During this era of remote and hybrid working, local cafés have evolved into dynamic workspaces for modern professionals. As a remote business ourselves, we enjoy getting out and about within the local community to meet our clients and catch up as a team. We are passionate about supporting local businesses and the local community and in this blog, we’ll share some of our favourite independent café venues to hold business meetings, team catch ups and networking events.
Why should I consider holding a business meeting in a café?
Clients and colleagues will appreciate the change of scenery from their office/home office and the chance to engage in a more relaxed atmosphere. Some cafes have more of an energetic buzz which can promote creativity and you never know who else you might bump into and the opportunities that might bring. Delicious homemade cakes, pastries and artisan coffees sweeten the experience (everyone needs cake, especially if you can expense it!).
What are the benefits to the café owners?
As cafes increasingly become a hub for business interactions, this can also increase the use of space that might otherwise be under-utilised, especially during off-peak hours. The increased sales, revenue and profits will certainly be welcomed and if you’d had a good experience, this can lead to repeat business for the café. Using an independent café for your business meetings not only supports that local business, but also contributes to the local community and economy.
Some things to consider…
Here at Yorkshire Brand Stories we try to make sure that we don’t stay too long, consider our use of space, power outlets and Wi-Fi, respect the staff and order more than just a cup of tea (especially if we can expense it!) and respect the staff – all common sense stuff really! We’d also recommend taking along headphones for any video meetings.
Luckily for us, York has a rich café culture so we are spoiled for choice! Here are our top 10 independent cafes in York for business meetings (click the link to discover the latest opening hours and menu options):
1. North South
Located near Bootham Bar, in the City Centre, this trendy independent café and bar specialises in coffees, meats and cheeses (as well as beer, wine and cocktails). Dogs are welcome here
Located in the village of Poppleton, Poppleton Social are all about people! They are committed to building relationships with their customers and offer a breakfast and lunch menu, specialty coffee and cakes which are available to sit in or take away. The Poppleton Centre has a spacious car park, plenty of additional outdoor seating and they are also dog friendly.
The team at Bluebird Bakery in Acomb craft fresh bread daily using long-fermentation methods. The café is welcoming, spacious, accessible and friendly with a real community feel. The menu showcases artisan bread, pastries and a range of sweet treats (the brownies are scrummy).
4. City Screen
The Riverside Café Bar within City Screen Cinema, on Coney Street, is based within the converted Yorkshire Herald Press building, perfectly pairing history and character with twenty-first century design. There is plenty of inside seating as well as outdoor seating with a glorious view overlooking the River Ouse. Their seasonal menu and specials offer a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Dogs are welcome on the terrace.
5. The Grand
Opened in 1906 as a ‘Palace of Business’, York’s only 5-star hotel will be sure to wow your client(s) and make them feel really special. The Rise, Restaurant, Terrace and Bar, overlooks the City Walls and offers an AA Rosette awarded menu for a luxurious social and dining experience.
6. Cycle Heaven
Cycle Heaven in Fulford, is a hub for the cycling community and locals alike. This spacious and welcoming cafe is open daily and dogs are also welcome. Located near the Millenium Bridge, Cycle Heaven is close to the river and Rowntree Park if you would prefer to take your food & drink goodies away and have a walking meeting!
*Currently under new management and pending a full menu relaunch shortly.
The Curious Coffee Company, inside Haxby Shopping Centre, offers freshly made food sourced from local suppliers where possible and often has gluten free options too. Another one for dog lovers! Have you tried their award-winning brownie?
This award-winning artisan bakery and coffee bar, with outdoor seating, is a fantastic option for meeting outside the Ring Road and is walking distance from Wiggington. Why not try one of their delicious pastries during your meeting? Dogs are very welcome and there is a lovely community feel.
Busk, in Fishergate, serves a range of delicious breakfast, brunch and snacks alongside specialty coffee and fresh cakes which are made in-house. During the day, this is a nice, quiet space for coworking.
10. Weston’s Café
This modern café, within the Wilberforce Trust, offers a range of hot and cold drinks, snacks and a classic lunch menu. Weston’s Café is fully accessible and boasts an outdoor terrace which is perfect for the warmer months. They also have a meeting space, The Rainbow Room, which is available for hire.
So, the next time you’re planning a business gathering, why not consider supporting your local café scene and embracing the ambiance, creative energy and community support that they can offer your business. Why not give some (or all) of our suggestions a try over the coming weeks and months and let us know your favourites! Maybe you already have a favourite café for meetings that we haven’t mentioned here – let us know!