A cafe without hot drinks???

(35 Posts)
jocook Thu 04-Jul-13 16:45:27

I work in my local childrens centre cooking for the nursery attached and have been asked to open the centres café. Great opportunity with a big BUT!! The childrens centre has a 'no hot drinks' policy which personally I feel is a bit H&S gone mad but Im having serious doubts about the viability of a café that doesn't serve tea or coffee. Does anyone else attend a childrens centre with a similar policy and would it stop any of you using the café if you couldn't get a latte to go with your scrummy scone!!??

ShatnersBassoon Thu 04-Jul-13 16:48:15

I wouldn't bother unless I happened to be there and was seriously thirsty or hungry.

What about hot food? Is that banned throughout as well?

Staff aren't allowed a hot drink in a room designated for breaks etc?

VelvetStrider Thu 04-Jul-13 16:55:35

One of our childrens centres has a cafe and they do serve hot drinks, so it must be local policy.

Personally I'd be delighted to go to a cafe that didn't stink of disgusting coffee. You could serve delicious juices and smoothies. I expect I'm in the minority though.

BackforGood Thu 04-Jul-13 17:03:02

I wouldn't use it.
Surely it's a different room from where the children are ? If a parent chose to bring a child in there, then they would be aware they were going into a cafe, and therefore aware of the possibility of hot drinks.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 04-Jul-13 17:04:45

Could you not call it a cafe? Call it a milk bar or smoothie bar or something? That way there would be less expectation of hot drinks.

Fragglewump Thu 04-Jul-13 17:08:56

If I'm juggling hungry kids I need coffee! I wouldn't bother to use it.

SanityClause Thu 04-Jul-13 17:09:09

The thing is, would it be viable without hot drinks.

We know someone who runs a tea room. They say that a pot of tea costs about a penny to make, and sells for a pound. That's a big markup. You won't get that on cakes or sandwiches.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:10:18

I wouldn't use it. It's just silly.

jocook Thu 04-Jul-13 17:37:26

Staff are allowed hot drinks in the staff room. Its the public areas they aren't allowed. I think it should be a parental responsibility thing but the centre manager says he couldn't live with himself if a child got scalded which of course would be awful. But yes where then does the cut off come.....no soup or perhaps we could serve coffee in soup bowls!!! ; )

jocook Thu 04-Jul-13 17:38:34

I think the milk bar idea is great if he does hold the hard line over it!!

I wouldn't use it either. Sorry. If i wanted a cold drink, I'd buy one at a shop.

TeamEdward Thu 04-Jul-13 17:41:34

I would expect hot drinks in a "café".

mewkins Thu 04-Jul-13 17:44:43

This is quite ridiculous. Those using it will be parents, chikdminders, grandparents etc and have to look after children so are constantly vigilant about that sort of thing. He could be creative (eg serve luke warm drinks! Ha!) Or purpose built high shelving rather than his frankly quite weird response. Presumably cutlery will also be banned? And crockery?

ShatnersBassoon Thu 04-Jul-13 17:45:05

The centre manager is being ludicrous, absolutely ridiculous. Tell him you'll undertake some market research before committing to it, then he'll realise that there is nobody that would rather have a H&S haven than a fully functioning cafe in their centre.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 04-Jul-13 17:47:37

I wouldn't use it unless I was really dehydrated and even then I would rather buy a bottle of water from a newsagents or something than a cafe. There is something depressing about sitting in a cafe with a glass of water and I don't really like other cold drinks except alcoholic ones . Not only would I want to buy a hot drink I would probably want one for my child.

Mumzy Thu 04-Jul-13 17:49:18

It's totally ridiculous I won't bother if no hot drinks ESP in winter. Our local one o'clock club when it transferred to the council stopped all hot drinks for adults for the same reason but the manager who had been there for 20 years said she'd never know a child being scalded there as a result of a hot drink.

littleducks Thu 04-Jul-13 17:53:20

I went to a playgroup with a hot drinks at a children's centre with a hot drinks in sippy cups policy, once. I didn't bother going back! I preferred the playgroup with the facilities to make your own tea and coffee and biscuits provided in the entrance fee. I understand the focus of the children's centre is providing opportunities for children but I don't actually want to sit around miserable while they play, the coffee in peace ehile they played and chatting to other mums was the best bit.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 04-Jul-13 18:03:17

In our children's centres there are separate areas where hot drinks are allowed and not allowed. In the allowed area the toys are more sedate, e.g. jigsaws, books, and a little contained baby area, there are tables and chairs. In the not-allowed area there are all of the more adventurous toys like ride ons, a slide etc and children are freer to run around. There were sofas for parents in this room.

Could you not make a compromise like this? It was a bit of a pain not being able to go into the main playroom with a hot drink but manageable and if you knew a few people there then you could sort of swap DCs while each other had a hot coffee!

FWIW I did actually spill a hot drink on DS at another sure start playgroup where there was only one room, luckily it wasn't hot any more so he was fine. They weren't funny about it at all, just checked he was okay and then helped me clear it up.

If you're not going to have hot drinks then you'll have to call it a milkshake bar or juice bar or something, but that doesn't seem very "adult".

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 04-Jul-13 18:03:40

Maybe you should offer gin instead grin

TheFallenNinja Thu 04-Jul-13 18:05:29

The state is absolutely terrified of being sued.

Noseynoonoo Thu 04-Jul-13 18:13:17

Whilst I do think a café should serve hot drinks, a woman did once trip up and pour hot coffee on my crawling daughter at a children's centre. I was being vigilant, unfortunately the woman holding the coffee wasn't - so I totally see the managers point of view.

BinarySolo Thu 04-Jul-13 18:19:54

Could you get round it by serving the drinks in those thermal travel mugs with screw on lids? I know some sure starts allow this or have a hot drink area.

forevergreek Thu 04-Jul-13 18:32:48

I would like it but I'm not that bothered about hot drinks

You could have :
Ice tea ( a few flavours)
Fresh juices
Milkshakes

Make a big thing of selling mini versions when purchased with adult. Ie adult apple juice £1.50, child's mini version 50p etc etc. same with food. Blt sandwich £3.50, child's version £1.50 ( all you have to order adult size too to make
Profit/ ease of making drinks)

You could make simple lunches like pastas/ quiche/ paninis etc

And heathy ish cakes/muffins

jocook Thu 04-Jul-13 19:03:13

The toys are in a totally separate area of the centre....the old school hall. the café area has tables and chairs next to the kitchen hatch and the childminder/mother & toddler groups put up childrens tables and chairs for when there is a large group of children.
I had considered putting the thermal cup option....though personally I wouldn't want my mocha out of one!!! I really want this to be a great café in its own right but really don't think I'll get the CC manager to back down.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 04-Jul-13 19:29:47

Yeah I find thermal cups make tea and coffee taste weird, but still, it would be better than not having them. And with DC you're always having to get up and attend to them etc so it will keep the drinks actually hot which might be a bonus!

The set up sounds perfect for having a "no hot drinks outside this area" clause, though. They could just put a sign up saying parents must supervise their children around the hot drink area which would remove/reduce the chance of being sued.

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