According to a study from Small Business Labs, an estimated 5.1 people worldwide will be using a coworking space by 2022. That tremendous growth has seen an uptick in not just the demand for coworking spaces, but also in creative ways to turn established businesses into coworking spaces. This demand has led many restaurants to open their doors to a different kind of customer: the coworker.
You might think the last place you should look for a coworking table is at a restaurant. However, it might be time to rethink that mindset and have restaurants be one of the first places you research. As investors and current coworking companies, such as WeWork, have recognized the increased popularity of coworking, they have looked for ways to exploit this growth, including raising their rates. This increase in price might cause people to turn towards more non-traditional spaces like bars, restaurants, and unoccupied buildings.
For many restaurant owners, their profit margins are often razor thin. And yet they have an inviting, comfortable atmosphere, wifi is usually available, clean bathrooms, and, of course, a kitchen! All of these amenities are technically the essentials for a coworking space. Seeing as coworking has grown in popularity, many restaurants around the country, especially in high-rent places such as New York and San Francisco, have opened their doors to coworking members at rates much cheaper than a coworking table at WeWork or Galvanize would offer.
While a busy, noisy restaurant during a lunch rush seems like an unproductive place to get work done, this new concept neatly sidesteps these concerns. Many of the places that offer coworking in restaurants are establishments that are only open at night, thus providing a coworking table that is intimate, quiet, and affordable during regular work hours. Not to mention various restaurants might offer food specials to coworking members only, providing a unique perk that traditional coworking spaces often don’t provide.
KettleSpace and Spacious are two companies whose primary purpose is to help coworking members find locations to do their work in any kind of under-utilized space. They take advantage of the empty space in bars, restaurants, unused buildings where they can help the owners capitalize on the property and offer members an alternative to the more expensive coworking chains.
KettleSpace, based in New York City, provides a list of restaurants throughout the city for coworking members to conduct their business. It offers flexible plans for coworking members, and thanks to its relationships with many restaurants throughout the city, there is a high level of accessibility. Additional perks of signing up and registering with KettleSpace are many restaurants will offer exclusive food deals throughout the day to coworking members as well as access to unlimited coffee, tea, and snacks.
Spacious is also based in New York City and San Francisco and offers plans at $129/month, or $99/month for yearly plans. In comparison, both rates are much less than what a regular monthly price for a space at WeWork, which can be as high as $300/month. The restaurants that Spacious partners with don’t typically offer lunch service, thus making them ideal locations to quietly get work done.
Coworking in restaurants is an excellent alternative to potential coworking members. Working at restaurants gives freelances an alternative to paying expensive monthly rent at a more traditional coworking space. Not to mention these restaurants offer similar amenities as larger coworking spaces. For restaurant owners and managers, this coworking model allows them to take advantage of the increased revenue by appealing to both members and restaurant patrons. It’s no surprise that more and more coworking members are turning to this fun alternative for their professional needs.