Newcastle cafe owners invest in new bistro offering
The owners of a Newcastle café are meeting the new challenges of the hospitality sector head on by re-shaping their business model.
They are transforming their business into a bistro restaurant called Froth Bistro with extended opening hours.
Froth Bistro has opened on Newcastle’s busy Central Promenade. The previous business, Froth Coffee, was forced to close due to the lockdown and the staff were furloughed.
This exciting transformation to a bistro has involved significant investment in capital equipment, décor and re-branding, as well as the recruitment of additional staff to meet the needs of customers in the age of Covid-19.
Froth Bistro will offer a contemporary, casual menu from 10am to 8pm, 6-days a week. The restaurant will initially operate on a ‘bring your own’ alcohol basis, but it is hoped a liquor licence can be secured within months.
The team of seven full-time and nine part-time staff will be led by a new Head Chef and Front of House Manager.
Commenting on the decision to re-open as a bistro, Director Cathy McNulty said:“We were devastated when the café had to close in March.
“With all the fear and concern that followed lockdown, we initially wondered whether we would ever open again.
‘Lockdown forced us to look hard at the business’.
“However, the enforced time away from the day-to-day pressures of running the café gave us the opportunity to really look at the business.
“We’ve thought about how we could not only survive post-lockdown but hopefully grow our presence.
“Moving to a bistro-styled restaurant offers us considerably more potential to expand our customer base and, in doing so, secure the long-term sustainability of our business.
“We already knew that to get up and running again we would have to make major changes to the layout of the cafe to provide a safe environment for our staff and customers.
“We just decided to take it a lot further than most by completely changing our positioning, branding, layout, menu and hours of the business” explained Cathy.
Once Cathy and her fellow Director Anne-Marie O’Higgins had decided to move to a bistro offering serving a breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner menu, the pair moved ahead quickly in developing the business.
Two key appointments were made… Head Chef Tadgh McNamara, a former Northern Ireland Chef of the Year Gold Medalist joins Froth from the Royal County Down Golf Club.
Also, Front of House Manager Kevin O’Neill formerly of the Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk, and the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa is also aboard.
Furloughed staff were all offered positions in the new business as were the regular part-time staff.
So the Froth Bistro team are now ready and are open for business.