With something for everyone, since opening just over six months ago FeD Cardiff has quickly made a name for itself within the city, as Shalesh Bajpai, founder, recently explained to FMCG.
“The best way to describe FeD is that it’s a restaurant within a restaurant,” outlines Mr Bajpai. “It’s perfect for large groups of people, whether it’s families, friends or corporate clients, where not everyone can decide on what they’d like to eat. We’ve all been out on large gatherings where some of the group want Italian, others would prefer a Chinese, while others fancy an Indian or a steak, and the kids just want a pizza. We’re able to offer all these different types of cuisine in a single venue so a large group can enjoy each other’s company while eating exactly what they fancy.”
The concept has obviously struck a chord with customers as FeD has quickly developed a strong reputation within Cardiff. “Things have been going very well and we’re pleased with the progress we’re making,” adds Mr Bajpai. “Because we’re in an excellent location with good visibility we enjoy a high footfall, especially with a cinema next door and the Motorpoint Arena located just opposite. On top of this we’ve carried out extensive marketing including radio and newspaper advertising in addition to distributing flyers. We’ve certainly been proactively pushing the message out.”
FeD Cardiff’s offering is available at a fixed price of £14.99 in the evenings on Fridays and Saturdays and £13.99 on weekdays and Sundays. Customers can eat as much as they like with no limit on the number of times they can return to the food counters.
“Moving forward we’re going to keep rotating the menu from time to time in order to keep things fresh and interesting for our regular customers. This will include the addition of new foods and types of cuisine so that every time customers come to the restaurant there’s something new from a different part of the world for them to try. That’s the plan going forward.”
Shalesh Bajpai, founder
Although it aims to provide exceptional value FeD Cardiff has been careful not to cut corners on the quality side and has therefore looked to build a strong and reliable supply chain in order to source high quality ingredients for its dishes. “We’re all about providing customers with the best food possible so it was vital that from the very outset we got the supply chain right to ensure the ingredients were of the quality we required. Equally we’ve worked very hard on the service side and have put together a team of 50 people. Prior to opening we had strong training programmes in place so that all the staff were operating at the standard we wanted. As a consequence the level of service has been very high since the first day of opening, from the chefs and the waiters through to the bar staff and the table cleaners. It was a fully comprehensive training programme.”
Apart from meeting demand on the busier days, the early months of operation have been relatively challenge-free and FeD Cardiff continues to enjoy positive reviews from customers, although there’s no danger of it resting on its laurels. “We have regular feedback checks and staff meetings to identify areas where we can improve,” says Mr Bajpai. “There’s always going to be certain areas that require improvement so it’s up to us to take constructive feedback onboard and adjust our service accordingly to get it right next time. We’re conscious that we’re still a relatively new venture and it will take time to get all the details right, but we’re very pleased with the start we’ve made.
“Moving forward we’re going to keep rotating the menu from time to time in order to keep things fresh and interesting for our regular customers. This will include the addition of new foods and types of cuisine so that every time customers come to the restaurant there’s something new from a different part of the world for them to try. That’s the plan going forward.
“In the longer term, once we’ve got the blueprint right, we’ll be looking to roll out the concept to other towns and cities. The main focus for the time being, however, is to get FeD Cardiff operating to its optimum level so we can replicate that model elsewhere.”
With the demand it is already seeing in Cardiff it would be no surprise if further FeD restaurants are seen in other towns and cities across the UK sooner rather than later.