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London Restaurant Group Lets Out Empty Seats to Freelance Workers

London restaurant group D&D London has launched a new app that will allow freelance workers to pay to use empty seats in five of its restaurants as a workspace.

The scheme, called The Workroom, is the brainchild of D&D London’s chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena, who is working alongside entrepreneur Dominika Sadowska.

The company said it had developed the idea in response to a rise in the number of self-employed and freelance workers in the UK from 3.3m in 2002 to over 5 million in 2018.

The restaurants initially involved in The Workroom are 100 Wardour St, Bluebird Chelsea & White City, Fiume, and Radici.

D&D said the concept would combine “the very best aspects of a private members club, co-working space and restaurant” to create a freelance office solution for modern professionals.

The Workroom app will allow users to select their location of choice and book a table. They will be able to buy individual day passes for £10 or three passes for £25, and ten day passes for £75.

D&D London said that restaurant teams often resent customers to taking up tables for prolonged periods of time when they work for in a hospitality venue, and that The Workroom would allow both to know exactly where they stand.

It has promised that each Workroom location will have super-fast wifi and an abundance of plug sockets as standard, complimentary tea, coffee and water. There is also the prospect of some free samples and tasters when the chefs in house are testing and developing dishes for their new menus.

Gunewardena said: “There’s been a big shift in the way Londoners operate day-to-day. I myself am hardly ever in our office and I’ve certainly noticed more people using our restaurant spaces to work in and while other operators are trying to combat that, we thought why not embrace it? Introducing The Workroom initially into five of our restaurants will hopefully make them busier during quieter times through the week and also bring in a new audience who may not have visited before.”

Sadowska, co-founder of the Workroom, added: “It is incredible to be able to work with such forward thinking and visionary partners as Des and D&D. We are pushing the boundaries and challenging the old norms to serve this new crowd of modern professionals.”

The pair hope to eventually expand The Workroom across the Capital, branching out into other restaurants in addition to the original five. D&D London has 42 restaurants and bars and one hotel mostly in the UK capital, as well as in Leeds, Manchester, Paris and New York.

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