First We Take the Bev Storage. Then We Take the World: HQ plus and HQ revenue

3 min read
Mar 3, 2023 4:20:00 PM

How did an innovative start-up founded in the beverage store of a small Berlin hotel turn into a successful tech company?  HQ plus with its core product, HQ revenue, has grown to become a global market leader in revenue management systems. Company founder and CEO Ronald Hehn and Sven Blaurock, Head of Product and one of the original employees, chat with GRANT about the early days and Excel spreadsheets. And, of course, about the challenges facing them in the future.


Where did you get the idea to develop a product like HQ revenue?

Roland: I’d become a hotelier at that time and was suddenly faced with the task of finding the right room rates. The right orientation and positioning on the market was essential. Back then, I had to spend a lot of time finding out when and where an event was taking place, what my competitors were charging for a room, and what was happening on the international reservation portals. The questions then were the same as they are today. In the mean- time, however, considerably more complex issues have been added.

It’s hard to believe that you can answer questions like that from the beverage store of a hotel.

Roland: It all started there with an Excel spreadsheet that grew out of control ...

Sven: ... and with the night shift officers on the reception desk! Their job was to search for the competitors’ prices manually at night and to save them in an Excel spreadsheet ... Roland and I discussed how to automate this. That’s how the prototype was born. The two night shift officers were relieved; they were called Harald and Quentin: HQ. And because the new prototype was faster, we called it HQ plus.

Roland: The question we asked ourselves was how can we collect all the information a hotel needs as efficiently as possible and also make it available to the hotel industry.


GRANT3_cover_MG_MThis is an article from GRANT #3: Revenue Management from A to Z
Download and/or order here


Sven: We were already discussing forward-looking issues back then. For example, what happens if the car rental companies in a certain area raise their prices, or if there are no more rental cars available? The connection is immediately apparent; there must be guests on the road!

Roland: Such questions were an incentive for us; being able to “translate” the confusing interactions of the market and make them comprehensible and clear for hoteliers. Our goal was to combine expertise from the hotel industry with data science and sophisticated design.

Sven: The development of the web app was there- fore also a major and important step. Our clients don’t have to spend time setting it up; they can get started straight away. The functions and data are always up-to-date whenever they start up their browser.



What changes are we facing? What new sales channels will the future bring? Which technologies will play a role in the selection of travel and hotel offers in the future? What tools will hoteliers have at our disposal to assert ourselves in the market?

We created GRANT Magazine to find answers to these questions. The English to grant means to grant insights and to fulfill wishes ....

Go to GRANT Magazin

HQ revenue became the first global rate shopper to perform data analysis support- ed by artificial intelligence (AI).

Roland: We’ve been using AI for three years; not simply driven by the crises of recent years. We enable our clients and partners to make good business decisions based on good forecasts. To do this, we find exactly the data that’s relevant for the future.


Roland Hehn, CEO

Roland places particular emphasis on user and customer-oriented solutions. As a for- mer hotelier, he’s particularly interested in improving the processes of companies in the hospitality industry through high-quality products.
Sven Blaurock, Head of Product

Sven loves developing visions for products. He’s particularly skilled at identifying technical and sustainable solutions and inspires his team as well as himself to achieve perfection.



This interview is taken from GRANT#3 – Revenue Management from A to Z

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