Office Installs Champagne-on-Demand Buttons at Workers' Desks
Now this is what you call an employee-friendly workplace.
A London real estate developer is offering to install “Bring Champagne” buttons on the desks of the tenants that rent its latest venture into high-end office space.
Staff at the lucky hedge fund (we’re presuming it will be a hedge fund, although a particularly well-endowed tech startup might also fancy it) will be able to get fizz sent up via dumbwaiters from a restaurant on the first floor, ensuring that they don’t need to wait to taste the sweet success of a “good day at the office.”
Sticks’n’Sushi, the restaurant concerned, will also be able to send up caviar or something more substantial for those particularly special days.
“We’ve offered it—if people want it it’s there,” Simon Lyons, joint chief executive of developer Enstar Capital, told Fortune. “But, at the same time we live in an austerity world, so I’m not going to put it in if someone doesn’t want it.”
The inspiration comes from another restaurant, the celebrity hang-out Bob Bob Ricard, which has “Press for Champagne” buttons on every table. That’s just ’round the corner in another of Enstar’s developments in the hip Soho district, which is the traditional home of London’s theaters but is now increasingly popular with investment boutiques.
Lyons isn’t put off by reports of a slowdown in parts of London’s real estate market as the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union, a decision that seems likely to lead to thousands of high-paying jobs in banking and other financial services moving to the continent. He argues that while the residential sector may struggle, offices are still in short supply, and restaurants—especially in tourist locations like Soho—are “relatively recession-proof.” Tourism is the one industry that has boomed since Brexit: London has become a lot cheaper for visitors thanks to a drop of over 15% in the pound’s exchange rate against the dollar and euro.
The four-story development at 40 Beak St., on the site of a former police station, will cost around 550 pounds ($688) a square foot to refurbish, a price more in line with luxury apartments than office spaces, according to the Evening Standard. Enstar aims to start building in February next year.