We wrote a blog post earlier this year in which we explored the growing popularity of alternative milks, we looked at how other businesses in the market were handling the situation and also taste tested the options.
It was interesting even at that point most of the chains were already charging for certain alternative milks despite them being better placed to negotiate volume discounts with suppliers. We ended that post by saying that charging a supplement would be something we’d need to keep under review.
There are no prizes for guessing – this is the review…….
Since August we’ve been faced with growing demand, especially for Oatly milk, in the face of increasingly difficult supply problems. It’s not a Yorkshire or UK problem, it’s worldwide as this tongue-in-cheek article from The Guardian back in August and content from their twitter account explains:
The cost of Oatly milk is now 3x the cost of our organic milk and supply issues are slated to continue to at least the middle of next year. We have tested a couple of alternative oat milks but nothing works as well as Oatly in terms of being textured for use in hot drinks.
From tomorrow morning we have decided that Baltzersen’s can no longer absorb the additional cost of alternative milks and that we will be applying a surcharge on these drinks.
We’ve split the cost as fairly as we can with a higher surcharge on Oatly milk and a lower one for all other alternatives. We’ve also applied it at different levels according to drink size.
We fully expect that some guests are going to be disappointed in this decision but we hope it won’t be characterised that we’re choosing to penalise vegans or people with dietary requirements that require them to avoid dairy. We’ve always gone out of our way to make sure our menu is as inclusive as we can make it without compromising on quality and we will continue to do so.
This is a decision that ultimately lies with me (Paul) as the business owner, but it is my team that will be the ones that explain this to guests at the till. Please don’t give them grief about it because they don’t deserve it, they are only doing their jobs.
If you want to get angry with someone then I’m your man. You can be angry via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, via any of our social channels or speak to me in person on the floor.