Restaurants are now offering up their dining rooms for you to plug in during non-dining hours.
Coffee shops and bookstores have typically been the go-to space for remote workers looking for a quiet spot to hunker down with their laptops, headphones and third cup of coffee for the morning (keep em’ coming!). The convenient accessibility to the shops’ complimentary Wi-Fi, numerous computer outlets, and the immediate fuel of a Frappuccino blend and pastry three feet away, makes it the perfect space to crank out those last-minute edits for that article due at 5:00 pm. Seriously, that waft of vanilla bean right as the door opens provides an immediate jolt of energy before you even can eye a table. If you are noticing your favorite work corner is starting to get a little crowded with so many people itching to get closer to a computer outlet, restaurants are now offering up their dining rooms for you to plug in during non-dining hours.
High-end eateries are realizing the need for more locations where employees can be productive outside of an office setting and away from the distractions at home. Particularly select establishments that open their doors to diners for dinner only are transforming into part-time co-working spaces during the daytime hours for a small fee. According to Vox, restaurant owners who do not have the bandwidth or desire to open for lunch are drawn to the idea of renting out co-working space as it is an easy way to monetize unused space and to make extra money.
Coworking spaces started popping up in 2005, when startup companies were looking for workspaces for their small teams. Since, the concept has taken off in big cities around the world, most recently attracting the eye of restaurant owners. To turn their elegant dining halls into temporary working environments, restaurateurs are partnering with workspace services to spread the word. Popular startup, Spacious offers access to all the company’s coworking spaces for a cost of $129 a month or $99 a month for an annual membership; customers of Kettlespace pay $99 for a month-to-month all access membership; a $50 food credit is available for Cowork Café users with a $150 a month membership; and WorkEatPlay offers a day pass for just $5 or $145 for a premium membership – sounds much cheaper than renting permanent office space.
Not only are restaurateurs benefiting without extending their dining hours, freelancers and other remote workers enjoy the quieter restaurant locations as well, despite being so open. All can agree that being surrounded by high-end décor and chandelier lighting is more appealing than working from home or from a crowded coffee shop. Let’s face it, the dirty dishes piled high in the kitchen sink at home or the loud chatter from the high school girls at the next table at Starbucks is not motivating anyone to get the job done. Also, while many places do not have a lunchtime menu, buying food is not a requirement at these pop-up work stations to put in some quality computer time – although many new coworking spaces are presenting food options. They do offer, however, power strips with additional routers to ensure fast Wi-Fi and a bottomless coffee and tea bar.
We are beyond the idea of the traditional office where colleagues would gossip around the water cooler and take exceedingly long coffee breaks throughout the day. And with the continuous advances in technology, for many employees there is little to do in the office that cannot be done anywhere with a Wi-Fi password. Coworking spaces are expected to double by 2022, and eventually there may be no need to go into the office again.
About the Author: Courtney Ciandella has been the sole Marketing liason for Bielat Santore & Company since 2013. She is also the conductor behind the Who’s Who in the Restaurant Industry and Restaurant Tip of the Month series.