Please note that we have no issue with baby products. We recognise that different babies have very specific requirements and you may bring along any food or drink for your baby. But just like any other café, coffee shop or restaurant, you may not bring your own food or drink to The Square unless it’s a specific dietary need for which we cannot cater. This is not a petty rule designed to spoil your enjoyment or overstretch your budget, we genuinely rely on food and drink sales to make the business viable. Whilst we may have a limited range, we ask customers to respect our policy and if there is nothing on sale you would like to eat, please arrange to have food before or after your visit.
We believe some customers take the view that, having paid for entry, this entitles them to bring their own products for consumption. But the entry fee is for your child’s play experience only. In reality, the entrance fee alone does not cover the many significant costs associated with creating a space that’s both safe and suitable for children and it would only have any chance of doing so if we could guarantee being full every hour of every day that we are open. If, for example, we were to close the café and become a “bring-your-own” venue, the entry prices would have to significantly increase. Many larger venues with outdoor spaces often allow picnics (adventure parks, play farms, etc) but they run a completely different business model, and you will almost always find that any indoor spaces will still have a no-food policy.
There may also be a perception that we’re an indoor play centre not a café? We are actually both. We completely understand that not everyone can afford to pay for an indoor play session and also buy drinks and food but we are comparable to, and in most cases much better value for money than, any coffee shop or café of a similar quality. We also run Membership or Membership² schemes that offer great discounts.
We also have a small problem with some customers buying, say, a sandwich from us then thinking it’s ok to consume their own drinks? But the rule has to apply to all food and drink otherwise it would become unworkable. We also have no control over allergens if we don’t know what people are bringing with them. For example, our whole site is currently peanut-free. If you have a genuine dietary need that we cannot fulfil then we have absolutely no issue, as long as you tell us about this when you arrive. But, as an example, bringing your own Coke because we sell Pepsi and you don’t like Pepsi, is not a genuine dietary requirement!