The shift in consumer behaviour has seen big changes in the way retailers communicate with their customers. Interaction is regularly favoured over transaction; brand values are crucial to customers and temporary pop-ups are around every corner. But how does this affect the restaurant industry?
Food trucks, markets and pop-ups are gathering momentum. Delivery apps such as Deliveroo and Just Eat have changed the way we see ‘eating out’. As these patterns and behaviours evolve, restaurants need to adapt to appeal to a new generation of diners.
But it’s not just how we eat and shop that has changed, there’s been notable movements in the way we work too. By 2020, half the UK workforce is expected to be working remotely, according to High Speed Office. Whilst on the hunt for office substitutes, mobile workers turn to cafés and restaurants to work, have meetings and take their lunch break.
How can restaurants adapt their model to appeal to the millions ‘working from home’?
Major hospitality group D&D London have developed an app called The Workroom. The new app allows users to hire tables at its restaurants as co-working spaces. There is no subscription fee and no obligation to buy food or drinks. Describing themselves as a company that “Curate drop-in workspaces in beautiful restaurants,” the app currently allows you to book spaces in five London locations, with plans to roll out more soon.
Entrepreneur Dominika Sadowska told the Standard “London’s working culture has changed massively in the last 10 years…Now I just have a phone and an iPad and use our restaurants for all my meetings. It completely works and is actually way better. Delicious coffee, great people keen to serve you and you don’t have to move far for an excellent lunch.”
Co-working spaces have risen in popularity in the recent years – with start-ups like WeWork gaining traction, working remotely has become more attractive and more comfortable. For restaurants, introducing themselves into this market is a win-win. They can reach a new audience of people, increase footfall and fill tables at a typically quiet time of day.
The Workroom app will encourage more people to the restaurant, making the space look busy. This works in the eateries favour because it acts as a trust signal for passers-by, encouraging them to enter.
By welcoming remote workers to come and settle, D&D London are increasing their chance of returning customers. If their spaces become part of a freelancer’s routine, they’ve got themselves another loyal customer. Regulars spend 62% more at restaurants than new guests do according to Ascend Digital.
This means people who regularly work remotely at any of these five locations, are more likely to spend money, go there for a meal or even recommend it to a friend.
The app was launched June 2019, daily passes cost £10 (with a complimentary coffee) and bundles are available at a discount.
Image source: Creative Boom