Coffee lovers at Cafe Mombasa must now pay extra to turn on the patio heater, reports the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. By inserting a 20 cent coin into a special payment terminal, the heater turns on for 10 minutes. Terrace lovers have always been able to operate the heating themselves in this cafe, but now it comes at a price.

Only positive reactions

The Antwerp cafe says it is only receiving positive feedback so far. Customers understand that the measure is the result of the huge increase in energy prices.

The newspaper spoke, among others, with some regulars, who are content to pay this sum for this. “If necessary, we are certainly willing to pay for it. We are smokers, so we almost always sit outside.”

‘Stop heating the outside air’

Earlier, Rens van Tilburg, economist and director of the Sustainable Finance Lab at Utrecht University, argued for a legal ban on patio heating in winter. “We just have a problem with the amount of gas we have at our disposal, so we will have to reduce the use of it. Stopping heating the outside air is then the least sacrifice we can make.