WiFi Nazis

This CNet article reminded me about how some coffee shops don't like you to sit around and poach their WiFi network while you sip on their coffee.. also reminded me of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. Here is a excerpt from the article that is reflective of that sentiment:
A sign in Naidre's expresses the owner's emotions on the subject very clearly: "Dear customers, we are absolutely thrilled that you like us so much that you want to spend the day...but people gotta eat, and to eat they gotta sit."

Some coffee shop owners in New York even cover up electric outlets, so that the enterprising, the impoverished students, the merely very lonely or the merely very brazen cannot boot up, sip java, and take up valuable table space all day.
On occasion I mooch WiFi at one of our local Panera Bread shops.. usually in the morning as I nosh on a bagel and their dark roast juice.. and when I do I notice that they have a sign that expresses the don't-hog-the-tables sentiment. Wonder how the bottom-line of these establishments would be affected if we WiFi geeks found more inviting venues? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you :)


  1. Wow, that is biting the hand that feeds you. It seems like the Starbucks around here encourage people to hang out and use their Wifi, but I could be wrong. I've never seen one of those signs.

  2. Starbucks doesn't seem to mind around here. Their WiFi isn't free, though. You can, however, get a Starbucks gift card, register is with ATT&T wireless and as long as you fill it up each month (any dollar amount) you can use their WiFi.

    I don't think it will be too long before free WiFi becomes the norm... and places that act like it's the end of the world if you sit at one of their tables for a couple of hours won't keep that policy for long if they know what's good for business!

  3. I, too, have never seen an "eat and git" sign in any of the WiFi shops. I have seen people who look like they have been in the shop a long time when I arrive and remain when I leave and they ate or drank nothing while I was there.

    I don't think the customer has the right to remain in the shop beyond a reasonalble period of time for consuming their food/drink in a leisurely fashion. Each of us knows when we have reached that limit but some of us need a sign to remind us to be fair.

  4. Maybe it's not the wifi use but rather the fact that they can't accomodate more customers who actually want to drink their coffee that's troubling the owners.

  5. I don't frequent coffee shops that don't have free wifi, usually the only time I'll go to a Starbucks is if I'm getting it to go, or having a quick meeting.

    I think coffee shops are hurting themselves if they place too many restrictions (for instance, I won't go to coffee shops where I can't access an outlet, my battery isn't that good). However, those of us who partake of the wifi need to make sure we are being good customers as well.

  6. "those of us who partake of the wifi need to make sure we are being good customers as well."

    ..nice balance Shane.. wonder how much time we buy with a $4 latte?


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