With office space becoming incredibly expensive many bootstrapped business start ups are basing their place of work in their local coffee shop. After all in an environment with A/C, free Wi-Fi, pot-pourri’d rest rooms and comfy cafe furniture, it makes a great alternative to the home office, or the desk in the bedroom. However with the growing amount of coffee house commuters there has to be some unwritten ground-rules to determine what’s appropriate and what’s not. Let’s take a closer look.
Rules on buying
Obviously it wouldn’t be appropriate to sit there all day working away and not buying anything, but then again your bladder probably might not take to having to digest a skinny latte every hour either. So there has to be sweet spot right? Well yes there is and 2-3 hours seems to be it. If you still can’t handle that much liquid, especially if you’re working longer hours then make sure you tip heavily at the end of the day. In addition, if you’re camping out in the coffee shop over a busy lunchtime service, then it’s probably a good idea to eat lunch there too. Oh and one last thing…. never, bring in your own food!
Rules on attendance
If it’s a new coffee shop and they don’t know you then it’s probably best to speak with the owners first especially if you’re going to put in an 8 hour shift. Coffee shop owners generally love having customers around, even if it’s the same person all day, so chances are, they won’t say no. It’s just common courtesy. Once they get to know you and realise that you do pay your way then staying all day shouldn’t become an issue. Remember though to remove yourself from the premise before they have to kick you out.
Rules on taking calls
If you run a business, communication or calls are inevitable, but should you take business calls inside the coffee shop? As far as coffee shop etiquette is concerned it’s best to try and take calls outside. Try and stay within the halo of the Wi-Fi coverage area so if you need to Skype, you can still do it on your phone. If it’s a short conversation, then inside is okay as long as it doesn’t impinge on other cafe goers. So what about Skype Video? Generally speaking it’s a bit of a no go area because it can take up excessive amounts of bandwidth, so try and avoid it if possible.
Rules on seating
Okay, so you’ve just shelled out (insert amount here) for that limited edition laptop bag, and you don’t really want to put it on the floor so is it okay to take up another seat with your belongings? In a word no. Even if the coffee shop is relatively empty it’s isn’t even advisable to adopt the “I’ll move it if it gets busy” approach, because you’ll discourage people from even thinking of sitting there. Therefore be prepared to put your stuff on the floor, preferably under the chair and only take up the minimum space you really need.
Rules on web browsing
As you’re Wi-Fi scrounging try to keep to basic browsing such as emails and quick searches. Downloading large files, or using Bit Torrent isn’t really appropriate in this case. Put it this way, if you’re downloading large files while streaming video and Skyping and suddenly notice that people around you are complaining because their internet has the speed of a snail, then it’s probably too much.
Here at Cafe Solutions we’re full of useful tips including where to get the best commercial cafe furniture at great value prices. Visit our website atwww.cafesolutions.com.au or contact us on 07 3205 16216 to find out more.