Successful launch of the Castle Quarter Café


Cardiff's exciting new dining out experience on Castle Street officially opened to the public on Friday and got off to a phenomenal start generating over £80,000 for the local economy.

After a successful first weekend, up to 30 businesses could be taking part in the Castle Quarter Café initiative with many lined up to sign up by the weekend, providing an even wider choice of eateries for visitors to enjoy.

The new dining experience allows restaurants and cafes in the city centre to trade in a 240-seater, outdoor, covered, eating area in front of one of Cardiff's most iconic landmarks - Cardiff Castle.

The new facilities have been put in place to allow businesses - which could struggle to operate profitably indoors because of the two metre distance regulations in Wales - to trade in a safe, socially-distanced outdoor setting.

Customers to the Castle Street Café use their smart phone to access an online platform by typing into their browsers or by scanning a QR code placed on their table. This allows them to order deliveries from a number of restaurants and cafes across the city. The customer pays through the secure payment platform and the food and drink is delivered to the table.

The new Caste Street facility has been warmly welcomed by businesses following the successful opening weekend.

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.'

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.'

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

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.'

Sarah Merry, Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council said: "We are delighted with the start that the Castle Street café has had and we are really pleased that the hospitality sector has been able to take advantage of the Castle Street offer. Our intention was always to try and safeguard as many jobs as we can despite the pandemic and we want to thank the people of Cardiff who came out in their thousands to show their support.

"With warm weather forecasted for this weekend, we expect more people to come along and try it out. It's a fantastic way for people to support their favourite restaurants and cafes which otherwise might struggle to operate profitably because of the 2 metre social distancing rules. Our message to everyone is, please come in, sit down, enjoy your food in a fabulous setting, but please remember to socially distance from others and allow our staff on-site to assist."

Sina Yamani, CEO of Yoello said: "The Castle Quarter café opening was a huge success, with all tables occupied throughout the day and large queues of people waiting to get in. The weekend's total generated over £80,000 for the local economy, which is fantastic considering the majority of partners had to shut early due to running out of stock"

Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff said: "We have been in constant contact with all of our members throughout this trying period, and hospitality being one of the last sectors to reopen has had its challenges to face. 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 who don't have much space or resource to create their own digital solutions at this time.

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."

The Council has set out a few top tips for all those visiting the Castle Quarter Café:

Order everything at the beginning- As you have a two-hour timeslot, it's recommended that you order all food and drinks straightaway so you don't run out of time. If you would like to order alcohol, you will need to make a £10 minimum food order (‘Challenge 25' policy is in operation).

Make sure to check the wait times- The restaurants/cafés will have different wait times and some may have longer times than others - so if you are in a hurry try to choose one which can serve you in the time that suits you.

Order everything from the same place- Ordering meals from different menus can be great if your party has varied tastes, but if you order and pay separately, they will arrive at different times. So why not order from the same place, and pay in one transaction? That way you can all eat together.

The government Eat Out to Help Out schemeis only applicable where food and drink is sold for immediate consumption on a premises. As Castle Quarter Cafe is regarded as a takeaway service unfortunately the scheme does not apply, even if the merchant that you order from is a participant in their own premises.

Do you have any questions? The team on site will be happy to help, or head to the FAQs section