The importance of hospitality in workspaces of the future
By Bruntwood Works
Charlotte Wild, Head of Retail at Bruntwood Works, explains how the hospitality model is a key part of what customers expect from their workspace, and will be central to building community in the workspace of the future.
At Bruntwood Works, hospitality has come to form an integral part of our workspace offering. It’s long been clear that hospitality is absolutely key in terms of what customers want and expect from their workplace community. That’s why we’re so excited to be launching the biggest hospitality offering that we’ve ever created within a workplace setting, at The Plaza in Liverpool.
As our reimagined building nears completion, our partners, independent operators Graffiti Spirit Group (GSG), are gearing up to open a very special restaurant and bar on the ground floor later this year. The GSG-operated restaurant and bar will take over the entire ground floor of the building, creating an impressive arrival experience that’s built entirely around food and drink. It will be a destination in its own right – a beautiful restaurant and bar which will join their Bold Street Coffee shop (opened earlier this year), all on the same site, and all delivered by one the city’s most innovative independent operators.
This ambitious project showcases just how central hospitality is to our workspaces of the future. Since the pandemic and the huge increase in flexible working, people expect even more from their place of work and have a much bigger expectation in terms of what they get out of their time in the office. Far from being a daily grind, for many, the voyage into the office is now a valuable experience – a social escape, a chance to catch up with teams, and as part of that, hospitality is even more important.
The Plaza will be our first “Pioneer” building in Liverpool. This is our £200m programme of forward-thinking workspaces blending work and lifestyle, and all include an elevated hospitality offering in collaboration with an independent partner. From the community we have built at Bloc in Manchester, which includes a cafe and sourdough bakery by Trove and a BrewDog Bar and Hotel, to rooftop restaurant Climat at Blackfriars in the same city, these partnerships are a key pillar in creating the communities that are at the heart of our workplaces of the future.
We were already heavily invested in hospitality pre-covid, and now we’ve taken it all to a new level. Not only with ambitious projects such as The Plaza, but by elevating certain aspects of the existing hospitality experience. For instance, employing community hosts with a hospitality background, and with other lifestyle additions like gym/studio space, physio, massage, coaching, relaxation spaces and even a sleep pod (at our Bloc building in Manchester). Wellbeing has always been absolutely central to what we do at Bruntwood Works, way before the pandemic, but an extension of this proposition also feeds into a wider trend and a shift in perception.
We are so much more focused on health and wellbeing as a nation, and hospitality is a huge part of this. People are more aware that it’s a good idea to take 30 minutes away from their desk, to share a nutritious lunch with colleagues and friends. It’s even more appealing if it’s produced with care by a local and independent business as customers have become more focused on shopping local and supporting indie operators. Across all our buildings, we’ve deliberately partnered with a local independent business, which in turn helps them grow in their own city.
The Plaza will be incredible and a real game changer for Bruntwood Works as we bring hospitality right into the heart of the workplace. In design and style, it is also different to anything we’ve seen in Liverpool, with a 60s-inspired design mixed with modern textures. Mirroring our overall approach at Bruntwood Works, it’s learning from the past to be prepared for the future.