Local startup transforms trendy restaurants into temporary office spaces
Flexday brings together entrepreneurs, freelancers with restaurant owners to make use of off hours
Toronto is home to world-class restaurants that come to life as night falls on the city, but during the day, they often sit vacant and empty.
It gives dining establishments squeezed by rising rents and labour costs another source of income, while also giving those looking for office space an alternative to noisy, crowded coffee shops.
Self-employed digital marketing recruiter Todd Hummel doesn't have a fixed office and joined Flexday a few months ago. Now he works out of trendy downtown eateries.
With Flexday's app, users can reserve a spot at any of its three locations, and for $95 a month, they also have access to wi-fi, power outlets, meeting rooms, unlimited coffee and snacks. Users can also bring up to four guests per visit.
Flexday's restaurant partners get part of the rental fee, which may give dining establishments some much needed financial relief.
Zoran White, general manager of restaurant Marben, points out that costs in the restaurant business are going up with Ontario raising its minimum wage and rent increasing in the downtown core.
He might not be alone. With the app fast approaching a thousand users in just three months, Flexday plans to open up five new locations over the next few weeks.
"The freelance, independent contractor community, entrepreneurs, startup world is growing every day," Flexday founder Justin Raymond said.
He expects these increasingly nomadic workers to form a third of the workforce in the next two years.
Raymond was also behind the taxi hailing app Hailo that shut down in 2014 due to "stiff competition," but this time things are different.
"Having worked in this sharing economy space before, I think we understand what's required and I think we're creating the foundation for a great growth story," he said.
With files from Philippe de Montigny