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Thoughts On Setting Up Cafe That's Child Focused

(38 Posts)
Jsway Sat 26-Aug-17 15:32:38

I know it's a nightmare to find somewhere to eat whilst having children with you. Makes LunchTime Very Difficult, so thinking of setting up a business that will help other Mums wink

SavoyCabbage Sat 26-Aug-17 15:36:33

My immediate thought is that it might be hard to make any money as people will hang around all the live long day with their massive pushchairs feeding their infants pots of cut up grapes from home.

2014newme Sat 26-Aug-17 21:06:01

Yep, mums buying a coffee and staying 2 hours. Result, you sell 30 coffees a lunchtime and go bust. That's why you don't see any child focused cafes! You need to sell actual food.

2014newme Sat 26-Aug-17 21:06:45

Also I did not find it a nightmare to find somewhere to eat with kids, most places have high chairs, kids menus etc.

dontquotemeondailymail Sat 26-Aug-17 21:24:09

Not being able to eat when you have small children is rarely down to the venue... it's usually the small children that are the problem!

(Sweeping statement) if you're on maternity leave or a stay at home mum, lunches out are a luxury so PPs are probably right that you'd get a group of mum's buying 1 or 2 rounds of coffees, each paying for their own drink on cards (do banks charge businesses per transaction??), and then leaving you with tables full of used up napkins, raisins all over the floor....

JoWithABow Sat 26-Aug-17 21:27:41

I can't see this idea being sustainable as a business unless you charge an entry fee - e.g. Like a soft play centre would.
Also I don't think it's a huge gap in the market, as there are loads of places that have high chairs, kids menus etc, or soft plays

Thurlow Sat 26-Aug-17 21:30:26

There's a cafe near us that does this. Its a nice cafe with a sort of fenced off play area. Its very nice but yes, I do wonder how much money it's making as it's full of mums who sit for ages only having a coffee.

AdaColeman Sat 26-Aug-17 21:34:50

You would never make a profit as the mothers would all want to bring their own food for their little darlings.

The crowds of children would put off other types of customers who would otherwise have been your more lucrative clients.

CheshireSplat Sat 26-Aug-17 21:35:57

There's a lovely cafe in Chester that does just this. Coffeetots. It does good healthy food, a separate play area for preschool age children, great coffee. I'd go on my own without DCs. Maybe worth a Google? I know two other good ones bit they're both not for profit.

noramum Sun 03-Sep-17 18:08:07

We have a farm shop near us who has this business idea:

shop with small tea room. It was too quite so they set up a small play area (fenced and surrounded by tables) and invited typical toddler/pre-school businesses to run classes or workshops. It seems to be packed since then. they have an additional room for this.

And most classes are running around toddler's lunch time so the mums often stay for lunch.

In the holidays they add things for primary school age children like a First Aid workshop, arts & craft classes, they run weekend tea party with a theme like Beauty&the Beast etc.

I agree with others, a normal cafe often suffers from the pram-crowd. I read about a tea room who charges fees (5p per minute you stay or something like this) but then offers free wifi, a book corner, very cheap tea and coffees.

Hoppinggreen Sun 03-Sep-17 18:11:25

Do you what to set up a business or help other Mums?
The 2 things can be compatible but it might be hard to achieve both

RandomMess Sun 03-Sep-17 18:14:33

Local cafe had 2 floors, lower floor has toddler play area etc.

blueskyred Sun 03-Sep-17 18:17:44

I would provide classes with coffee and cake afterwards or some ticketed time specific activities. Book online or in advance.

blueskyred Sun 03-Sep-17 18:18:40

tbh i think most cafes would struggle with the same issue of people just buying coffee and sitting for ages or using their wifi. I don't think sit in cafes are that profitable..

BellaGoth Sun 03-Sep-17 18:21:10

There's one near me that's very successful. There's a room upstairs where they do baby massage and various other groups, which may be the key.

Don't want to put a link to their website here as it will out me, but happy to pm you if you like.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 03-Sep-17 18:22:00

If you have tables that seat 4, then one mum and her children will occupy that table. She'll have a cup of tea. She'll have a carton of juice for the toddler and the baby will have milk from either her or a bottle. She'll love a child-friendly cafe, as will the other mums. If you've ten tables, you'll serve ten cups of tea or coffee in a couple of hours.

Good luck making a profit there.

feral Sun 03-Sep-17 18:25:40

For a brief time when on mat leave I would've loved something like this. A very brief moment like when had first had baby!

Since then I've found all the kid friendly places.

Maybe you need a combination of the two things. Quieter area for those wishing to dine without the kids playing nearby etc. Garden centres seem to so this well.

Bringmewineandcake Sun 03-Sep-17 18:28:39

There's one in Lichfield, very popular. Limited to 90 mins per table.

herecomesthsun Mon 04-Sep-17 08:13:12

This one is focussed on good and not hugely expensive food but is very very child friendly. It doesn't have a separate play area but does have lots of toys and a good kids menu. It might be an idea to visit some places like this and get ideas?

herecomesthsun Mon 04-Sep-17 08:15:20

Cafe with soft play here

MrsJayy Mon 04-Sep-17 08:17:28

My dd used to work in a place like this it wasn't open long 2 years( i think) the owner made no money as parents bought a coffeecand brought the kids lunches in with them cheeky gits it was used as a play centre really which was a real shame because it is a good idea.

ommmward Mon 04-Sep-17 08:25:49

There was a really good one near us in a large venue, one secure exit by the tills. You paid something like £3 per child entry, so the money was being made on the play room, and the cafe part was basically a bonus for the owners. It wasn't soft play but more like a well stocked toddler group, with train track, dress up, lots of imaginative play opportunities (very good mini kitchen with little washing machines, irons and ironing boards etc etc). Still seems to do quite well. Like others have said, don't make your business plan expecting to make a profit on the cafe side...

Wait4nothing Mon 04-Sep-17 08:27:02

I think soft play with a good cafe would be a better business.
I've been to a couple (and seen a few more that are too far away)
The best is an under 5s play with a 0-2 gated soft area and an imaginative play area. Pay entry for kids and then a lovely cafe with nice coffee and homemade cake - they do food too. They sell pouches/cut up fruit ect so ask for no food to be brought in.
It's main area is open so you can see all the play areas from the seats but there are also sofas in the baby area. They have a separate room for classes and they host parties (very well!)

BertrandRussell Mon 04-Sep-17 08:27:23

I never found it a nightmare, to be honest,

GriswaldFamilyVacation Mon 04-Sep-17 08:33:11

I think if you lived in a fairly well off area it would work.

Or what about inversing the idea as "softplay" but with a really lovely a really lovely cafe. Not proper soft play just a play area but they pay to get in so you've got money in hand but actually enjoy sitting down and eating something besides skanky pizza and chicken nuggets

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