Zia Yusuf is the co-founder and co-CEO of Velocity, the leading premier digital hospitality service providing users with direct access to a curated selection of the world’s best dining experiences. Originally established in London in 2014, the mobile app is now dually headquartered in New York and has expanded to several other cities in the U.S. including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
Prior to Velocity, Yusuf was an executive director at Goldman Sachs. His experience as a valuable member of the equities department provided him with the skills to identify key ingredients that make successful business and how to enhance their bottom lines.
Yusuf currently spends his time in between London and New York. We recently caught up with him to learn a little more about Velocity and why he set his sights on the Miami market.
Describe the Velocity mission in three words…
Discover, access, experience.
Why should diners book through Velocity as opposed to other apps?
Our platform is 100% curated by our team of insiders in each city. Our app is visually stunning, and offers instant reservations. Nobody else is as focused as us on saving you time and delivering you moments of joy.
What do you look for when partnering with a restaurant?
We scour each city only for restaurants that create memories and deliver an experience worth sharing. That can range from a Michelin-starred chef tasting to the best burger in town.
What food trend are you really into right now?
What food trend do you wish would just go away already?
Why did you decide on Miami as one of your first expansion markets?
Miami is an important global hospitality market in the U.S. and has very strong ties to the rest of the world, especially South America and Central America. The dining scene is now growing rapidly and we’re seeing a number of trendsetting restaurants opening in the coming months. New construction and luxury development projects in the Brickell area have created gentrification in areas like Wynwood and neighborhoods surrounding the Miami River, which is a significant factor in the restaurant boom with many global, influential players involved. We’re capturing that audience with nearly 100 restaurants signed up so far in Miami in the past year.
What’s your favorite thing about Miami?
Great food with a beach view.
Describe the Miami food scene in 3 words…
Global, growing and vibrant.
Where do you see Velocity in 5 years?
Our plan is to become the go-to platform for access to a wide variety of memorable experiences in the cities all over the world.