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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:19 AM   #1
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Should Coffee Shops Limit Wireless Usage?

These days it is difficult to walk into a local coffee shop in downtown Toronto or outside of the main core and find an empty seat for two. My partner and I love to take walks, you know to get out of the home and sometimes grab a coffee to enjoy the different setting and atmosphere. It's very difficult to do that as most coffee shops are filled with laptop users at every table, seat and including the bar window seating.

We try at least 3 to 5 places before we give up and end up having coffee at home. It doesn't matter what day of the week it is, weekends seem to be worse then other days for the coffee shops to be booked up with laptop users. Basically each time we walk into a coffee shop, if we can't sit down, that coffee shop loses our business and we go onto the next place. We've witnessed other customers doing the same and we know we're not the only ones who are frustrated customers. We also had family come down once, and when that happens we tend to spend quite a bit on coffee, snacks etc amongst everyone. We ended up having to look at 3 places before someone wanted our money and service.

I guess my question is, what's the total amount of spending per laptop user who is there for hours on end taking up a lot space versus those who walk in and walk out empty handed?

And why can't my partner and I have a seat in the coffee shop to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or snack and then move on?

Free wireless is great, no argument there, but now it's to the point where you can't even find a seat, never mind two and sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee without surfing the internet or using the coffee shop for your office all day. It's a growing problem and not just in Toronto as I'm seeing it all over. The only coffee shop I see that doesn't have this problem is Tim Horton's

Opinion and comments welcome What do you think?
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Old May 12th, 2012, 01:57 AM   #2
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If cafés had limited WiFi time, I would never have finished my MA
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Old May 12th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #3
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A problem that one coffee shop has here in St.John's is that Memorial University students come down, get a cup of coffee and stay all day, spreading out books and their laptop all over a table, thus denying anyone else the opportunity to sit down. The manager was blasted by the company for coming out and saying this on CBC radio, but he said that if something does not change, he is going to lose his franchise and go bankrupt.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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If they're not selling enough coffee, they need to reserve the right to limit customers to a certain length of time. However, I haven't had a problem finding a seat in a coffee shop in several areas of Toronto. Worst problem I have is with babies being brought in with huge carriages and paraphernalia. Those mothers never leave either. There's usually an available seat, but I don't want it.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #5
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Worst problem I have is with babies being brought in with huge carriages and paraphernalia. Those mothers never leave either. There's usually an available seat, but I don't want it.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #7
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I like to work at Tim Horton's, since they don't have distracting Wifi there.

I'm two ways about this. On the one hand, I enjoy working in coffee shops. On the other hand, I like sitting in them to just have a coffee.

Of course, if it's very full, I either walk with my coffee or find a park or a bench somewhere outside and sit there.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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The earlier incarnation of Chapters bookstores had lots of seating and tables. I remember these being removed after kids began to do their homework there, using the books for sale as reference material--and sneaking in coffee from the nearby Starbucks to sully them.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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What if they just remove all electrical outlets? Or remove all outlets except those at the large communal tables? That would at least limit most people with a computer to 3 hours and/or keep people with computers to the larger tables.
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