Buggies have been super-sized. Buggies are now not only baby movers but more or less a moving nursery, fully equipped with all the items that used to be considered luxury but are now considered an essential part of our everyday lifestyle; spare outfits, baby-wipes, nappy sacks, creams, food, bottles etc. We get that it all takes space and we understand that the natural progression of coming to the Aquadrome for a walk is to walk the buggy right into the café and up to the table, often with baby asleep from the the long walk and fresh-air. We get that. We understand that if you take a sleeping baby out of their buggy they are unlikely to remain a sleeping baby. We really do get that. We’re just struggling with the space that these buggies take up, meaning that for customers and our team alike, moving around the café is becoming increasingly difficult. Additionally for those less able-bodied or wheelchair bound, we have been told that the café is becoming more and more hostile and inaccessible.
We absolutely do not want to alienate any group of people and we sincerely value the custom of all. What we love about being in a park is that all softs of people, differing in; age, race, creed, size, ability; all sorts of people use parks and we are rewarded by getting to serve a rich diversity of customers meaning that our job here is interesting and fulfilling. We want all people to continue to feel welcome and that is why we feel we have to do something about the buggies. We are not banning buggies, we understand that this would be met with anger and resentment but we do have to start requesting that people try, whenever possible, to leave the buggy in the car or outside and bring their babies in; in arms, carriers or in car seats. We simply can not continue to manage with the numbers of buggies that block access routes and make the day more difficult for our team and more inaccessible for some of our customers.
We are hoping to start the conversation, open the flood-gates for opinions and work with our community to ensure that the café continues to be a welcoming place for all
Plea from Cafe in the Park, Rickmansworth Aquadrome and many operators will sympathise - see their Facebook page for comments from mums. For some solutions see: