Corporate Cafes for the Public (or Public Cafes for the Corporates)

How do you bring your customers closer to you and create true interaction with your audience? The Winnipeg Free Press in Canada has taken an interesting approach to encouraging greater interaction with their publication by opening an interactive cafe in the city centre.

The Winnipeg Free Press is the first newspaper in Canada to open a news cafe, where three of their media employees work permanently – providing direct access to the newspaper’s employees. The cafe provides a relatively wide choice of locally-sourced snacks and dishes, while also functioning as a flexible informal workspace for the multi-media team. Open daily, special events are hosted by the newspaper, including mini concerts, Q & A sessions and book readings. Visitors have open access to journalists and editors and staff are encouraged to hold their meetings there.

In the UK a number of organisations are also looking to increase accessibility, transparency and greater engagement with their customers through the inclusion of interesting public spaces, often including cafes. Indeed, the BBC’s New Broadcasting House, due to open in 2013, will include a unique public arena ‘providing a place to linger and see the BBC in action’. The public will also have access to a performance and exhibition space, the Radio Theatre and a 300 seat media cafe.

This approach is not only advantageous in terms of greater engagement between organisations, the community and their direct customers, it also has the potential to reduce or remove onerous staff workplace catering facilities that, in many organisations, are left underutilised at certain times of the day – thus freeing up often expensive prime office space and removing the need for catering subsidies.

If you would like an informal chat to discuss how we could support you with a similar approach, please contact us.

Montfort Consultants – Catering Consultants

Posted on October 26th, 2011