WeWork launches workspace for restaurants
WeWork Food Labs — designed for food-focused entrepreneurs and companies that need a collaborative and flexible workspace — is now open in New York City. The NYC location joins San Francisco and Austin, which combined, host more than 400 businesses, ranging from new and emerging players to large and established food industry enterprises looking to transform the food industry, Marcelo Claure, WeWork executive chairman said in a company press release.
WeWork Food Labs provides startups and enterprises with:
- Custom workspace designed with the food community in mind. Amenities and services include an R&D kitchen and pantry, classroom, tasting table, merchandising area, vertical farming units and more.
- Member-focused curriculum created by an in-house team of former food entrepreneurs and experts. It provides a monthly membership offering and accelerator program, which offer New York-based startups with programming and access to equity investments over a five-month period. Eight startups were selected for the current accelerator cohort in the fall of last year.
- Global member community and mentor network, including companies across the food industry from supply chain and agriculture tech to distribution software, consumer goods, hospitality and more. Members may access WeWork’s global network and mentorship platform to connect, collaborate and scale their businesses.
- Access to global WeWork network: Many Food Labs members have used WeWork’s physical footprint to scale their offerings across WeWork buildings.
The facility supports a variety of companies including vendors and restaurants. Farmshelf, an ag-tech company that builds smart indoor farm units, for example, installed its product at Food Labs giving members access to an open garden in the workspace. Zoku Sushi, a sushi delivery and catering service startup, quickly scaled its business in Food Labs, using WeWork’s global network and footprint to grow its team and delivery service to over 60 WeWork locations to date.
And Junzi Kitchen, a fast casual brand, launched its first outpost delivery centers in select WeWork buildings in New York. The Food Labs team facilitated introductions between Junzi and Zuul Kitchens, another Food Labs member that operates ghost kitchens, to launch Junzi’s first delivery-only ghost kitchen, according to the release.
In addition to early-stage members, WeWork Food Labs has attracted established food companies seeking to collaborate and innovate alongside startups. Among these members are Sabra, Baldor Specialty Foods, and Food + Tech Connect.
“WeWork Food Labs, which is in close proximity to our Sabra headquarters, allows our plant-based ventures team to engage with entrepreneurial food tech and culinary communities as we develop growth-diving solutions for the plant-based category. Having space on-site allows us to give back and share what we have learned through experience with those just getting started,” Sabra CEO Tomer Harpaz said in the release.
Danielle Gould, founder and CEO, Food + Tech Connect, said the partnership has been instrumental in helping the it grow its community of more than 45,000 food innovators by “giving us the space to bring professionals together to explore how new technologies and business models can transform the food industry from farm to fork.”
WeWork, which provides members with space, community and services through physical and virtual offerings, has more than 739 locations across 140 cities and 37 countries, as well as more than 662,000 total memberships, including global enterprises.