NO, IT’S NOT REPURPOSING… IT’S ADDING NEW PURPOSE
Many of us resort to working out of the office sometimes, choosing to pop by the nearest café for its stimulating environment to get things done.
More than just a coffee shop where working nomads are logged on to their laptops all day, some cafes are also perfect spaces for events and business meetings.
Who said that cafes should be limited to just selling coffee? Many of us have had business meetings and job interviews at coffee shops, perhaps while indulging a latte and a cake (or two).
With the right amenities, a coffee shop could morph into an event space, adding to its revenue stream. Be it corporate or private functions, some cafes have hosted a wide range of events including business related as well as more intimate private get-togethers.
Talent Lounge in Damansara Perdana is an excellent example of a cafe that not only serves as a coffee shop, but also lends its space as an event venue; an office for working nomads; a gallery for launchpad art exhibitions; and it also takes pride in being a collaborative space for everyone.
Nestled within greenery and boasting an interior that blends bold brick walls with concrete flooring against floor-to-ceiling glass windows, Talent Lounge successfully incorporates the industrial look and feel people have come to love – including engaged couples seeking a unique venue.
Talent Lounge has hosted a myriad of events from product launches to weddings. Its space can comfortably accommodate up to 100 pax seated and is fully air conditioned, equipped with a kitchen, plush sofa seating arrangements, as well as a small stage for event purposes. This adaptable space has a variety of set-up options.
Another great café which doubles as a wedding venue is Flora Terrace. A beautiful floral themed café located in Hampshire Place requires minimal decoration for a wedding, as the space on its own is perfectly decorated.
This café seats up to 250 pax and is suitable for couples who are looking to have a dreamy, romantic and intimate wedding as well as many kinds of private events including engagement parties, baby and bridal showers.
Having the right ambience and enough space is essential for a cafe to double as an event venue, but having the right amenities are imperative to be a creative space for business related meetings and functions.
Besides the location of the venue, ensure your choice of space comes with ample parking lots so attendees will not have to stress out over the “no parking” dilemma.
With a projector and a basic Sound system and AV, smaller cafes may be able to provide its space for business meetings, which is timely as more organisations begin to ditch the rigidness of an office conference room.
Note that ill-equipped cafes without free Wi-Fi will affect foot traffic, as laptops, smartphones and tablets are crucial to staying productive in this day and age. Therefore, ensure you have the right amenities including the necessary technological solutions.
A simple, cosy venue like Delectable Café in Seputeh is a dessert bar which accommodates up to 25 pax. Its space is bathed in natural lighting, encouraging many daytime events to take place. Among the popular events held here are baby and bridal showers.
For café businesses looking to venture into this expanded service, our advice is this: While turning a café into an event venue may be one of the best ways to increase revenue for the business, it is also important to achieve the right balance between your café setup and an event setup.
Proper staff training is important too, as management will have to prepare staff to accommodate F&B services and event management in many ways.
If the staff receives no adequate training or guidance on both the café and events side, it could very well jeopardise the café’s brand. It is advisable to work closely with an event company or hire an event executive to handle the events side of things – to ensure things run smoothly on both ends of the business.
Besides, who doesn’t love converting foot traffic on event day into loyal customers? Hosting events is a great way to introduce your café business to new potential customers and build a loyal (and regular) following.
If you run a café, consider these tips and provide all you can for your customer to feel valued and welcome.
Ravena Hundal is Content Director for Venuescape, a Malaysian-based venue sourcing platform for events. For more information, visit www.venuescape.my