Café Mombasa installs payment terminals for patio heaters: “20 cents for 10 minutes of heat, that’s cheap” | Antwerp
AntwerpSince this week, vending machines have been placed near the patio heaters in café Mombasa in Borgerhout. For twenty cents, customers can buy ten minutes of heat. For example, the café is trying to save on expensive energy costs this winter.
Even with the chilly rainy weather there is a pleasant bustle in café Mombasa on the Moorkensplein in Borgerhout. Most people enjoy a pint of hot chocolate, but a few customers brave the cold and sit on the terrace. The Mombasa cafe’s heat lamps were always free to use. When the button was pressed, the lamp switched on for ten minutes. Since this week, the café has charged twenty cents for the use of the patio heater.
Bartender Nicolas Daemen explains the new system. “The paying patio heaters are a solution for rising energy prices. Our customers are constantly putting on the lights, which makes it very expensive. Rein Adons, the owners of the café, therefore started looking for a payment system. They found a local resident who could make payment terminals with a 3D printer. If you insert twenty cents, the lamp switches on for ten minutes. We have a total of two payment terminals for our four lamps. We will probably use the new system until the weather warms up.”
According to Daemen, customers respond positively to the paying patio heaters. “They understand that this is due to the high energy prices. I haven’t had a single customer who doesn’t think it’s okay that he has to pay for the lamp. It is also only twenty cents per ten minutes, so it is certainly not expensive. We hope that customers will now treat the patio heaters differently and only use them when necessary.”
Three large customers are drinking pints on the terrace. They don’t use the lamps. “If necessary, we are certainly willing to pay for it. We are smokers so we almost always sit outside. If everyone takes turns doing a round, the price of twenty cents is certainly not too bad,” says Stef.
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