A few months ago, Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group went into administration, with 22 venues closing immediately as part of the process.
Jamie’s Fifteen restaurant by Old Street was one of our first WorkClub partners back in early 2018. The space we were assigned was well-suited as a drop-in, on-demand workspace. It was in a great location, the space was quiet and we had the entire basement for our members to use from 9am - 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Jamie’s is certainly not the only restaurant to have suffered in recent times. Other chains, such as Prezzo and Caluccio’s, are also feeling the pressure. According to an article published by the Independent back in 2017, the claim was that 20% of restaurants or 14,800 outlets will face closure due to Brexit.
The fear of Brexit has seen the Pound dip in value, coupled with increased rental costs and increased wages has resulted in lower profit margins. Though for some, like my wife’s family, the weak Pound is great news for them as they arrive in London from Minnesota early October for a 3-week stay to welcome in baby Donnelly.
More pressure was put on the hospitality sector back in April 2018, when there was an increase in the minimum wage of 33p from £7.50/hr to £7.83/hr. As most hospitality employees are on minimum wage, the increase has definitely added more pressure on owners and operators.
Additionally, there has been a huge change in eating habits, as we see more people ordering food deliveries as compared to dining out. The profit margin on deliveries for restaurants is far less because of the 15-20% fee that has to be paid to companies like Deliveroo and UberEats. Most delivery orders also do not include alcohol, which has the highest profit margin.
However, while these struggling venues sit empty during the day, there are thousands of people nearby that are looking for a flexible workspace to work from.
This is why we created WorkClub back in 2018. Tori, now community manager, and I wanted a platform that could connect flexible workers like us, together, within a network of local, on-demand workspaces.
With the next big update due to be released in September, I am very excited about what my team and I are building at WorkClub.
At present, we offer 22 unique workspaces across London, ready to support our members. Our spaces offer exclusive discounts for WorkClub members on food and/or drink, great WiFi and comfortable seating and desk options.
Until now, WorkClub has been bootstrapped due to our business model’s low overheads. We are now raising our first round of funding through Crowdcube, a crowdfunding investment platform fueling the next generation of businesses wanting to leave their mark.
We are confident on securing investment so that we can grow the platform across the rest of the UK and beyond.
At the end of the day, the goal for us is to encourage the UK’s workforce to become more flexible by utilising local, on-demand workspaces suited for remote workers and freelancers. The knock-on effect means that we can give members back the world's most valuable commodity, their time!
There is no denying that time is the most valuable commodity we have, yet so many people waste it by commuting back and forth everyday, to an office that, more often than not, is not needed.
This is where we come in. WorkClub supports members by helping them take back ownership of their time and allowing them to work from where they work best
Imagine there is a time-bank that credits your account each morning with £86,400 to represent the 86,400 seconds each day. It carries over no balance from day-to-day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during that day. What would you do with your credit?
We need to start helping people figure out a better way to spend their 86,400 seconds!