lodder of Taveerne De Danne, National and local winner A Fresh Start






1.6 million



What an amazing event to set up together with HYGENIQ. To help show our support to the hospitality industry, together with everyone in the Netherlands by nominating everyone’s favourite terrace for a fresh, environment-friendly start of the season, provided by a brand with a mission. And the positive reactions from winning businesses were the cherry on top of our work.