On-site Dining
Boosts Tenant Experience


David Jenkins

To attract the best tenants, office buildings must have a well-designed amenity package. In the past, operators allocated a mere 3% of space to amenities. Today, that number has increased to more than 10%–and should actually be even more. The reason? Because tenants want an experience.

According to Fooda, on-site dining ranks 4th on the list of must-have office real estate amenities. Tenants want a place to sit down, eat a meal, and take a quick breath without sacrificing too much time away from the office AND without sacrificing the experience of enjoying a meal in a comfortable environment.

With this greater emphasis on “culinary experience”, alternative and non-traditional restaurants are particularly popular in CBDs. It gives patrons a completely different experience from the norm, which is exciting and interesting. A good example of this is The CowFish in the CapTrust Tower in Raleigh which offers both sushi and burgers—an unlikely pairing, but also highly popular because it IS different.

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High-end food chains and boutique restaurants continue to penetrate downtown locations and serve the business community well—not just day-to-day lunch, but for client meetings and outings.  For example, within KBS’ own portfolio, several of its buildings have high-caliber on-site restaurants such as Morton’s Steakhouse at the 24-floor Carillon tower in Charlotte, N.C. and Halls Chophouse at its Main & Gervais property in Columbia, S.C.

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Office space leasing is very competitive and complex, and there is no one-size fits all formula. But workers’ need for nutrition is the same across the board. Upgrading dining options is an investment that pays off by creating an experience beyond the office walls that is convenient and satisfying. It helps set the tone for the entire building and can have a profound effect on job satisfaction.

There is a lot of opportunity for building operators to capitalize on this drive toward a culinary experience via on-site dining. In fact, according to a Globe Street article, a survey by HqO found that only 26% of tenants felt that there were enough offerings at their current office building, while 31% said wished there were more amenities to choose from. Interestingly, 62% also expressed food as a most important amenity. By implementing an on-site restaurant will satisfy that culinary need and experience. That is what workers are looking for. And that is what captures the attention of those best-in-class tenants.

 

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David Jenkins is Vice President, Capital Project Manager Washington, DC.  Mr. Jenkins is responsible for providing all capital project implementation for all new acquisitions and existing assets, in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Ohio. His responsibilities include managing all aspects of building repositioning, development and large scale tenant build-outs.