The Pandemic has dramatically changed the co-working landscape for years to come. Here’s a brief overview of the post-COVID trends we’re seeing:
- 45% of freelancers and professionals have reportedly started remote working.
- WeWork and other coworking locations are cratering as tenants extend their work-from-home plans and cancel contracts en masse.
- Starbucks, Peet’s, and Coffee Bean are closing their dining areas and shifting to walk-up or drive-through options.
- Starbucks in Japan started creating “Smart Lounges” that are geared towards freelancers.
- A study found that amid COVID, most people can improve their productivity and overall wellness by having a workspace away from home, even a few days a week.
With these developments, the question remains: Where will people go to work and study if not at their homes or their local coffee shop or cafe? Even libraries don’t have social-distancing in their design and available staff.
Related: If Co-Working Spaces are Devastated During COVID What’s Next?
That’s where we come in.
Parlay Café was created to fill the gap between the local coffee shop and co-working space. “How could we have known a pandemic would fast-forward our opportunity by ten years?” asks creator of Parlay Café, Don Mastrangelo, a previous founder in tech, and responsible for several successful exits.
“We knew there was a problem in the industry when we launched last year, but we had no idea how quickly our model would be proven out at that time,” Don Mastrangelo continues.
Though Parlay Café has seen tremendous success at our proof-of-concept pilot location launched in Temecula, we often get the question, “Are you like WeWork?”
The simple and straightforward answer is no, we’re not like WeWork. Investors and industry analysts, you’ll be interested to know the key differences between last year’s aluation-play that has all but destroyed the household name WeWork – and emerging work-near-home (WNH) opportunities like Parlay Café.
Parlay Café – Our Business Model is The Opposite of WeWork:
Parlay Café is a Franchise With Two Early Growth Stages
“Our franchisees will be investing and building in communities that matter to them. These are neighborhood locations with local owners and operators, focused on profitability. Totally different than a mega-operation paying $50,000 a month in rent while focused completely on building an inflated valuation,” acknowledges Don.
Our franchise model allows us to expand rapidly with lower overhead costs compared to the traditional co-working space. While franchising, we’re leveraging two growth stages to continue aggressive marketing and franchise efforts. They are:
- Parlay’s RegCF campaign on Wefunder for early retail investors. We believe in the power of the crowd and with their support, we’ll be able to fast track our growth.
- Parlay’s concurrent RegD campaign for accredited investors who want to invest large sums.
“As you can see, we’re starting small and expanding outward, based on need, not the other way around,” explains Don.
Parlay Café Has Four Revenue Streams
Unlike traditional co-working spaces that typically earn revenue based on subleases for space, Parlay Cafe was designed to earn multiple revenue streams:
- Franchise Fees
- Food & Beverage
- Membership and Day Passes
- Conference Room Rentals
Investors will participate in the benefits of each franchise fee ($35,000) and the 6% of gross annual revenue derived from those franchise locations, as well as a projected liquidation event in the next 3-5 years.
“Our goal is to get to a thousand stores within five to 10 years,” Don proclaims.
Parlay Café Has Lower Overhead Costs
We understand that the more money we save, the more money goes back into your pockets. Our franchise model allows us to share the expense of developing our network of locations with our franchisees, which makes the entire business more profitable. More differentiation:
- Parlay Cafe locations will be in retail vs. office buildings (free parking!)
- A typical Parlay Cafe location fills 2500 square feet, while a WeWork may occupy 50,000
- As a result, remote workers can “work near home” at the closest location
“It’s important to see the difference between our footprint and that of WeWork to really understand how our whole focus is entirely different. Our locations are 1/12th to 1/20th the size, really catering to individuals and their needs. We may have twenty locations in a community that had one WeWork to serve the same quantity of people,” Don explains.
Parlay Café is Designed for the Post-COVID Environment, Attracts Foot-Traffic, and Has Free Parking
“It’s almost like cheating, at this point,” admits Don. “Parlay Cafe was a great idea before the Pandemic – now it is an amazing idea.”
The Parlay Cafe design is completely COVID friendly to ensure that people can Work, Meet or Relax safely. Every space in our Members Lounge is socially distanced, sanitized constantly, and even has biometric security with PopID that will scan your temperature and read your face (to verify membership) before you enter. Our baristas even use a special device so they don’t have to touch your coffee lid!
Not only does the safety attract our customers, but our coffee shop location is foot-traffic friendly. You would never plan to go to WeWork just to get a latte or smoothie and a bite to eat. With Parlay, it’s different. We attract those who just want a quick snack and some caffeine to pump up the day. Don says, “When they come in just for a coffee or beverage and see the Members Lounge behind the glass wall, it sparks their curiosity. Many of those new customers come back to try out the Members Lounge, or tell a friend, family member or co-worker!”
Plus, because we are located in a retail center, our members and customers usually do not have to pay for parking.
Parlay Café is More Affordable for Members
A typical individual membership at WeWork is $250 to $500 a month or more. At Parlay Café, access to our Members Lounge is only $5/hour, $20/day or a mere $195/month for unlimited access at any of our (future) locations.
Related: Learn More About Our Memberships and Day Passes!
Just walking into Parlay Café is inspiring and relaxing. The smell of Italian coffee and ambition blend seamlessly to put the final touches on a luxurious yet motivational environment.
“We’re making something special for people who, no matter where they are, want a safe, upscale work-near-home space available to them as a member. Or for people who want to expand with us, they can join as an investor or a franchisee.”
Get Involved With Parlay Café
Don has been in a growing number of conversations with investors, some of whom ask, “Why open this to equity crowdfunding at all?”
“As we open this amazing concept to potential franchisees worldwide we want our fans, members, customers, and employees to be our owners,” Don reassures. “Many people have expressed an interest to be part of what we’re doing here – that’s why we decided to partner with Wefunder – they are kind of like Kickstarter, but for investing instead. You can buy a small part of Parlay Café – when we do well, so do you!”
We invite you to invest in Parlay Café on Wefunder or check out “Why You’d be Interested in Investing in Parlay Café.”
Accredited Investors interested in the concurrent RegD raise can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in franchising, please learn more information and contact us on our franchise page.
Related: Why You’d Be Interested in Opening a Parlay Café Franchise
“I think the main thing anyone interested in investing with us needs to ask themselves is, ‘Will this improve the planet by solving a real problem, and, can this team get it done?’ If your answer is yes, join us and invite your friends.”
“This is a movement and we want you on board!” Don completes.