Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Computer Free Tables
Old 08-23-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,324
Computer Free Tables

Now that I have joined the ranks of those who can choose to spend their time as they wish, I will often meet a friend at a local coffee place. There are times when we can't find a seat, usually because single laptop owners are occupying a table meant for two and sometimes for four. I have seen one person take up a table for four people with so she can spread her laptop and papers about. Another time, a guy sat at a table for two and had his laptop open on the another table for two, again one person taking four seats while other customers have no place to sit. We have walked out, buying nothing, when there is obviously no place to sit together. I am sure others have done the same. The coffee place does place a limit on wifi time, usually 60-90 minutes. But, when the place is crowded such as at lunch or when bad weather does away with outdoor seating, there simply are not enough seats.

So, I was interested in one owner's solution to this problem:

Coffee Shop Owner: Limiting Laptop Squatters Has Boosted My Sales
__________________

__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-23-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,877
I am all for individual business owners doing this sort of thing if they want to, in order to increase their sales. Competition is a great motivator for improvement.

But regarding your situation... since you are now retired and your time is your own, have your thought of simply going to a different coffee place?

Some non-chain coffee places don't even HAVE wireless.
Some chain places are in areas where they don't get much business.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Or you could invite your friend to your home for coffee. More LBYM, no laptop squatters, more comfortable!
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
In many places there are not enough coffee houses to go around when there are lots of squatters and also normal in and out flow.

On Capitol Hill where I live, there are always plenty of places no more than a block or two away. Some of them draw the working set with their laptops and papers, others more social users. I much prefer to work in my own apartment, so when I go out I look for reasonable ambiance. The main difficulty is that some places I like are also into to all punk and metal all the time. I would really like to find one that was like the coffee houses of my youth- nice Bach, Scarlatti, etc. Hard to think or talk over metal.

One of my favorites was Caffe Vivace overlooking the fountain in Cal Anderson Park. It was sacrificed to the new Link Station, which while handy will be a blight on Broadway compared to the charm of what was formerly there.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
In many places there are not enough coffee houses to go around when there are lots of squatters and also normal in and out flow.

On Capitol Hill where I live, there are always plenty of places no more than a block or two away. Some of them draw the working set with their laptops and papers, others more social users. I much prefer to work in my own apartment, so when I go out I look for reasonable ambiance. The main difficulty is that some places I like are also into to all punk and metal all the time. I would really like to find one that was like the coffee houses of my youth- nice Bach, Scarlatti, etc. Hard to think or talk over metal.

One of my favorites was Caffe Vivace overlooking the fountain in Cal Anderson Park. It was sacrificed to the new Link Station, which while handy will be a blight on Broadway compared to the charm of what was formerly there.

Ha
I stayed at a B & B on Capitol Hill just last week! I am surprised I didn't run into you on 15th Avenue. While I actually didn't visit any coffee houses (?!) I was shocked at the dangerous condition of the sidewalks. Old trees are causing many of them to lift up several inches. The area looks almost impossible to negotiate for someone with a handicap. Ha, you had better watch out with that dicey hip of yours!
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,043
Lots of laptop squatters here in San Francisco. Some restaurants and coffee shops have simply banned laptops in their establishment. Others (like Panera and Starbucks) seem to embrace laptop squatting.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
SumDay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 799
I telecommute, and when my home internet goes down, I visit my local Starbucks to avail myself of their free wireless connection.

I may take up a whole table, but my guilt also gets the better of me. Just about everyone who comes in the door and orders something gets me salivating, and I think "oooh, I'll have one of those too". Their salted caramels are to die for, by the way.

So they make a little money off me, and I get to continue working without driving to the office.

Luckily, my internet doesn't go down much, or my butt would be as big as a house.
__________________
SumDay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
bUU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,885
It is an interesting balance that needs to be struck: Some coffee shops survive on the business that they attract by being a place that someone can come to and connect to the Internet, specifically. Their quandary is whether they alienate those patrons in those few hours each day that they don't technically "need" them there, and if so, how to do it with least adverse impact.
__________________
bUU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ready's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,823
It seems a bit rude to me to take up four seating areas in a coffee shop that is limited on space, but I suspect most people who do so are just oblivious to the overall situation they are creating.
__________________
Ready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
bUU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,885
I wouldn't make that assumption. As I alluded to earlier, many of these places are inviting this kind of use of their tables, facilitating it, touting it as a reason for people to patronize them, etc. It reminds me a bit of some of the Florida theme parks. They offer ways to beat the queues, either through reservation-like systems or even by paying for front-of-line privileges. Yet we see people waiting in the regular queues for rides and other attractions expressing antipathy for those park-goers who are taking advantage of those offerings and thereby rudely causing those waiting in the regular queue to wait longer, often much longer. (I believe one of the arrangements has a 90/10 split between those using the queue-skipping system and those in the regular queue.) More enlightened people will perhaps direct their anger at the parks themselves for offering such options. The reality is that neither party deserves blame. The services offered are the services offered, as the purveyor chooses to offer them, according to the purveyor's rules. As long as they're not violating an explicit commitment that they made to you, or violating a law, then blame is misplaced. If you don't like the service offered, surely vote with your feet, but don't assume that because you didn't like what was offered that what was offered was in some way flawed or that you were in some way mistreated.
__________________
bUU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 01:50 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,324
One thing that could be done is that at busy times, they could simply reduce the 'free' wifi time.

Yes, I could serve coffee at home, but we like the ambiance of the shop and we enjoy meeting people who we don't expect to meet. Also their coffee is simply better than the other places in my area. Other places are part of a large chain and their coffee is meant for mixing with sugar, flavors, etc to make various beverages. But, it is not good coffee for drinking black or with a tad of creamer.

My fix is to go during the off hours, a fringe benefit of retirement. But, some friends still have to work for a living (EGADS!!) and can only meet at the crowded lunch hour.

Another factor is to help out a local business. They are literally a stone's throw from an outlet of a HUGE coffee chain. I thought they would never make it, but they have thrived by offering better coffee, and a nice ambiance. They also don't feel like retail store with kiosks of products all over the place. I like to support a local business.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2013, 08:10 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I have seen one person take up a table for four people with so she can spread her laptop and papers about.
When I was in some busy restaurants in hong kong it seem quite normal to have multiple different groups at the same table. You could just sit down at the extra chairs. What could go wrong?
__________________

__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
coffee computers


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:02 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.