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Bold idea offers inspiring venues for remote workers

Posted: 2pm 22 Jun 2022

A concept which aims to revitalise hospitality spaces during the week and provide a third workplace option for employees is launching in the Moreton Bay Region after a successful rollout across Australia.

The online platform is called Third Place and links remote workers with hospitality venues which have spaces they can use for the day. These might be fully-equipped meeting rooms or simply a table from which they can fire up the laptop while enjoying food and beverages.

Founder and Chief Operating Officer Joshua Katz spoke to Moreton Daily as the platform announced its first venue in the Moreton Bay Region – Caboolture Sports Club.

CSC Group which operates the club and sister venues North Lakes Sports Club and Sports Central Caboolture, plans to involve the other venues once it is up and running at its pilot site.

CSC Group Head of Customer Engagement Tony Saunders says the timing is perfect to engage with the platform and create opportunities for new business and customers.

“The main thing is the world is returning to normal now coming out of COVID in terms of restrictions and everything, so we’re pretty much back to where we were in terms of visitation and experience around the venue. So, we’re in a good place overall,” he says.

“Now, we can take these opportunities where we utilise more of the spaces for what is a slightly different market to what we’re used to attracting to the venue. The timing works well in general.”

Tony says the venue already hosts meetings and functions for businesses and community groups but being a Third Place venue would give it more flexibility in how its spaces could be used.

|“I think there’s a greater variety of usages that we’re going to be able to promote in parts of the venue,” he says.|

“And then the fact that we’ve got these new spaces coming online at different venues means that we can cater for a variety of different group sizes or requirements in terms of type of meetings and interactions that people want – be it smaller, more intimate or larger more fully-catered types of events.

“Having three different venues across Moreton Bay – North Lakes, Caboolture, or Caboolture Central, offers that added convenience based on where people prefer to meet logistically.

“I think it’s the combination of geography, ease of access, multiple food and beverage offering at any time of the day or day of the week and flexibility around the actual meeting space on the needs of the various organisations or groups.”

He’s aiming to take bookings within the next couple of weeks via Third Place.

“For me it’s really a no-brainer in terms of utilising by and large existing facilities to offer a service to potentially a new market which is therefore new business. So, there’s new business opportunities and it’s another way in my mind to create loyalty across your membership base,” he explains.

“Basically, getting people here more often for a greater variety of experiences, that’s the real win.”

Third Place founder Joshua Katz with CSC Group's Tony Saunders at Caboolture Sports Club. Picture: Dominika Lis

About Third Place

The platform is the brainchild of the Katz brothers – Joshua, Dean and another brother who is a silent partner – and was “pandemic-born” in March 2020.

“At the time, it was totally based around getting people back into hospitality venues because of what had happened and then there’s this huge shift in the remote workforce,” Joshua says.

“So, the two together that’s when we created the idea and we launched it. We gave ourselves 30 days to get up and running.”

Since then, they’ve engaged with 1300 venues across Australia and thousands of users, primarily in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney but also in outer suburbs and now the Moreton Bay Region.

Joshua’s background is in hospitality, having worked for Hyatt Hotel Corporation and now Mariott International. He’s also a mechanical engineer.

“Hospitality is my passion and like I say it was all about the position we found ourselves in about two and half years ago we said how do we get people back into hospitality spaces, how do we revitalise the industry,” he explains.

It’s also about activating spaces in venues that may sit idle for much of the week, outside peak weekend trade.

Workers’ change of scenery

While the benefits for venues are obvious, the platform also aims to help remote workers or those who are working from home and need a more inspiring space for periods during the week.

“Working from home has been shown to be very productive, but it has its drawbacks – it’s the loneliness, it’s the isolation and there’s a big mental health and wellbeing aspect that’s come into play with it,” Joshua explains

“To be honest, the problem we’re solving is that companies are only seeing the future of work in two ways – they’re seeing it as work-from-home or work-from-the-office. Now, we truly believe that going back to the office is a good thing but it doesn’t have the flexibility that employees crave.

“So, the third place is the perfect balance. We believe it’s the solution to the future of work. You can work from home which is the first place, you can work from the office which is the second place or you can work from the third place.

“Our whole North Star has been around revitalising hospitality and boosting mental health and wellbeing of the workforce. We just feel inspiring hospitality spaces does that.”

What does it cost?

“At the moment, we’re totally free and we’re doing that to apply more usage of our platform – we’re a start-up. For our hospitality venues to come on board, there’s no cost to do so. We do have a five per cent commission on food and beverage packages that are ordered when you book a private meeting,” Joshua explains.

In about three months, a $5 per user per month fee will be added to give businesses access to the hospitality spaces on Third Place. The fee is being waived until then.

To find out more, visit the website

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