Adding Summer Kid’s Drinks To Your Menu Will Keep Mom Coming Back For More, Too!

One of the most frustrating scenarios that a café owner can encounter is a potential customer walking into their shop, and walking out without purchasing a thing. As upsetting as this circumstance is, it happens much more than most think. The culprit, one may ask? Children. During the summer when school is not in session, parents are constantly bringing their children along as they get their morning coffee or afternoon boost, and with that comes a perfect opportunity to up-sell. As many know, coffee is not a favorite among kids, however young people always go for sweet drinks. Sweet drinks, which should represent some part of your alternative beverage menu, are right up the alley of most kids, especially those kids whose parents love coffee. Here is a list of different summer drinks that will keep kids asking mom for more, all summer long:

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a favorite among almost all kids during the winter, but there is no reason to restrict it to only months when snow is in the forecast. Just about any powder or liquid based hot chocolate can be served as a frozen beverage, just by adding ice, water and blending. Big Train even offers a “Frozen Hot Chocolate” and “Frozen White Chocolate” in their 20 Below® line.


Creams are similar to milkshakes, but venture beyond your traditional chocolate and vanilla flavors. By only using a powdered base mix such as vanilla bean, milk, ice and flavoring syrup, you can offer cream flavors ranging from pomegranate to peanut butter. Big Train also offers a variety of powdered creams in their Kidz Kreamz® line, which features Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy and Orange Cream.


Slushes are just like frozen granita beverages found in convenient stores, typically offered in cherry and blue raspberry. Slushes, however, can be offered in dozens of flavors, and they don’t include nearly as much sugar or artificial food coloring. Slushes don’t take a lot of effort, and they do not require a big expense granita machine. They can be quickly and easily prepared in your blender, just add a 16oz cup of ice, 3oz of water and 3oz of your desired flavored syrup from Torani, Monin & DaVinci. Easy and inexpensive, slushes are a great way to satisfy customers of all ages.

Italian Sodas

Soda is something that every kid can understand, and the idea of trying something new can be a difficult hurdle to overcome for most young people. By pointing out how similar Italian soda is to regular soda, up-selling to kids can be easier than you think. In addition to the fact that Italian sodas are relatively easy to prepare, it shouldn’t be hard to develop a youthful clientele.


Toppings are a perfect way to top off any drink! It not only increases the value of the drink, but it also allows you to customize a drink and make it unique. With endless possibilities, toppings such as whipped cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, cookie crumbs, candy bits and much more, your drinks will be sure to catch the eyes of children of all ages.

The purpose of selling a wide variety of kids drinks is not necessarily to make money off of the kids drinks themselves, but to increase the total sale of their parents order. At first, it starts off with a child coming in with their mom or dad and asking for a drink for themself. Then that child will remember that drink and ask to come back periodically as a treat, and before you know it, it’s the children bringing their parents into your shop, who will most likely place an order for their usual (more expensive) café drink. Parents can be very hesitant to spend money on large drinks that kids will never finish, so consider offering kids sizes for the drinks that are intended for children. Adding a children’s drink menu can make even higher margins for small sizes seem attractive, because the prices are lower than adult portions.

Parents can also show hesitation when the drinks on the kids menu don’t seem healthy. It is important to stress the healthy, low sugar aspects of natural smoothies and other kid oriented beverages, otherwise you run the risk of competing with lower quality competitors.

For more information or ideas on summer drinks, give us a call a 800.835.5943.

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Matt Hogan

Stockton Graham & Co.