Laptops and Coffee Shops

Plinky asked,“Should cof­fee shops lim­it the amount of time that lap­top users can occu­py tables? Why or why not? What should the time lim­it be?”

Open Table

That depends on the cof­fee shop and its clien­tele. If a par­tic­u­lar shop isn’t hav­ing a prob­lem, why should it set a lim­it? As the say­ing goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

On the oth­er hand, if a shop finds that cus­tomers can’t find a place to sit because of cer­tain peo­ple who habit­u­al­ly come in, buy one drink and then monop­o­lize the tables for many hours, then yes, per­haps a lim­it would be rea­son­able. I would try to find oth­er options, like insti­tut­ing a min­i­mum pur­chase per hour pol­i­cy or some­thing of that sort first. I’d also try to encour­age the lap­top users to share tables as much as pos­si­ble. The tables aren’t per­son­al desks, obviously.

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Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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