Coworking in London comes with its challenges, but finding a space is becoming easier as the capital’s restaurants pave the way for a new model of working.
According to Workplace Insights the UK’s capital city has the highest growth market of flexible working space in the world with, on average, a new space opening up every 5 days. As restaurants have caught on to this trend they’ve increasingly introduced a wider offering to encourage freelancers or flexible workers to use their spaces during the day. Wifi, power outlets, and free tea and coffee are common perks offered to consumers in a bid to fill the daytime lull.
While many establishments manage the advertising of their own coworking spaces, some are signed up to services like Spacious or Spacemize which offer a network of spaces in hotels and restaurants that people can use for a monthly joining fee.
Elsewhere restaurants and bars are thinking up creative ways to encourage trade. The Scottish craft beer pub chain Brewdog has introduced dedicated spaces with printers and stationary available to their customers. While coffee shop Timberyard offers meeting rooms to encourage coworkers to come, and to stay.
Another example of a restaurant capitalising on the trend is Searcys, which made changes in 2018 at its St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar to accommodate more people during the day. Turning a third of its dining spaces into workspace tables with sockets and access to wifi they hoped to offer the perfect spot for commuters.
This change, Searcys say, resulted in an 8% increase in consumers – helping to give the restaurant a 32% increase in revenue year on year.
Joel Claustre from St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar says, "The knock on effect of creating this workspace in the restaurant has meant we have accidentally built a real community within the restaurant. Being located in St Pancras itself means we have become to ideal home for those coming into London to work, and our expertise in champagne, sparkling wine, food and service has meant that we have seen relationships with consumers deepen, and a real trust has been built that we are able to provide the service required to make the space a realistic alternative to an office space. As Kings Cross area is shaping up as one of the new business quarters of London, we have being working to accommodate our new business guests for over a year with over £100k of revenue coming from business-related events.”
The benefits are obvious. Coworking café and restaurant spaces cost the consumer less, when compared with a typical shared office cost, while they also increase revenue opportunities for venues. Taking into account this combination it’s safe to say we think this is a trend that will only continue to grow.