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Castle Quarter Café

In July 2020, we opened the UK’s first communal dining area powered exclusively by mobile ordering alongside Cardiff Council and FOR Cardiff (BID). We spoke to a selection of participating venues about their experience using Yoello and utilising the outdoor foodspace.

4,626 unique orders within the first 10 days of opening
£255,000 total sales within the first 10 days of opening
1,619 burgers sold within the first 10 days of opening
⋆ FAB Burger sales increased 200%
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse reported record sales over opening weekend
looking down from cardiff castle to castle street

BACKGROUND

The Castle Quarter Café was an initiative set up by Yoello, Cardiff Council and FOR Cardiff (BID) after the first lockdown in 2020 to support local businesses in Cardiff city centre which were operating at a restricted capacity because of social distancing regulations.  

The 240-seater alfresco dining area allowed nearby operators to communally trade in a safe, socially-distanced setting next to the city's most iconic landmark, Cardiff Castle.

After launching on 31st July 2020, the project was a massive success having generated just over a quarter of a million pounds for the local economy within the first 10 days of opening alone.

"The mobile ordering from here is up 200% on what we were doing with Uber Eats and Deliveroo, so it's much busier, and it seems to be a much higher turn over of people." Craig Howarth, FAB Burgers.
"Spend per customer has definitely gone up with the mobile ordering, I think it makes it easier for them to keep adding to it... trying different foods and ordering more than they would normally if they had to queue." - Craig Howarth, FAB Burgers.

The UK's first foodcourt powered exclusively by mobile ordering

The 240 seat cafe was set up with 2m distancing between every table. There were hand sanitisation points at the entrance and exits, and the tables were cleaned with disinfectant between every sitting.

Using any smartphone, customers could scan a QR code at their table or type in a URL to access a wide selection of nearby venues where they could then browse the menu and order food and drinks to the table.

With Covid-19 safety a number one priority, there was no physical cash exchanged - all payments and tips were made securely through the platform. Food and drinks were then bought out to the tables in recyclable containers with disposable cutlery.

"We've notice a huge increase in trade, particularly on sunny days where people can make use of the Castle St area all day... we've definitely seen a massive increase from that and it's been really brilliant for us" - Adam Cousins, Revolutions Bar.

Some of the participating businesses included local independent favourites such as Nata & Co, 3B’s, Bubs Bar, The Grazing Shed and Dusty Knuckles.

There were also venues from chains of varying sizes including restaurants such as The Coconut Tree, Revolutions Bar and Marco Pierre White and fast-food outlets including Subway, Burger King, Honest Burger and Wok to Walk.


"I think it's one of the best systems ever because it really helps us as a kitchen, helps the bar and is really good for the customers because you don't have to go to the bar. So it's really really good, really helps us." - Krish Pankaj, Keralan Karavan.

CONCLUSION

The Castle Quarter Café successfully brought much needed life back into Cardiff's city centre after the first national lockdown.

It demonstrated how a safe and enjoyable environment can be created to entice customers back into the city centre with innovative technology making it easy to reduce unnecessary contact whilst maintaining an enjoyable dining experience.

Having processed over £80,000 of sales over the opening weekend, and just over a quarter of a million pounds in the first 10 days, the project successfully provided a much needed boost to the city centre hospitality economy.

Participating operators have been incredibly grateful to their local Council and BID for the additional revenue opportunities this project has given them.

If you are a Council or BID organisation and would like to find out more about this project and how it could be replicated in your area, please contact our Head of Channel Partnerships directly - oliver.page@yoello.com.
Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff (BID) - "We are delighted to work with Yoello and Cardiff Council to bring an alfresco dining option to our businesses. We believe that this is a great opportunity for so many businesses to create additional covers for so many businesses. Hearing that so many of our members have already seen a positive difference to their bottom line is exactly why we wanted to bring this opportunity to them and we're delighted that after such a short amount of time it has already made a difference.”


Dusty Knuckle
– "We have been taken aback by how popular it has been and it is fantastic what Cardiff Council, FOR Cardiff and Yoello have set up to support businesses such as ours. We have had to dramatically increase our stock to cope with demand as trade has been fantastic."


The Coconut Tree
- "Being located on Mill Lane, we are quite a distance from the Castle Quarter Cafe, but the delivery set up has allowed us to have an increased number of covers when all hospitality businesses need this support. It has been excellent and long may it continue."


Wok to Walk
– "It has been really good. We have received a constant stream of orders to go along our normal in-store trade. We are really happy with how it is all working."


Marco Pierre White
– ‘‘We have been really pleased with the demand from the wonderful people of Cardiff. It has been a fantastic way of supporting the business and we are delighted to be part of it."


Nata & Co –
"It receives a big thumbs up from us as we have been very busy."
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