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Calls for Expressions of Interest for Café at Streamstown

Calls for Expression of Interest for Café at Streamstown Station 

Westmeath County Council is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced catering companies or individuals for the unique opportunity to operate a new café at Streamstown Station on the Old Rail Trail Greenway. This new facility will be a vital amenity for all users of the greenway, adjacent playground, and wider community. The provision of a good quality and reliable service at this location is of upmost importance for the Council.

The Old Rail Trail is a 43 km greenway that brings visitors through the scenic Midlands landscape alongside the historic Great Western Railway line, connecting the Royal Canal Greenway in Mullingar with the River Shannon in Athlone. In 2021 the greenway was extended to the Marina in Athlone Town. A new River Shannon crossing is under development, which will connect this greenway to the west side of Athlone, alongside Athlone Castle.

This is part of a larger project to develop Ireland’s first coast-to-coast greenway from Dublin to Galway. Streamstown station is located on the popular Moate to Castletown section. This fantastic location benefits from additional visitors to the playground beside the café building and has ample parking.

Monthly users on this section of greenway: 

April 2021: 5,235
May 2021: 4,929
June 2021: 5,784
July 2021: 5,087
August 2021: 4,642
September 2021: 3,692

January 2022: 2,341
February 2022: 1,307
March 2022: 2,938
April 2022:  2,548
May 2022: 3,130
June 2022: 2,968
July 2022: 3,518
August 2022: 3,745
September 2022: 2,353
October 2022: 1,909

Catering and Submission Requirements: 
The recently converted Station House is 44.7 sq. m. with space for seating both inside and outside on a picturesque platform overlooking the greenway. Expressions of interest will be assessed on the listed requirements and experience. Submissions should include details of:

Requirements (scored component, provide an answer for each point): 
• The proposal should give detailed information on the type of café offering proposed to include food, beverages, eat-in and take out options
• Proposed opening days and hours, at a minimum the café must operate during peak periods including but not limited to weekends and bank holidays
• Proposed pricing structure (food, soft drinks and hot beverages)
• Proposed staffing and management structure
• Proposed marketing and publicity strategy
• Provide knowledge of and commitment to compliance with all health and safety and legal standards and operational procedures of a catering business
• Proposal for dealing with waste disposal and cleaning requirements of both the café and adjacent toilet facilities.
Experience (scored component, provide an answer for each point):
The operator must have relevant business experience and must show evidence in their submission of:
• Previous and current operations in the catering business
• Training in catering or hospitality management
• Experience in merchandising and marketing.
Additional Information to be supplied (not scored): 
• Commitment to cover all utilities, insurance and maintenance costs
• Names and contact details for two references, one being a most recent employer or leaseholder.
Interested parties are requested to treat all information which may be gained during this process in the utmost confidentiality, and not disclose any such information to any person or company not directly involved in this process.
In addition, applications will be held in confidence by Westmeath County Council and will be dealt with in accordance with the Councils Data Protection Policy. The privacy notice for Westmeath County Council can be found at: https://www.westmeathcoco.ie/en/privacy/
How to apply:
Expressions of Interest will be accepted by post or email and must be clearly marked “Streamstown Café Expression of Interest” and addressed to Helen de Lacy
Local Enterprise Office,
Aras an Chontae,
Email to: localenterprise@westmeathcoco.ie
Deadline for submissions: 5pm, Tuesday 29th of November 2022.

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 18/11/2022