Blog Post

Catering & co-living: How to enhance community and experience

People eating food together

If there’s one thing the pandemic has made us appreciative of, it’s community. Whether it be family, friends, colleagues, or our neighbours, having been kept away from one another for the best part of two years, we’re now making up for lost time. And looking at recent residential trends, the desire to live near others is hugely evident.

According to an article in Property Week, analysis done by Built Asset Management showed “a 300% hike in July and August [2021] in renters leaving single accommodation for co-living, compared with pre-lockdown levels.” This is, in turn, driving confidence in the sector, “Manchester alone has had up to £450m of investment deals agreed for co-living apartments.”

Of course, co-living is not necessarily a new phenomenon, but it’s gained renewed vigour in a post-pandemic landscape. Now, though, tenants have high expectations and place greater emphasis on a lifestyle experience than ever before. This is fuelling designers to push the boundaries in both aesthetics and facilities to best support their clients.

Co-living that feels good

In a recent insight piece for Material Source, Hologram – a collective of creative and strategic thinkers dedicated to designing and visualising space differently – believe that, apart from notable exceptions, co-living establishments have “shown more madness than method”. In response, they’ve launched their Living For Good ™ approach, which ensures a scheme Is, Feels and Looks good.

This really resonated with us – particularly in terms of what ‘feels good’. Peoples’ wellbeing has been impacted enormously during the pandemic. Especially those that may have been living alone. What co-living offers is a destination for connection and collaboration. And the facilities included in these schemes can massively support this.

Bringing people together through a love of food

At Pre Order Pods, we believe food has the ability to bring people together – creating communities in the process. Many co-living style schemes have an F&B offering, either within the same building or nearby. Plus, with many of these developments being located in city centres, there’s a close proximity to local restaurants.

While this alone offers many benefits to the co-living community, there’s another step developers and designers can take to enhance tenant experience even further.

Co-living communal areas are a great place for socialising over a drink or a hot meal. The design of such spaces makes them reminiscent of high-quality hospitality venues. Just check out this co-living concept by Monika Studio for Kosy by Brundell Property Group in Brighton.

The ultimate in catering convenience

Whether it’s home cooking, a snack from an on-site café, or a takeaway from a local restaurant, the installation of Pre Order Pods in a centrally accessible location offers the ability to store freshly prepared food at a hot, cold or ambient temperature. Tenants can access an allocated pod simply through a QR code on their smartphone, to store or collect food at a time that suits them.

Perhaps a group of tenants decides to meet in the evening to enjoy a shared meal together. One tenant makes a plate of pasta but needs to pop out before joining the others. They leave the hot meal in a Pre Order Pod so it’s ready and waiting for when they return.

Another tenant might have ordered their favourite freshly prepared meal using an app such as Deliveroo or Just Eat. They share a code to access their allocated Pre Order Pod with the delivery driver, so they can drop off the food directly to the locker, to be collected when’s convenient. In both instances, Pre Order Pods acts as an enhancer of experience and customer convenience.

The co-living sector is undeniably on the rise with new developments popping up all across the country. Taking into account the rafts of wellbeing benefits offered, it’s no surprise to us they’re growing so rapidly in popularity.

We’re big believers in food being good for the soul, so, in our view, for co-living schemes that are built with the nurturing of communities in mind, Pre Order Pods are the perfect facilitator for nourishing them.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels