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Aussie cafe slammed over $4 babyccino: 'What a joke'

"You could buy 2L of milk for less than they are charging for a tiny cup of frothed milk."

A Newcastle cafe has come under fire for selling a babyccino for $4 but an expert has defended small businesses trying to recoup losses as they deal with "huge" cost increases.

A disgruntled mum shared her outrage over the cost of the child's drink. "Seriously?!" she wrote on social media, alongside a photo of a cup displaying the price. "I understand inflation and the costs of running a small hospitality business but do you really need to charge $4 for about 50ml of milk?"

The woman went on to explain she'd already racked up a bill for other drinks at the cafe. "I have never known anyone ever to order a babyccino only," she said. "There's always coffees (and money) being made already with the order. In our case, $38."

The cafe's babyccino cup (left) and a full babyccino (right).
The cafe in Lambton has been slammed for charging $4 for a babyccino. (Source: Facebook/Getty) (Facebook/Getty)

The customer then questioned whether it was a regular price. "We don't go out much but is this the norm now?"



Plenty of commenters were quick to slam the cost as "ridiculous".

"Highway robbery," one person commented. "What a joke!" said another. While others claimed there was "no way" they would pay that.

"$4 for a tiny bit of milk and froth in a cup is crazy," someone wrote.

"You could buy 2L of milk for less than they are charging for a tiny cup of frothed milk," another added.

Others pointed out that there were plenty of cafes giving out babyccinos free.

Cafes struggling to stay afloat

But, while many slammed the cafe for the cost of a babyccino, Roberta Crouch, a Professor of Business at Flinders University, said small cafes were struggling to stay afloat in the soaring cost-of-living crisis.

"They're dealing with high wages because of penalty rates and they've got huge increases in all of their costs," she told Yahoo Finance.

"If they're renting their premises and their lease has come up in recent times, then the rent will have climbed because landlords have suffered 13 rate increases. Then they've also got the climbing cost of energy and, of course, huge increases in costs of food."

The climbing costs to small businesses mean fewer customers can afford to dine out.

"So, the materials cost more, their premises cost more and insurance has gone up, and then cafes are wedged in the middle between everything they do beyond their control costing more and people having less to spend because the consumers are facing all these costs as well," Crouch said.

So, it's no wonder people are also looking at menu items a little more critically.

"They're thinking, 'OK, well, I won't be buying the babyccino if it's $4'," Crouch said.

"People now are going to look at the value of those sorts of things and they're gonna say, 'Well, does this little kid really get $4 worth of value out of it?'"

Why are small businesses like cafes struggling?

  • The food of cost is going up. Even the price of fuel increasing puts pressure on the supply chain and how its delivered

  • Staffing has been hard to secure and they have to pay penalty rates

  • Like housing, rent has gone up for businesses

  • Rising energy costs push up the bill businesses also have to foot

  • Consumers spend is at "disturbingly low levels" and many owners are looking down the barrel of a Christmas that won't deliver bumper profits as it has in previous years. They are the most likely to be hit by an incoming 'bankruptcy wave'

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