Frappes for Kidz

When many parents are deciding on which coffee shop to visit, they are often looking for a place that will keep their kids entertained while they catch up with friends, get some work done or have a few quiet moments to themselves. Transforming your coffee shop into the family-friendly hangout complete with frappes for kids will make it that much more approachable to a wider universe of customers this summer.
Frappes for Kidz

 

We recently posted a blog article on how to make your store more kid-friendly. We covered everything from modernizing your menu to creating a happy store atmosphere and kid-proofing your service.

Some of the more popular ideas included a designated kids area for scheduled activities like a balloon artist or coloring class. Hosting a Saturday morning story time, a sing-a-long or other weekly kids entertainment is a great way to get the community involved; and the more local families that participate, the more word of mouth will help boost your sales.

Be sure to tweet your Saturday schedule as early as Thursday and Friday nights so parents can make plans, and post pictures of the play space and kid-friendly activities on your Facebook page (secure parent’s permissions for posting children’s photos) to get the word out.

And if you are really interested in building your business in the family-friendly niche, try listing your store on mommaps.com or carolinaparent.com.

Expanded Menu Ideas Featuring Big Train
When deciding what to serve to your pint-sized patrons there are many options to consider from milk shakes to frappes and smoothies. If you are considering adding more kid friendly options to your menu why not try a line that is made specifically for younger palates?

Big Train has with a child friendly drink mix that is marketed directly to kids. The Kidz Kreamz® line offers frappe mixes with nostalgic flavors that will appeal to tiny tots and tweenies alike. These make creamy, light drinks that are full of flavor and are also caffeine free.

Available in several fun and fancy flavors such as Bubblegum, Cotton Candy and Orange Cream—or new flavors or Wild Berry Burst and Banana Splitastic—these gotta-have-it beverages couldn’t be easier. They’re shelf-stable so there’s no need to waste valuable space in your refrigerator. They’re Gluten-free, Certified Kosher and contain no hydrogenated oil.

What’s best, they’re simple to prepare: Just pour over ice and either milk or water and blend.

Here’s a summary of some Big Train kid-friendly options:Kids Creams from Big Train

Cotton Candy Kidz Kreamz: Imagine a State Fair in a cup. The sweet, sugary cotton candy taste may remind you of that airy bagged confection, but it won’t turn to sugar on the tongue.

Orange Cream Kidz Kream: Orange creamsicles, just like the ones you got from that wacky, beat up ice cream truck that drove through the neighborhood after dinner; that’s the orange cream flavor the kids crave!

Bubble Gum Kidz Kreamz: Just like you remember: Classic pink bubble gum flavor blended into sippable and frozen fun. Unlike the gum, this flavor will stay with you as long as you drink.

Wild Berry Burst Kidz Kreamz: Make with yogurt, this is a healthy fruitful sin. Ripe raspberries tangle with sweet blueberries and tangy strawberries for a menage à trois that you’ll always remember.

Banana Splitastic Kidz Kreamz: Another option made with yogurt, Banana Splitastic is like throwing ice cream, whipped cream, caramel and fresh bananas into a blender and pressing START.

Cookies ‘N Cream Blended Crème Frappe: Award-winning chocolate Oreo flavor meets a vanilla milk shake without the ice cream. Kids and parents alike love it.

Cake Batter Blended Crème Frappe: Almost as hot as S’Mores this summer, cake batter gives your customers to indulge in the delight of birthday cake without all the calories.

Health it Up!
These Big Train options are great on their own. But you can easily wipe away any of the guilt of drinking a dessert by mixing in a few healthy ingredients. Two tablespoons of yogurt blended into Orange Cream, Cake Batter or Cookies ‘N Cream will be virtually undetectable, but add some healthy pre- and pro-biotics, calcium and protein.

Another option would be to ramp up the fruit. Add some strawberry fruit smoothie mix to flavors such as Cotton Candy or Bubble Gum to create fruity versions of the originals, adding vitamins and tons of flavor. A tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter compliments a wall of Banana Splitastic or Cake Batter flavor while adding healthy proteins.

These Big Train Kidz Kreamz mixes are not just for children either. These nostalgic flavors are great for anyone who would like to take a time out and travel back to their childhood summers. The flavors are attractive to children and adult alike.

Here are some recipes to try:

Strawberry Bubble Gum Milkshake
2 oz Dr Smoothie Strawberry 100% Crushed
4 oz milk
11 oz ice cream
2 scoops (80 g) Big Train Kidz Kreamz Bubble Gum
Directions: Combine ingredients. Spindle or blend together.

Cotton Candy Blended Frappe Recipe
1 Packet or 2 scoops (80 g) Big Train Kidz Kreamz Cotton Candy
12 oz Ice
5 oz water
Whipped Cream (optional)
Sprinkles for garnish

Directions: Combine ingredients and blend. Pour mixture into a cup or glass and garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles. 

Cookie Covered Matcha TeaCookie Covered Matcha
2 scoops (8 tbs) Big Train Cookies ‘N Crème Frappe
1 tbs matcha green tea
12 oz Ice
5 oz milk
Whipped Cream (optional)
Crushed cookies for garnish

Directions: Combine ingredients and blend. Pour mixture into a cup or glass and garnish with whipped cream and top with crushed cookies.

For more ideas, more frappes for kidz recipes or to order Big Train Kids Kreamz, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Make your business more kid friendly this summer

With the summer fast approaching, we draw closer and closer to that date that make all parents a bit nervous—the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. This mass exodus of children from school will inevitably mean one thing—more kids in your store while mom and dad stop in for a caffeine fix. By making your business kid-friendly, you’ll bring in more customers and increase sales.

coffee shops with kidsUnsurprisingly many parents feel the need to get out of the house every once in a while, sip caffeine after all of those sleepless nights of rambunctious kids while simultaneously trying to wear out said kids. While getting some work done or just relishing a few quiet moments to themselves parents are often looking for a place that will keep little ones entertained and safe.

It has been proven that children not only influence the family’s restaurant choice but around 69% of parents will let their child choose their own order. These children are more likely to order a fun and flavorful dessert or specialty beverage than any other menu item.

Debra Dolan, Business Development Representative for the Northeast Region, has many family-friendly customers including large theme parks and small independent coffee shops throughout the country. She’s helped many store owners craft specialty beverage menus with options for younger patrons and successful family-friendly businesses.

A few points of advice based on her years of experience:

Modernize your menu 

  1. Caffeine-free beverages
    When deciding what to serve to your pint-sized patrons, there are many options to consider from milk shakes to frappes and smoothies. Stockton Graham & Co. recommends a base menu of chocolate and vanilla frappes or milk shakes plus some familiar fruit flavored options such as strawberry and banana, orange cream, grape and peaches and cream.
  2. Kid-friendly flavors
    Enhance your base menu with shakes or frappes in fun flavors such as Bubblegum, Cotton Candy, Hot Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Cake Batter and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Big Train has a child-friendly drink mix called Kidz Kreamz® with new flavors such as Wild Berry Burst and Banana Splitastic. If you want to offer a healthy twist, add some Dr. Smoothie 100% Crushed Fruit or yogurt before you blend.
  3. Healthy options
    Parents are increasingly concerned about the health of the food and drinks that their children consume. Beverages that are low in sugar and calories, but high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber are big sellers. Up the health quotient by adding a bit of protein with a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter. And of course, make sure mom and dad know about these health upgrades!
  4. Smaller portions
    Smaller portion sizes will be easier for younger customers to drink and will cut down on spills. Consider adding a 4 ounce cup for the summer months, in addition to an 8 ounce and 12 ounce cup.
  5. Child-centered snacking
    Adding child-friendly snacks such as cookies or rice crispy treats, as well as veggie trays and yogurt for moms, can help raise average ticket sales and keep the entire family happy.

Keep the kids occupied

  1. Coloring books or pages
    A good idea is to have coloring books or colorable picture pages and boxes of crayons handy to keep grabby hands occupied. Many shop owners frame the art projects of their young customers, which can add to the hand-crafted ambiance of your store.
  2. Puzzles, dolls and toys
    Keep a couple of simple puzzles, plushed animals, toy trucks and dolls on hand for parents who find themselves with fussy kids. If you’re shop is small, you can keep them behind the counter for emergencies. Or if you have room, set up a small “play area” in a corner away from your serving areas and doorways so parents can keep an eye on the kids while they relax nearby with a latte or iced coffee.
  3. Books
    Books and coffee shops go hand-in-hand. Experiment with a small lending library of teen books, graphic novels and popular fiction to entertain the older kids (and older kids at heart). Don’t be surprised to find regular patrons donating their own best-sellers to your little community library.
  4. Kids’ Events
    Hosting a Saturday morning story time or some type of weekly afternoon kids entertainment (maybe a balloon artist or mime) is a great way to get the community involved—and that will help boost your sales.

Make service child-proof

  1. Patience is key
    We all know that working with customers comes with its own set of tests—and younger patrons, in particular, can be an adventure. When training your baristas and service personnel, be sure to remind them that young customers can sometimes have a short attention span and a lot of energy. The key is keeping cool when the temperature rises.
  2. The cleanup
    Little hands don’t always have the best aim when it comes to getting food into mouths, and parents juggling bags, cups and kids are prone to spill. Talk to your staff about taking the time to quickly wipe up any mishaps as soon as they happen. You also may consider hiring a local high school student during your busy hours to help with foot traffic and keep your store in tiptop shape.
  3. Talking the talk
    Talk to your baristas and staff about small ways they can help make a visit to your store fun and stress-free for parents with young children. For example, counter staff can hand-deliver coffee to the table of an overwhelmed mother instead of asking her to manage a hot cup and a squealing kid. Or, why not print mini-menus featuring drink pictures to help school-agers make up their minds quickly?

Create an family friendly atmosphere

  1. Designated child’s area
    Creating a child-themed area will give the kiddies a place to expend energy and socialize. Designated play areas allow the adults without children a reasonable amount of peace.
  2. Keep it light
    Keeping your shop lighted with brighter colors is more inviting for the younger set. This decorating theme also signals to parents that children are welcome. They will be most likely to patronize your shop with little ones in tow.
  3. Make them sing
    Whether music is a part of your store’s brand or not, it goes a long way in making your business kid-friendly. Although childhood favorites like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” “The Hokey Pokey” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” may not be to your liking, there are other options. Consider “For the Kids,” a compilation of kids’ songs by adult-friendly artists like Darius Rucker, Cake, Wilco, Tom Waits, Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan.

Healthy Kids Menus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By including children in your summer business plans you can both make sure your customers are happy and boost your sales.

For more information on how to kid-proof your business, to speak directly with Debra Dolan or to order kid-friendly ingredients, call our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943.

 

Are you losing sales by not offering items for kids?

In doing some market research for a customer, we explored the local online boards for them.  While most comments were positive (Sweet!), we noticed a recurring suggestion from several different screen names.  These customers have young children and wished the local coffee shop they loved had more options for their kids.  Among some of their suggestions was a corner with an area rug or softer surface.

I have seen a lot of “Kiddie Corners”, children areas, etc. in various coffee shops. These may or may not work, depending on your location. Doing a simple evaluation of your current and potential customer base should provide all the answers. Either way, you probably don’t want to totally ignore kids, but you don’t want to go overboard either.  Depending upon the local rules, safety issues, and your customers, this could be a simple way to make your space more attractive for individuals bringing young children.

More importantly, in my opinion, are beverage and food options tailored more for children, preferably healthier, low caffeine offerings.  Many customers have asked us how to accommodate this using their same products.  Listed below are some options for children menus:

Beverages

  1. Ready-To-Drink boxes (juice, milk, water, etc.) in smaller sizes.  Available from many sources and involve little prep.  The profit margins may be low on selling these to be competitive, so try to offer some alternatives generally not available in most stores that allow you to obtain a higher profit margin.  Organic chocolate milk, 100% juice, kid friendly packaging, etc.  However, custom drinks described below can really make your shop stand out and be more profitable.
  2. Specialty custom made drinks.  These can include hot chocolate using milk and your chocolate sauce. Offer a smaller 8 oz -12 oz size, while remembering to heat the milk to a lower temperature for sensitive mounts.  You can garnish with whip cream and colorful sprinkles that are sure to make any kid excited.In addition to hot chocolate, you can use your flavoring syrups to “steamers” which are milk and syrup with no coffee.  I like to use a separate frothing pitcher for this and steam the milk with the flavoring syrup to release more of the aroma of the syrup. Some owners do not want to use the wand to heat milk and syrup together; you can add syrup later, if you wish.  Again, remember the temperature and to garnish with colorful fun toppings.
  3. Sodas. Often referred to as Italian sodas, Cream sodas, French sodas, cremosas, etc.  The basic prep is basically the same.  Using carbonated water, soda water (NOT club soda which contains sodium), flavoring syrups and/or cream, you can make a variety of colorful flavored beverages that, when served in a clear cup, excite kids.  You can offer in the larger adult sizes, but I recommend a `8 oz or 12 oz size to keep the portion down and the price points lower to help a multiple kid party.For a 12 oz soda,
    1. Clear cup
    2. Fill with ice
    3. Add two to 4 oz. of flavoring syrup, single flavor or combinations, poured over the ice.
    4. Fill with soda water, stir or shake. I prefer using the shaker to more evenly mix and create a bigger show!
    5. If doing a cream soda, add 1 to 2 oz of half-and-half or light cream before adding the soda water.
    6. Serve with colorful straws, whip cream on a cream soda and or a small kid’s toy or treat (gummy worms, etc.)
  4. Flavored water. Considering adding some flavoring syrups to bottle water to make it a more flavorful, special treat.   Charge extra for the syrup, like you would for an extra shot to a coffee drink.

Food Offerings

Do not forget the food offerings for kids and or combination offers.  Smaller cookies are great, especially decorated sugar cookies to match the season.  For instance, ghosts, goblins and pumpkins at Halloween.  Decorated eggs for spring, red, white and blue in July, etc.  Work with your baker to come up with some neat concepts.  Remember, adults like these too and want to order in larger amounts for events, parties, and the office.

For the morning day parts, you might want to consider selling small boxes of cereal and small milk cartons, fresh fruit, kid’s yogurt cups, etc. Ask your baker about baked items that kids like in smaller sizes appropriate for kids.

For the other day parts, if you have sandwiches, consider a grilled cheese panini, the old peanut butter and jelly (make sure nut and food allergies are not an issue and how to disclose in your area); fruit cups, string cheese, etc.

Promotions

When adding or enhancing current kid offerings, remember to get the word out through your social media channels, in-store signage, flyers, coupons, etc.  You might want to consider a separate menu board and kids offering for the day.  Make samples to offer when you have parents with children in the store.  Utilize a kid’s combination with a small toy or something as part of the purchase. This could even be balloon days; we have had customers use the small helium dispensers to do this.   Have a kid’s night or kids special hour that with an adult purchase of a drink, sandwich, etc., get a free kids drink (limit for each purchase).

Above all, to find what will work in your store, offering and price points, ask your customers.  Use your Facebook page to generate a discussion of what your customers with children would like to see.  I find them an invaluable source of new ideas.

Jeff Vojta
Stockton Graham & Co.