The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on workplace environments and the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. It put HR departments at the forefront of hospitality-focused employee experiences, caused property teams to invest in internal communication strategies to keep tenants and employees involved, and merged physical workplaces with their digital workplace counterparts.
Likewise, it also had an impact on the food and beverage industry. The way customers select and purchase from local restaurants and retailers has drastically changed, with 60% of consumers now ordering delivery or pickup at least once a week. Because of this, takeout orders are set to represent 21% of restaurant industry sales by 2025. This shift in consumer habits speaks to a growing trend in the food and beverage industry: the acceleration of digital strategies through space and technology. By going digital, restaurants and retailers have the chance to not only expand their customer base by reaching hybrid workers no matter where they’re located, but to also optimize and personalize their businesses to keep people coming back for more.
This was the case for world-class restaurant chain DMK Restaurants, which strives to create emotionally resonating experiences by identifying the unique needs of every guest to shape their hospitality-focused dining services and offerings. As a vendor, they worked in tandem with HqO and The PENN District’s property management team to heighten their impact and create a great workplace experience at PENN 1, an iconic office skyscraper in New York City.
The DMK Vision
Before partnering with HqO, DMK Restaurants sought a cost-effective solution to reduce process times and connect with their local community. By optimizing their services, the restaurant company would be able to focus on their brands and external experiences. In turn, this would grant their front-line teams more time to focus on performance management by connecting with guests and working to keep PENN 1 employees feeling engaged with their offerings.
Thus, they looked into partnering with well-known Employee Experience Platforms. The result?
DMK Restaurants hosted several events and services through the HqO app to elevate the workplace experience and build strong relationships with the people in and around The PENN District. In November, they launched Office Hours, a grab-and-go cafe based out of the PENN 1 lobby. The PENN building app currently has an exclusive tenant-priced menu for all app users, and allows individuals to order ahead or schedule pick up to best fit their needs. That same month, the companies also collaborated on the CSA Farm Box, an order ahead farm box that app users can order from for pick up the following week to establish a more effective workplace. Most recently, HqO and DMK Restaurants plan to expand upon these existing feature sets by launching a fully integrated catering experience — complete with resource booking — to allow users to book catering via Office Hours.
Looking Towards the Future
DMK Restaurants is continuing their partnership with HqO and bringing new and exciting offerings to The PENN District community to enhance the workplace experience (wx) and keep employees engaged. These include launching a large sit-down restaurant called The Landing, which allows app users to make early-access reservations, order ahead, and schedule pickups. The Landing also has a digitally-facilitated dine-in option accessible through its balcony area. Guests of the restaurant are able to scan a QR code, pull up their location menu, order and pay through the app, and then seamlessly have the order brought to their location in the balcony. Additionally, HqO is also helping The Landing facilitate catering through the app’s white-glove interface to strengthen The PENN District brand and deliver a truly hospitable dining experience to its office space users and guests.
Want to learn more about how HqO can partner with your services — from working with leading restaurant platforms like Toast to streamlining employee journeys in the workplace? Schedule a consultation today.