CHEFS Foodhall combines modern dining with mobile technology


CHEFS Foodhall combines modern dining with mobile technology


CHEFS Foodhall is South Africa’s first owner-operated food hall. The food concept store is based in Cavendish Square shopping mall in Cape Town and the new restaurant brings together food from 11 kitchens to offer consumers a unique dining experience.  


The food hall concept is nothing new. In fact, food halls have become increasingly popular in recent years, popping up all over Asia, Europe and the US. These cafeteria-like settings serve as a space where customers can choose from different food vendors and then dine in a communal environment. This trend was the impetus behind CHEFS Foodhall, a new dining experience in Cape Town’s southern suburbs.  


In a more traditional food hall setting, customers would likely amble around from stall to stall, peering at menus printed on large boards while navigating long lines of people trying to do the exact same thing. To avoid this, they wanted to develop a dedicated CHEFS app that would streamline the ordering process, reduce queueing times and put the entire experience in the hands of the customer.  


Given Bluegrass’ experience in the food and dining ecommerce space, they were an ideal partner to help CHEFS Foodhall team build the technology backbone they needed to provide a fuss free ordering experience. Think of it as being a bit like Uber Eats but for food hall dining. Customers need simply sign up, provide their credit card information and they’re ready to start ordering. 


Leveraging the React Native mobile application framework, Bluegrass created a native app that was iOS, Android and Harmony OS compatible and able to support in-store dining and takeaways. Delivery options will be introduced at a later stage. 


The app offers patrons a truly self-service experience making it possible to do everything from view menus to order their meal. The app also allows customers to create a digital wallet and enables payments. Once an order is ready, customers are sent notifications alerting them that their food can be collected from the relevant kitchen.  


Bringing together all of these different capabilities was made possible using a modern cloud microservices architecture. Given the variety of systems and SaaS solutions that are used within a modern restaurant today, Bluegrass helped by building a common API layer that connects everything together.

CHEFS food hall opened its doors at the end of 2022 offering a mobile app only dining experience, the first of its kind in Africa. Described as dining 2.0, the concept delivers fast, efficient, self-help dining.  


The mobile app continues to evolve with features aligning to the new concept store. And going forward, the digitally enabled food hall concept is ripe for innovation because the use of technology coupled with the business’ economies of scale makes it possible to keep prices affordable as the business grows. 


“For us, at Bluegrass, it’s always great to be involved in something unique and different,” notes Nick Durrant, co-founder and CEO at Bluegrass Digital. “As this is a first for Africa, and with there being so much potential for this concept store to totally transform how we eat out in the future, it’s exciting to be a part of this journey with the CHEFS Food hall team.” 


If you need a partner to create your next mobile app or B2B ecommerce solution tailored to meet your unique needs, we’re here to help. To find out more, get in touch, here. 



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