For many city restaurants, the day is a story of two halves; ultra-busy in the evening and either far quieter or closed during the day. For Preston Pesek and Chris Smothers, the contrast in activity levels represented an opportunity, one which they are working to exploit with their startup – Spacious.

Empty restaurant spaces during the day are now being transformed into affordable co-working spaces, starting in New York City. Free WiFi, comfortable seating in a prime location and access to basic refreshments are all provided to users of the space, who receive a text one hour before dinner is due to begin for a last call for coffee and to remind them that they need to secure a table or leave when regular evening service commences.

Photo credit: Laissez Fare via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC
Photo credit: Laissez Fare via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

For the restaurants, they receive a little extra business, while Spacious are able to outcompete other hot desk spaces offering monthly memberships for less than $100. Apparently, restaurants have even found it useful to have a little activity and energy in the room as a way of attracting customers off the street.

City buildings are usually only active half of the time and while municipalities are continually developing and expanding to cope with larger numbers of people and increasing service demands, a lot of the answers may lie in existing under-utilised value.

Air conditioning, power and other resources are used closed to 100% of the time in most restaurants, because the prep kitchen is needed, so renting out the unoccupied space is both economically and environmentally an effective option.

Photo credit: Master Octa via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: Master Octa via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

An app enables Spacious’ business model to work connecting users with the nearest location with available space. The startup is looking into furher growth options, including the possibility of moving beyond restaurants and towards other buildings with idle capacity. The opportunity does appear to exist, the average European office space is used only 35-50% of the time during the working day, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Growth Within report.

Source: This Coworking Company Turns Restaurants Into Temporary Offices During The Day

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