Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mobile: Some Coffee Shops No Longer Welcome Mobile Warriors

When independent coffee shops were fighting a losing battle against Starbucks and other coffee chains, they did what they could to drive in business and foot traffic.  Wi-Fi was a powerful lure - free Wi-Fi that is.  It hooked me into some coffee shops that I would otherwise not frequent too frequently.  However, some now are beginning to change their attitudes towards mobile warriors and their laptop carrying ways.

The reason is simply.  The experience that Starbucks created to get people to use their stores as a hangout place or mobile office has now permeated through society and has permanently been etched our social psyche.

As a patron, I'm a bit ticked off about this but I also understand the business aspect of this.  And this is the subject of this NBC post.  One thing mentioned in the post is the wasted space where one guy has a laptop on a small table while the other seat is open but no one will sit there because who wants to sit with a stranger?

Well, I would and I have.  I can understand if I go into a cafe with a friend and there are only a bunch of single seats left.  Perhaps, a new social norm could be created.  

If I go into a Starbucks or a coffee shop to do work and I see open tables, I should not immediately thank my lucky stars but instead go with with someone else who has a laptop occupying a table.  But the best answer is probably a time-limited access to the Wi-Fi.  Order something, it gets you an hour of use.  The post mentioned three hours but I think that might be pushing it.

Okay, maybe two hours.  Or maybe the more you spend, the more Wi-Fi time you're allotted.  

The bottom-line is let's be courteous of others and business operators, right?  

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