How Restaurants are Betting big on Co-Working
How Restaurants are Betting big on Co-Working

For office workers, sitting in a cubicle has lately become boring as it has become a strict nine to five schedule. But all thanks to these otherwise zingy cafes, restaurants and bars hitting our local streets in start-up hubs like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru that have been the go-to work spaces for entrepreneurs.

Over the years these places have made people be at their creative best unlike just being work machines at offices. And, there’s no denying that today’s workforce puts in hours on a subway car, a flight across the country, a coffee shop, or even a restaurant's dining room. The new age concept of co-working has ushered in a new era where bright and airy spaces, a sense of community, and a more social, positive work environment have all become attainable - and it can be found in your next door restaurant.

Hooking Consumers Socially

“Restaurants moving into co-working spaces is a result of more and more people finding employment in less traditional settings with the rise of internet, freelancing, telecommuting and living the digital nomad life,” shared Vikrant Batra, Founder, Café Delhi Heights that gives a lot of facilities to their customers that makes it easier for them to use the cafe for their Official meetings. “We have PDR's in some of our outlets which serve the purpose of a conference hall, wifi connectivity and plugs on each table make it easier for working people to keep their gadgets charged. Not only this our menu is easy and very comfortable with a variety of finger foods as well,” he added.

Restaurants opening up themselves as co-working spaces have opened new avenues of revenue generation. Co-working spaces not only bring more revenues during slow afternoons, but they also bring in a lot of new customers to the brand. “Going forward we will make it more commercialized by charging a nominal fees of Rs 5000 for a month with 1 hour everyday in which one can certainly get some food vouchers as well,” said Rahul Kumar, Founder, Red Mango India who believed that with the rise of millennials in the age of start-ups and freelancing, restaurants moving into co-working spaces fits well in the scenario.

When Formal Meets Informal

Most startups don’t have offices and budgets for paying huge rents which makes working out of restaurants an easy and economical option for them. Companies with large mobile sales teams or consultants as customers also prefer working out of restaurants because of the easy accessibility at all times. And, as people are hooking socially for business meets, restaurateurs are coming up with new facilities for good business.

Unlike a formal co-working space which might require a high level of commitment in terms of signing up and membership, restaurants allow professionals a lot of flexibility and encourage co-working and offer a comfortable and good working environment to the professionals.

“When you talk about a regular co-working space, all you can visualize is a plain jane room filled with desks and chairs in a very formal setup, where people sit in separate cabins, with shut mouths and open laptops, basically boring! But when you think about a restaurant converted into a co-working space, you can expect a pleasant ambiance with a comfortable seating area, light music, delicious food and a fully trained staff at your service.  And here at Darzi, we have in fact curated a special menu that includes light and healthy food, to let people avoid lethargy and keep working,” said Manuj M Gupta, Owner at Darzi Bar & Kitchen where people can use the restaurant from 10 am to 5 pm as a co-working space.

Trading over some Booze

The famous brewery in Pune, Effingut Brewerkz is a perfect destination to work over some glass of beer for freelancers and start-ups in the city.  Often, people would not relate to Effingut as a co-working spacebut this place is available without spending a penny. “We are offering the whole restaurant as a work space to anyone who needs a seat, a table and decent Wi-Fi. You can find a seat in the whole restaurant, but the top mezzanine floor is a favourite,” shared a statement by the owners. The brewery also offer free coffee all day through up till 6 in the evening and one can also get up to 10 printouts without an extra cost.

“So, when we look at the regular customer walk-in for any restaurant or lounge, one can say that it's always heavy during the weekends and the night hours in comparison to the weekdays and afternoon. Moving towards co-working spaces has a dual purpose, one of utilizing the empty inventories during the day hours and secondly to expand the business,” added Gupta who gets around 2 -3 % of the business through co-working where customers are between 24 to 35 years of age group.

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