27 May 2005

Coffee Shop Increases Revnue by Shutting Wi-Fi

1369 Coffee House - Cambridge, MA
"Went Here 'til it Got Too Crowded"

This article isn't about 1369, but I like 1369 and would paste little stickers of it everywhere if I could.

Slashdot led me to an article at Wi-Fi Networking News about a Seattle coffee shop whose revenues improved after disabling free Wi-Fi on weekends.

The symptom they experienced prior to the shut-off was that "cyber squatters" would come in, grab a seat, and work all day. The owners complained that the spirit of the cafe changed.

Although I feel I spend way too much for drinks at places like Starbucks, I would be willing to pay for guaranteed access to a decent table and "free" Wi-Fi on an hourly basis. I love local coffee shops like 1369 Coffee House and the Diesel Cafe - but I don't love buying coffee and then standing in a holding pattern waiting for people to free up a seat.

This forces me to get to the cafe earlier, forcing others to get there earlier, creating a freakin' arms race at 1369.

Ok, I digress.

Punchline: I'd be willing to pay for hourly access to tables at cafes in return for sane coffee prices, Wi-Fi, and an outlet for my laptop.

Awful Realization: This whiney rant sounds too much like what I didn't want to create in this Blog. Sigh.

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