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Empty Restaurants Transform Into Busy Co-Working Spaces

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- More employees are working remotely -- creating a growing need for affordable, temporary places to work.

There's a new trend: turning restaurants into shared office spaces.

Just steps from happy hour at the bar, Andrea Wasserman is one of a growing number of people who don't use a traditional office. In fact, she says she's never had one.

Wasserman said, "No. I haven't. And I don't have near term plans to get one."

Global Workplace Analytics estimates as many as 40 percent of Americans telecommute at least once a month.

And while short-term rental co-working spaces aren't new - the trend of restaurant turned office space is increasing.

Daniel Rosenzweig, co-founder of KettleSpace said, "There's a huge demand for productive, quiet and affordable space."

Companies like KettleSpace and Spacious rent out New York restaurants as shared office spaces by day before they open for dinner at night.

But a company called WorkEatPlay is taking the model one step further, and bringing it to the Bay Area.

WorkEatPlay CEO's Peter Litvinenko said, "It was out of a genuine need for space to work out of, for a solution that wasn't as expensive as co-working spaces."

He says the business was created by former waiters and bartenders.

They rent out tables in reserved sections of restaurants that are open during the day, providing full service -- along with adequate power, Wi-Fi functionality -- and unlimited coffee.

For $10 a day or $150 a month they say they stay competitive with co-working spaces as well as coffee shops and hotel lobbies, while offering their restaurant partners a bump in business.

Jason Colucci, a manager at the restaurant Boulton & Watt in New York City says, "You always have a dinner crowd, you may not have a breakfast or a lunch crowd. And you want to bring in guests to fill the space."

Work Eat Play plans to officially launch in San Francisco in September with confirmed restaurants in the Financial District, South Beach, the Castro, Mission, and Marina, as well as three locations in Palo Alto.

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