Repurposing Your Restaurant as Coworking Space

We have moved past from the traditional idea of an office. What used to bring us together in chit chats and short coffee breaks is no longer a blue glass building divided into departments, with Joe from finance we only get to see on the end-of-the-year office party, or Anne from uality Assurance with whom we only meet when heading to the printers.

As the era of freelance jobs, eLearning and technology trends arises, many are now able to choose their own working space. And opportunistic restaurant owners and managers are seeing that their eatery's downtime can be a profit center. How can one get the best out of both worlds, a restaurant and an office merged? With some simple steps to follow, it is certainly possible.


Know Your Community

 Do some research on people in the area and try to walk through the space you want to use thinking of the needs of a worker, not a diner. Know that the location, available parking, lightning and the way you decide to furnish the place will determine the kind of people you’re trying to attract. Will you offer a coffee setup? How do you control access to certain areas of the restaurant you will want off limits? Make sure you are adequately staffed.

Invite people to collaborate on designing the space to make it more inviting. One other idea that you might one to take advantage of is to definitely follow the concept of minimalism. Turns out that generations nowadays think less is better. Using a nice color palette with only a few decorations can provide members with a sense of peace, while allowing them to merge into their work without many distractions. 


Two Words: Marketing Strategy

Start giving a heads up to people about your business from the very beginning. Build an online presence where you can expose the restaurant as a coworking space, and be prepared to accept feedback. Coworking spaces are a new concept, so be prepared for a certain amount of confusion. Build awareness by being patient and starting small.

Once the space is officially opened for business, use experiential marketing. Host some live events, target organizations and startups, play some nice background music and invite people to try out the space. After all, the two above components are certainly related. The online community may determine the offline community, and vice versa.


Stick with the Coworking Values

  • Collaboration
  • Openness
  • Community
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability 

The whole concept behind coworking spaces is to diminish the idea of division and isolation, while working. Coworkers are able to choose whether they want to share and communicate through your space or whether they just want to be present in a diversity of individuals, while working individually.  Don't confuse the dual purposes of your space.