A local coffee shop is trying to fix the Achilles heel of that business model: loafers who order one cup of Joe and lounge around all day, hogging tables that paying customers might want to use.
It’s a particularly acute problem for most coffee shops during lunch and dinner hours.
Ellwood Thompson’s coffee shop is trying to keep the quasi-freeloaders at bay by shutting off the wireless Internet during certain hours.
The wireless will be off from 4:30 to 9 p.m. It’s possible customers will be able to pull off other wireless signals.
An employee working behind the counter said that the shop is going to try to be more of a restaurant.
I’m curious to see how this works. I’ve been in there a handful of times, and there are indeed a lot of loafers with laptops (I am one of them). But for as long as there have been coffee shops, there have been customers who spend hours with a book, or chatting with friends. This won’t discourage them.
Check back in a few weeks when RBS has a follow-up report.