Thursday, July 09, 2015

Cafes Wish Lingering Customers Would Leave

It's never really been an issue for me, but I see in a recent news article that some cafes, at least in the Washington DC area, are trying to encourage customers who stay a long time to get up and leave. The idea is that their table could be used by a new customer and the cafe could make more money.

It's not an issue for me because most of the times I go to cafes, few people are there. I'm usually in Starbucks or some other national chain. I haven't seen them telling anyone to leave, ever, although there are times I wished they would toss the bums out.

The article on Washington DC quoted a bunch of local cafe owners. I've never once been to any of those cafes, so I can't say what goes on there. But apparently people go there to telework and stay all day because they find it a more pleasant environment than staying home.

At Starbucks, I've sat next to guys in business suits having a meeting but it doesn't last long. I see some people sitting for hours at their laptops but I can hardly believe they are working. A lot of them seem like they are either students or unemployed. And they seem to be wasting time surfing the internet and composing emails, not that I've watched them that much to really know for sure what it is they are doing. I'm too busy with what I'm doing to notice.

My biggest concern with the laptop crowd is that they aren't trying to hack my own connection. This worried me at one particular Starbucks cafe so much that I will no longer use my iPhone app to buy anything there but instead always pay cash on the rare occasions I go to that one anymore.

As you can see from the 2 photos I've posted to this article, few people are around when I'm in Starbucks. In fact, there's nobody in either photo. And these are well-trodden places. I'm not in South Dakota. Apparently those teleworkers sleep in every day.

So I don't think cafes mind that I stay for a couple hours and write my stories. It's not like a bunch of potential customers are waiting for tables. It's just the reverse: the tables are waiting for customers.

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