A work from home benefit is one of the most sought after perks in the United States workforce today. According to an Owl Labs Report, 54% of our country’s workers spend at least some time telecommuting. While heading to the local coffee shop or library is a beneficial routine for some, remote workers and freelancers are gravitating towards coworking spaces to meet their daily business needs. Coworking spaces are shared, contemporary offices where individuals or businesses can work. The concept first came into play in San Francisco circa 2005 by software engineer Brad Neuberg. He came up with the idea as an unsatisfied worker at a startup company with a vision to incorporate a sense of community into the remote work lifestyle. 

Coworking Spaces At Restaurants

Neuberg’s first coworking space was located in a feminist collective whose owner charged him $300 a month to work there twice a week. Since coworking spaces have evolved, offices like WeWork were created specifically to house individuals and small companies. Because these spaces can be pricey and not ideal for individuals, many restaurants are capitalizing off of their slow afternoons by transforming themselves into “offices” part of the time. Prices and hours vary from restaurant to restaurant, but self-employed workers usually pay to “rent out” a desk, seat or spot and can then use the space to work at their leisure. One popular platform called Spacious has teamed up with numerous restaurants to help advertise them as coworking spots. Paying customers to get access to all of Spacious’ participating restaurants, and in turn, the restaurants get a cut of the monthly membership fee. 

Is Coworking Profitable for Your Restaurant?

According to a report by Small Business Labs, the number of coworking spaces will double by 2022. For restaurants that close for lunch and experience slow afternoons, coworking could be a smart opportunity to increase revenue and make use of the spaces they are already paying rent for. Restaurants situated in an area that doesn’t attract many lunch rush patrons aren’t strangers to the “Back Open at 5 PM” sign, but as an accessible coworking space, establishments can profit off of the hours where they normally experience a lull. But does partnering up with a service like Spacious lead to increased profits? With enough patrons visiting the drop-in offices, it certainly can. In addition to the cut of membership dues that restaurants receive, being added to a coworking platform’s rotation is great marketing exposure for restaurants that remote employees may have never heard of. 

With the help of a coworking platform, restaurant owners don’t have to take care of the odds and ends included in an office space. Power adaptors and printing stations can be installed by the service, and some even offer refreshments and a catering staff who make sure all guests are comfortable. On the other hand, there is nothing stopping restaurants from converting to coworking spaces on their own. This will require a little extra effort and possibly a few more helping hands, but a monthly membership can be designed. Unlimited tea and coffee and plenty of charging stations are coworking space essentials, but restaurants that market themselves independently have the advantage of keeping the entirety of profits. On top of that, restaurant owners can fully attach their brand to the coworking space.