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Business founders/entrepreneurs

Activities for children whilst dining

47 replies

ReeDaisy · 15/05/2022 21:52

Hi all. I'm about to start a new venture and would love input from parents. I have a 2yr old very active son and I will be opening up a Dessert Parlour with added activities for children and families.
Would love to hear thoughts on whether this sort of place would be of interest. It will be an establishment for the whole family to come and take time out of their day to indulge and connect with one another. A focus on wellbeing will also be looked at i.e yoga / wellness talks etc. A place with community involvement that brings people together. A place where mamas can have a coffee and a guilt free slice of cake whilst there LO plays, learns and creates.

  • I would like to know whether you would visit a Dessert Parlour if it was more interactive for yourself / family i.e. offered Games / Activities / Learn new hobby / Arts and Crafts (ceramic painting, Tshirt stencilling) Arcade Machine / Childrens Storytime / Play Area / Game Tournaments / Craft Kits and Lessons (candle making) etc / Various entertainment?
  • If no / maybe. What would encourage you to visit a Dessert Parlour with your family i.e. Menu / Price/ Offers/ Atmosphere/ Location/ Free crafts?
  • What would be the average price you would be happy to pay for a craft kit / craft lesson.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks All 😀
OP posts:
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parietal · 15/05/2022 21:59

What age of children? Craft for 3!yr olds is v different to craft for 10 year olds.

And how much parental involvement? Do the parents have to supervise every step of the craft or are there enough paid supervisors that the parents can actually have tea and relax?

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Honaloulou · 15/05/2022 22:00

That sounds horrifically patronising.

Mamas eating guilt free cake?

Fuck off with your insinuation that we should otherwise feel guilty for eating.

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HalfShrunkMoreToGo · 15/05/2022 22:02

I'm sorry but no it wouldn't appeal.

I very much like a dessert and coffee and enjoy any opportunity I get to have those things but I want a nice quiet chilled out environment not a noisy kid filled space.

I see them as 2 very different establishments. 1 is a softplay/craft/workshop space. There are kids running back and forth to the tables, shoes tucked under a chair, lots of screams of 'mummy mummy look at me'. In that place I get a cheap latte and try to tune out the noise.

The other is a space with quiet music, the clink of plates, the pfft of steam from the coffee machine, kids staying at the table and people chatting at a reasonable volume. There I get a fancy layered cake and expect to spend twice as much on my latte, or even get something more adventurous like an iced pistachio latte.

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ReeDaisy · 15/05/2022 22:13

Hi. There will be a variety on offer. All crafts / activities will be tailored to specific age groups. Some would be aimed at babas <2yrs colouring books etc. Older children ceramic painting etc can be managed themselves. Tshirt stencilling 5+ and so on. Any craft lessons will be teacher lead.

OP posts:
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titchy · 15/05/2022 22:15

Why bother with stuff for 5+ - they'll be at school.

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titchy · 15/05/2022 22:17

And who's going to be doing the activities - are you employing staff just to do handprints, or colouring etc? Expensive! Or expecting parents to do them?

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HyggeTygge · 15/05/2022 22:25

Guilt-free cake?

Dessert parlour is a weird concept for toddlers with healthy eating becoming more popular especially with the middle classes who are more likely to have spare cash to spend at such a place.
Is it any different from a coffee shop that sells cake? There are thousands of those.
Where I am there are several 'play cafes' that have tons of kids' toys, train tables, baby rooms etc (although admittedly not many set activities with staff leading) that do lunch and toddler food as well as coffee and cake.

And community toddler groups often offer coffee, cake, chats with other mums for very little charge. I've lived in towns and villages and always had access to great groups.

I'm struggling to see where what you're offering stands out.

As a PP has said, would you separate out the ages, and how? If a teacher is doing 'craft lessons' are you going to have 10 yr olds playing noisy games and toddlers shrieking in the same room? No-one's going to be able to hear themselves think.

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Searchingsound · 15/05/2022 22:27

What’s having a two year old active son got to do with the price of fish?

it just sounds like a cafe no?

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Bigthicksliceoftoast · 15/05/2022 22:28

I do like venues where I can have a decent brew / good quality food, where the little one won’t get bored. A little role play corner with a toy kitchen would keep mine occupied long enough for me to have a catch up with a friend.

The ‘wellness’ aspect would probably alienate me though, sounds a bit hippy-dippy.

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IstayedForTheFeminism · 15/05/2022 22:29

No. Guilt free cake is patronising shit.
And I'm either going out for food or an activity. Not both. Well maybe an activity and a coffee. But that's all.

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HoraThird · 15/05/2022 22:34

It sounds a bit of an odd proposition? I wouldn't have taken my kids to somewhere that only sold desserts as they don't need to be eating sugary stuff and I'm not a big fan of it either.

If I was going to take them out for a coffee (for me) id take them to soft play, toddler group or the several cafes near us that have little areas for the kids with toys to occupy them.

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TheYearOfSmallThings · 15/05/2022 22:35

Several cafés near me have play areas, and I always used to meet friends there when DS was a toddler. Yoga and wellness chats would not have been appreciated, and I think they sit poorly with the concept of a dessert parlour. Story time is a nice idea but if you are charging then it needs to be really good.

Definitely no arcade games, and if you are getting into ceramics etc then that would be a craft cafe, which is a different model.

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DuggeeHugPlease · 15/05/2022 22:45

I'd say you need to really decide on your target market. Right now you're trying to please everyone and will end up pleasing no one.

I like a play cafe but go there mid week for a cup of tea and a sandwich/jacket potato with a preschooler. Occasionally there are pop up activities (handprint pottery run by external provider that you pay separately for)
I have also been to a pottery cafe with my school aged child but that wouldn't want the two combined.

The wellness stuff doesn't seem to fit with a child centred cafe.

I also would prefer somewhere that offers savoury options rather than just desserts if it's aimed at children to spend a decent amount of time in. If we just get an ice cream and leave that's one thing but spending an hour plus doing crafts / play I'd want to be able to get lunch.

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fugde08 · 15/05/2022 22:47

There's a cafe nearby that has a room which has books and lots of boxes of toys for children to play with. I love it because I can catch up with a friend over nice coffee and cake whilst my toddler is happy playing.

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BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 15/05/2022 22:49

I wouldn't visit somewhere that is primarily dessert focused. I like cafes, and would get a sweet item for my dc after lunch, but I wouldn't specifically visit somewhere that is just desserts and drinks.

Regardless of what crafts etc you do.

You may be better off having a room which can be hired out the the local Messy Monkeys rep or Baby Sign or whatever, and offering 10% off food and drinks to anyone attending that days classes.

Surely the cost of laying everything on yourself would be prohibitive?

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HyggeTygge · 15/05/2022 22:51

A decent play cafe with good clean toys, plenty of play space and good food is a wonderful thing, but I get the impression that margins are often tight.

I think if that's what you're going for you're going to be over-complicating it by trying to include classes and yoga and structured tournaments etc, and limiting food to sugary stuff. People will be restricted re times by their kids' naps and mealtimes too.

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853ax · 15/05/2022 22:52

You could find out people will come for children to be entertained, playing ECT and not buy the slice of cake. Then no craft room/supplies left for people who turn up looking for cake ..

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Flopisfatteningbingforchristmas · 15/05/2022 22:58

I’m not seeing how this is going to work. So it’s Saturday and I have my 2, nearly 3 year old and my just turned 6 year old. DH is busy so I’m parenting solo. In this situation we might go to a role play place or soft play and lunch or library/park/cafe. My requirement would be healthy ish foods, at least actual lunch to go with the cafe, a chance for them to run of some steam and if I’m lucky 5/10 minutes of peace while they run around. Must be allergy friendly. If I go to your place, will there be actual food? How can I supervise and help my 2 year old and 6 year do a craft at the same and have time for myself in a cafe with hot drinks. Are you going to have enough space for a yoga studio?

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TrashyPanda · 15/05/2022 22:59

Sorry, but it sounds like a place I would actively avoid.

too noisy and busy/chaotic - which equals stress for me.
if you want to involve the community, how about a business model aimed at the whole community, rather than a small section of it?

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Apple42 · 15/05/2022 23:26

Sorry no sounds like the type of place I would avoid too much nosy, can’t stand going out somewhere to eat only for other peoples kids to be charging round, screaming .

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minuette1 · 15/05/2022 23:36

Sounds like a play cafe - there are so many of them already, I can't see what newness you would be adding to the baby/toddler world. Or have I missed something?

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HeArInGhandsgirl11 · 16/05/2022 18:28

Honaloulou · 15/05/2022 22:00

That sounds horrifically patronising.

Mamas eating guilt free cake?

Fuck off with your insinuation that we should otherwise feel guilty for eating.

Ooo are you okay

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HeArInGhandsgirl11 · 16/05/2022 18:29

Sound like a great idea OP, what about something food related like decorating cakes/ cookies

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mathanxiety · 16/05/2022 18:31

What you want is a Chuck E Cheese franchise.

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mathanxiety · 16/05/2022 18:38

I can't see the attraction of a place where other people's sugared up kids would be bouncing off the walls, and where there's a good chance I'd end up coated in sticky frosting.

You would lose money on the cleaning and sanitizing if you ran it properly.

I don't know how the reality of children + cake + hot beverages + yoga + well ess lectures would pan out. I suspect there would be a good deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth on the part of patrons and management alike..

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