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Company canteens turn into premium restaurants. The new benefit is intended to attract employees.

Office restaurants - Timeout_Aspira Business Center_Prague
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The usual type of company canteens is turning into premium restaurants that work as an employee benefit, as wellbeing plays an increasingly important role for employees. The quality of meals is rapidly improving as well as the design of interiors. Well-known restaurant groups as Zátiší Group or Perfect Canteen, a project run by Filip Sajler, one of the protagonists of the “Kluci v Akci” have entered this market as new operators. Such are the results of a research conducted by Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate consultancy that focuses on the catering sector and seeks out operators for office facilities. 

Restaurants in office buildings are a well-established concept, especially in city quarters with less developed civic amenities. There are 126 of them in Prague alone. Prague 4 has the highest number of on-premises restaurants, followed by Prague 5. By contrast, Prague 1 does not need this type of catering services because it is served by the surrounding restaurants and food courts. Most of them (62%) are open to the public, though just 13% of them are open on weekends. 

Developers and office building owners consider choosing of new operator for company restaurant as an important part in ensuring their commercial success during the new constructions of refurbishments of existing buildings. They opt for quality food products and well-designed interiors. Demanding occupiers even requires some top chefs to be running the kitchen. 

Number of restaurants in office buildings in Prague 

Number of restaurants in office buildings in Prague

Source: Cushman & Wakefield

Zdeněk Zádrapa, Associate in the Retail Agency Team, specializes in the food & beverage and leisure segment, says: “Many developers start choosing the operators to provide these services as early as during the project preparation stage. They want to differentiate themselves and to be more attractive to occupiers, who in turn want to attract their employees. The range of catering options and its concept is one of the major criteria for clients when seeking and choosing premises to lease. We recently found a tenant for Skanska new Visionary project in Holešovice. The new ‘fast casual’ restaurant in line with the latest trends will open in the summer under the Fresh & Tasty brand of Zátiší Group. In the Aspira Business Center office building the same operator opened its new Timeout restaurant at the beginning of the year. We are also currently selecting the best catering operators for other Skanska’s projects Parkview Pankrác in Prague 4 and Praga Studios in Prague 8.” 

Many office buildings offer restaurant services all day long. As many as 63% of all on-premises restaurants in Prague offer breakfasts, 39% include cafés and 95% offer event catering as an additional service. The range of quality convenience (ready-made) meals is also growing. Employees who spend all day at work will appreciate a good quality meal prepared quickly for their family back home in the evening.Another trend in corporate catering is offering restaurant services entirely free of charge, without any financial limits. 

Renata Lukášová, Zátiší Group’s Fresh & Tasty Director, adds: “Companies want to retain their employees and this is one of the benefits they can offer to that end, while also being a means of making meals easier for all employees in pursuit of maximum efficiency of their work and, in part, contributing to their health.” 

The range of traditional catering operators includes companies as part of well-known restaurant groups and chains, and also popular chefs’ operations such as Perfect Canteen, a project run by Filip Sajler, one of the protagonists of the Kluci v Akci cooking show, or the Zátiší Group under the Fresh & Tasty brand with Gian Luca Giardi as the chef. Traditional operators who follow trends and offer new concepts include Aramark and their Food Company as part of the Baker Street 16 concept, and Sodexo with the Dave B. - Taste Five project in the Five building. 

Petr Markvart, Head of the Landlord Representation Team, confirms this: “In this era of low unemployment rates, landlords are happy to help their tenants offer additional benefits, and the range of quality on-premises catering options plays a major role, in addition to relaxation zones, fitness centres and cycling amenities. Even traditional operators who try to offer various concepts based on various landlord briefs follow the current trend that places emphasis on the quality of the catering.”