Five great businesses born in hospitality venues
A look at five great businesses that were born in a pub or café. And is there a new hospitality era on the horizon?
Imagine you’re at the local pub with a couple of friends. You’re catching up; family, mutual friends, work – the usual conversation topics pop up. You mention how bored you are of your job, and your friends mention how bored they are of theirs. Then one of you mentions a business idea they’ve been floating around for a while, and before you know it, you’ve all come up with a business plan.
With their buzzy atmospheres fuelled by morning coffee breakers, lunch takers, and after work drinkers, hospitality venues provide perfect places where people can relax and ideas can flourish.
But as you’ll discover when you read the stories of our businesses born in hospitality venues, it’s not only pubs that hold the magic key to unlocking the best business ideas. Cafes too, with their fresh coffee, free internet, and relaxed environments, are the perfect places to come up with business plans, chat to potential customers, and discuss contracts.
Once our founders have shared their stories, we’ll look at how changing attitudes towards remote working are birthing a new era in the hospitality industry.
With one in three remote workers saying they’d be happy to work from a pub, and 23% of remote workers saying they’ve worked from a coffee shop since the first lockdown ended in July 2020, does using designated space in hospitality venues hold the answer for small businesses that don’t want to splash the cash on leasing an office?
So, can hospitality venues become a serious alternative to office space?
The stories shared by these founders demonstrate that hospitality venues are the perfect place to find inspiration and discuss business in a relaxed, open setting. But do they have an even bigger part to play in the future of the way we work? Grace Garland, PR Director at MVF Global, tells us that she already holds offsite idea generation sessions in a pub down the road from her office.
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has catalysed a change in the way people view the standard workplace. With offices closing their doors and people turning dining tables into desks, remote working has become the new norm. Furthermore, bosses have realised that employees can be just as productive working outside of the office as they can in it.
But it soon came to light that the longer employees worked from home, the more they missed the buzz and social interactions of the office environment. With returning to the office out of the question, hospitality venues came into their own, and have started offering remote workers a place where they can benefit from a different environment – alongside business-standard internet and all the coffee they could wish for!
In fact, there are now businesses out there that match up remote workers with their perfect remote working environment. One of these businesses is WorkClub, which provides hospitality and co-working venues with the technology required for workers to book out their spaces online.
Nick Donnelly and his wife, Tori, who co-founded WorkClub, believe hospitality spaces “are the perfect contenders to transform into workspace environments.” Recently, and especially over the course of the pandemic, WorkClub has “seen a growth in demand from venues as well as users.
Whether you’re using a hospitality venue to discuss your fledgling business idea over a glass of wine, meeting clients for lunch, or whiling away the afternoon with a coffee as you work on your latest article, there’s no doubt that these quintessentially British establishments play their part in supporting workers and businesses.
That said, they have their limitations, and aren't suited for everyone. And while they've adapted and will continue to adapt, there are some roles and businesses that just aren't suited to that environment.
What we do know is, hospitality businesses have always had a part to play in the story of British business – and will almost certainly have an even larger part to play in the future!