Turner Contemporary invites tenders for new café operator

Turner Contemporary cafe space Image Visit Thanet

Turner Contemporary is inviting tenders from operators to run its café.

Previous operators Barletta ceased trading at Turner Contemporary on December 9 due to ‘the financial impact’ of a bank scam. It is being run until the end of March by artisanal bakery and café Staple, according to the business’s website..

The gallery’s current licensed hours are 10am-11.30pm daily and the café layout allows for 48 covers inside and 24 on the outside terrace.

The successful operator will be asked to pay staff at Real Living Wage rate or above.

Turner Contemporary will charge a monthly service charge of £2,000. In addition a monthly commission fee of 10% on sales is chargeable with a guarantee of £2,500 per month, whichever is higher.

Turnover for the café, including events, shows a total of £324,520.23 for 2021/22.  .

For further details about the tender download the summary outline here and the brief for proposals here.

Deadline for proposals is March 17 and interviews will be held on April 3-4.

Requests for site visits and proposals can be emailed to [email protected]


  1. So you,d have to pay Turner Gallery £4,500 a month plus pay staff wages and stock before you make any profit ! Doesn,t sound the best of deals !

    • If they charged £1 each person to go in the Turner they could give the cafe rent free & not be greedy Bast+++s, who is ever going to take over on those rents, it will sit there empty for a long time.

      • Actually there is a temporary operator there at the moment (until the end of March, according to their website). They opened earlier on in February. This article was inaccurate to say that it has sat empty for the whole period since Barletta folded.

  2. Why is the cafe have to pay the TC when the TC is run of our taxes ? So the TC is free but the cafe had to earn enough to be profitable. Sounds fair !

    • Bill

      Because TC want to make 4.5k month from charging some mugs to run it !

      TC just takes from tax payers and anyone wanting to run a cafe on their site. Take take take

    • Because they don’t pay for anything themselves-just endless taking money from the Arts Council, KCC, TDC & the cafe operator for doing nothing. Because very few, if any, would pay to see the rubbish in there if they charged an entry fee.

      • I don’t think the Turner’s exhibitions have ever been composed of “rubbish” in any sense of the word. I do think the people who invariably criticize modern art need to widen their experience of it before making a blanket judgment.

  3. More daylight robbery from the Turder-2.5k per month minimum to put some cheap plastic chairs & some tables outside their awful building, that people walk into for free.

  4. It seems to me that this space should be run as an inclusive venture for all in Margate. Whilst Barleta was terribly nice it was pretty pricey, it was really only for those fortunate enough to have deep pockets. This space should be used as an accessible cafe during the day at least and a restaurant in the evenings .
    It should be remembered this art gallery is essentially publicly funded and the cafe due to its location provides fabulous views which should be available to all.
    The new temporary cafe company Staples seem to be a refreshing choice for this location. Most people want simple good quality food at a reasonable price , not a gastronomic experience par excellence.

  5. Since the Turner gallery has been open which has been about about 11 years there have been I think 5 different attempts by different catering firms to run a service from this site. Doesn’t this raise questions about the business model and charges being imposed by the Turner gallery ?

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