$2.50 For A BabyCino? That’s An Outrage!
For years and years I have been giving away babycinos for free. But today I was charged $2.50 for one. OMG I feel outraged. Needless to say, I will not be going back to that cafe to get my morning coffee.
However, it got me thinking… how much should you pay for a babycino?
When I used to work at The Coffee Club, babycinos were free of charge. The Coffee Club babycinos come in a 4oz cup with a marshmallow, chocolate sprinkles on top, a napkin and a silver spoon.
We used to put babycinos in to short black cups with a ceramic saucer however these were smashed on the floor way too many times and so a paper cup is much safer for everyone involved. Silver spoons were used instead of plastic spoons because the plastic would sometimes break or split and this was a risk for small children who would chew on the spoons and break them in to sharp pieces.
Other cafes still use ceramic cups and saucers. I’m scared of them. I’m scared that my child is going to knock it off the table and smash it. I much prefer the paper cups or the environmentally friendly karma cups – shown in the image above. They are colourful babycino cups that The Coffee Club sells to raise money for charity.
Should Babycinos Be Free?
Some parents think that babycinos should be free because they are just “frothed milk”. A lot of people think that the baristas just need to skim a bit of the froth before pouring their own coffee. However this is a misconception and an insult to any good barista. There is actually a bit of extra work involved to make a good babycino and it does come at an expense for business owner.
Let’s just think about the milk to start:
Sometimes parents want to give their child soy milk, skim milk, almond milk, zimmil or a mixture of milks and just this along creates a cost for the shop owner.
How To Make A Good Babycino
To make a good “babycino froth” you should really make the milk in a separate jug. You need to air rate the milk completely to get real fluffy froth. That means you lift the milk jug up and down a number of times to push a lot of air in to it. It is a very 80’s style way of making frothy milk. However, you don’t want to use this same milk for other coffees because it will taste burnt and crap. If somebody served me an 80’s style milk coffee these days I would send it straight back. Yuk. But for a babycino it is perfect.
The shop owner has to pay for the milk plus :
- a 4oz paper cup
- chocolate sprinkles
- the napkin it is served with plus a truck load of napkins because the babycino is likely to get spilt all over the table and instead of asking for a chux to clean the table, the parents will grab napkins from the counter and do it themselves. washing up of the spoon or cup/plate if they are still using the ceramic ones.
- the barista to make it plus penalty rates for the weekends which is the most popular time for parents to be out shopping/eating at cafes with their kids (a controversial topic for our government at the moment).
- Electricity, rent and maintenance expense for the coffee machine, the fridges and the dishwasher.
- Time and energy put in to making the babycino. This takes just as long as making any other drink that you would normally pay full price for.
All of this adds up. Especially when cafes are making between 30-50 babycinos a day like some locations in shopping centres do. Sometimes you see 1 parent order 1 coffee for themselves and then get 5 babycinos for the 5 kids that they have with them. (Seriously! This happens. It happened to me all the time when I worked in hospitality.) The shop owner might get $4.50 for the parent’s coffee but then it will cost them much more to give away all of those babycinos for free. They are not really making any money.
Free Babycinos Is Clever Marketing
I completely understand that some cafes would give away babycinos for free. It is a clever marketing strategy to attract parents and to encourage parents to come back again. Now that I have my own baby, I understand the value of this special moment so much more. It is a real treat for parents who just need to sit down for a moment and drink a cup of coffee to clear their mind and get their sanity back. You can’t put a price on how much that can mean to someone.
How much should you pay for a babycino?
Babycinos are an expense to cafes and so it does seem reasonable that we should have to pay for them. But what is a reasonable price?
How much would you pay for a babycino?
Tell me in the comments!
Personally I am always happy to pay a reasonable amount of money for a babycino – between 50c – $1. Maybe I’d go up to $1.50 if the coffee shop had good service and a nice atmosphere. I would also feel obligated to pay for the babycino if:
- the milk was different to my own or something special such as soy, almond etc
- if there were extras that come with the frothed milk such as marshmallows, biscuits or lollies.
- if i wasn’t ordering anything else and it was just the babycino (or 5 babycinos)
- if it was a special children drink like this one from Max Brenner which comes with chocolate and lollies:
Chocolate, Marshmallows & Lollies With Babycinos
Just a side note, I didn’t give my baby the chocolate cup that is in the picture above. I am trying to avoid giving him sugar while he is still so young. When I order babycinos I ask for it to come with no chocolate and no marshmallows. However many babycinos do come with extras and sides.
This morning when I ordered my coffee from a local cafe, they wanted to charge me $2.50 for a babycino with no chocolate and no marshmallows. It was literally just frothed milk. Plus they were going to charge me an extra 20 cents to pay with eftpost which is a whole different topic but it left me feeling outraged. (Hence this blog post). I will not be going to that cafe anymore because I know that my little boy will want a babycino. I will choose to go to the other cafe up the road that is going to give it to me for free.
Cafes that give away babycino’s for FREE are doing it because they care about their customers and they are offering excellent customer service. However we must keep in mind that free babycinos are an expense to the business owner and we should appreciate the gesture when it is offered.
Do you know any cafes that give away FREE babycinos?
Leave them a shout out in the comments!