Many early-stage startups don’t exactly have sprawling offices in which to host business meetings—if they even have an office at all. And those shared conference rooms at co-working spaces book up pretty quick. Besides, when you’re at work from 9 to 5 (or longer) every day, sometimes you need to take a moment to stretch your legs and venture into the outside world. But where to go?
That’s why we asked our readers what their favorite places to have meetings or do work remotely are when they take the time to get out of the workplace for a moment.
First, we discovered that our readers—at least the 43 respondents who filled out the full survey—really love having meetings over coffee, and not so much over lunch or drinks.
Durham coffee shops reigned supreme in our survey with Beyú Caffè, The Durham Hotel, and Bean Traders claiming the top three spots on our list. There were such a wide variety of favorites that the top choice in the graph below is “Other,” since we didn’t want to slice the pie so narrowly that the chart would be unreadable. In all, 26 coffee shops (or places to get coffee, anyway) collected votes.
Nos. 6-9, which aren’t pictured, were Fount Coffee & Kitchen in Morrisville; Durham’s Cocoa Cinnamon; Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe and Biergarten in Durham; and Raleigh’s Heirloom. Starbucks brought up the rear of the top 10 (hooray for local cafés!).
Top choice Beyú Caffè alone got 16 percent of the votes mostly because of its downtown Durham location, which our readers in downtown said is only a hop, skip and a 5-minute walk away. The fact that it’s literally across the street from GrepBeat HQ is just a happy coincidence. (No, we didn’t stack the deck.)
The Durham Hotel was recognized for its convenient location downtown as well, but many readers also praised its stylish environment and relaxed ambiance.
Our readers don’t much like lunch meetings. Maybe it has something to do with the eternal startup dilemma of how to split the bill—do you offer to treat a potential investor, for instance, or does that make you look like you’d waste their money on fancy lunches?
Coming in at the top spot for favorite places to have a lunch meeting is, ironically, “No favorite” (haha). But, if our readers had to choose, Page Road Grill and Mez in Durham would be their top choices.
One reader said Mez was “Just fancy enough to feel fancy,” and in our opinion, that’s what every great restaurant should live up to (not an ad).
Our readers liked meeting for drinks a little less than meeting for lunch, but a few familiar names made the list, and we had a five-way tie for third place (including the old standby “no favorite”). No. 1 was The Durham Hotel, which obviously isn’t just a great place for coffee. The second-place spot, Bull McCabe’s, was the location of the last two GrepBeat Happy Hours and will also host the next one on Thursday, March 14, sponsored by TriNet. (Subtle plug.)
Although most of our questions had to do with favorite places to have meetings, we were also curious as to where our readers go to do work outside of the office. Not surprisingly at all, it turned out to be coffee shops. GrepBeat readers are clearly a heavily caffeinated bunch.
Nearly half of the people we surveyed work at startups, so getting out of your co-working space or small office (if you have one) to work in a coffee shop or even at home makes sense every once in a while. Beyond the professions in the below chart, the next most common were recruiting; consulting; cybersecurity software; e-commerce; education; escape rooms (our favorite); public relations; and tech vendor.
It’s important to mention that almost 50 percent of the people who responded to our survey work in Durham, so if you noticed the results are a little Durham-leaning, don’t worry, you’re not crazy! After Cary, the third non-“Other” response below, the next most popular locations in order were: Chapel Hill; RTP; Apex; Carrboro; Garner; Greensboro; and Knightdale.
We want to thank all the loyal GrepBeat readers who responded to our survey. You are the reason we do what we do… and now, also the reason why we have more than a dozen new coffee shops, lunch places and bars to try out (that’s right, we only did this for recommendations!).