Restaurants as Coworking Spaces: What Culinary Management Students Should Know

The rise of technology has changed a variety of areas and industries, and it may be surprising to learn that these changes even include culinary management, although not quite in the way you may think.

Over the past decade, there has been a growing trend as more and more people choose to work outside of a typical office setting, and instead work remotely online. Although some may decide to operate from the comfort of their own home, others still want to retain the communal aspect of working around people without the hassle of an actual office, but finding the right space can be difficult. While people often visit restaurants for the meals they serve, they just as often go for the atmosphere it provides, and you can actually use this to your advantage when it comes to offering a coworking space.

If you’re interested in a career in culinary management, here’s what you need to know about turning your restaurant into a coworking space.

Restaurant Managers Can Answer the Need for a Flexible Workspace

What, exactly, does coworking mean? ‘Coworking’ is a self-directed work style which operates remotely outside of the typical office environment, known as a coworking space. Thanks to the power of digital technology, working remotely is relatively straightforward – the hard part is finding a space to work in.

Simply put, today’s workforce needs an affordable coworking space where they feel comfortable while they do their daily business. In fact, coworking spaces are becoming more and more popular, with WeWork, a company that provides rental coworking spaces, recently valued at $20 billion. And there’s plenty of room to grow – 30,000 coworking spaces are projected to pop up around the world by 2022.

Ideally, a coworking space provides amenities like coffee, free WiFi, snacks, and even community events like happy hour. In exchange, customers pay for access to a seat or space where they can work. An environment that already has these amenities, such as a cafe or restaurant, is already well-equipped to meet the needs of its coworking customers, as well as offer a more relaxed, causal workplace setting.

Restaurant managers can help meet the growing demand for coworking spaces

Coworking Spaces Help Culinary Management Fill in Slow Business Hours

As you probably know already, restaurants can experience certain periods during the day that are slower than others, typically the hours outside standard mealtimes. Evaluating and optimizing your business’ operations is an important part of restaurant management courses, and there’s actually a way to flip slow hours to your advantage.

In order to bring in additional revenue to supplement the quieter hours, some restaurant managers are opening their business up as a coworking space. If your restaurant was only busy during dinner hours, for instance, you could create a coworking environment during breakfast and lunch, in a sense renting out your space until you’re ready to switch to dinner service; some restaurants even segment different areas of their establishments for diners and coworking patrons. During your career in culinary management, it’s important to remember that coworkers are simply a different kind of customer – instead of paying for a full meal, they’re paying for your restaurant’s atmosphere, space, and amenities.

Coworking spaces can be easily converted back to a restaurant in time for dinner service

If you’re worried about how exactly you can flip a restaurant into a coworking space, don’t worry – there’s an app for that, or, more likely, a startup. Flexday, a Toronto-based startup, helps coworkers find and reserve seating through its partnerships with local restaurants, while a similar startup in Vancouver called Free Space offers services to connect coworkers with restaurants that are typically closed during the day.

Are you interested in preparing for a rewarding career in the culinary industry?

Contact Gates College for more information about our restaurant management program.

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