He said: “Cardiff is a really interesting city and is quite small but, within that, there is huge growth potential for operators. Recently, there has been a lot of growth, redevelopment, bringing in lots of business to the area.
“Of course, when businesses move to an area, the service and hospitality industry has to move with it, creating opportunities for new operators.”
But it is not just the city itself where opportunities lie for new businesses to open and expand – the suburbs are also the place to be.
Thomas added: “The city has a huge catchment area, with Swansea to the west and Bristol to the east, meaning people coming into Cardiff from outside too. There are opportunities in terms of the sheer number of people coming.”
Thomas highlighted the diversity in the city and the various different demographics available to operators considering opening a site in the area.
“There are three universities in the city, meaning there are thousands of students within the area, which is another audience operators can tap into,” he said.
“However, the demographic of the city itself is very mixed. On top of the students and the professionals from the [business] development, the native population is a huge audience here.
“The locals who have been here for generations are fiercely proud of Cardiff and see no reason to leave, they see all the development and change as opportunities for them too.
“The city is very multicultural but is an amazing, rapidly growing area with something for everyone.”
Cardiff is also home to a variety of sporting events and grounds, including the Principality Stadium, which has a Tiny Rebel site opposite.
Thomas added: “When there is a home match and we have Irish or French fans over, we are jam-packed with very different groups of people but everyone is having a good time.”
The city’s proximity to London also helps bring punters in. Thomas said: “Cardiff is a ‘cheap alternative’ to London. The cost of living and office space costs are less but, no matter where you are in Cardiff, you can be on the M4 in 10 minutes and in London in two and a half hours.”
While Thomas was keen to outline the benefits of the Welsh capital, he also mentioned some challenges that operating in the city brings. “Because Cardiff is small, the competition for space is quite significant. Also, there is a small, community feel to the area so if you were to develop a bad reputation, everyone would know about it.
“In a larger city like London, which is more segmented, you stick to your area, serve those customers and people further away might not know about you at all, but in Cardiff, everyone knows everything.”
If you are a multi-site operator and want to join Tiny Rebel at the next MA500 event in Cardiff, on 24 May, email email@example.com.