what is the best way to post a wifi sign? I have people who come in to use the wifi but they don't buy anything. I feel the Free WiFi is for paying customers. Should I post a sign and how should I say it? Anyone have any helpfull advice?

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Oh, before I forget to give credit...
Nice Post and Thread Teri...
Joe
Thanks everyone for your comments it was very helpful reading others opinons on the topic.
Joseph-
I'm very cool with disagreement. If everyone agreed on everything, the world would be a boring and uninteresting place to exist.

I'm not one who buys into the "if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't you?" argument. Especially in the situation where "everyone else" is doing something, you should be the one doing something different. I'm interested in differentiating our place from the rest - and continuing with the WiFi thing that everyone else does does nothing to set us apart.

Interestingly enough you asked about presenting a different business model. Well, I have opened a different approach to coffee last Friday. Eleven coffees, 9 brew methods, one size, two syrups, no WiFi, no art, no music and simply some of the best coffee we could find on planet earth. People ask why do we not provide all the things that other shops offer, mainly it's because we're not the other shops and we have a particular vision of coffee that we are demonstrating - one that removes the extraneous interference caused by things such as WiFi, art and music. We want our customers to focus their attentions on the product and each other.
The age old problem. You want to provide the service for your customers but don't want a bunch of free loading people taking up your seats... I am currently having this problem with our two newest cafe's, both of which are located downtown where we often get 3-4-5 cruise ships per day... we seat 22 inside and 15 outside and quite often every single chair is taken by somebody with a laptop... often a bottle of water purchase was made two hours earlier.

This is affecting our sales and we need an immediately solution. We have tried asking politely and are getting a hostile reaction in many cases... lately I have just instructed the staff to TURN THE MODEM OFF... 'sorry' the internet is down... might not be back for a few hours'. Then they all disappear.

We have two other cafe's, in areas that cater more to locals and stay over tourists and in both of those locations we have both wired and wireless... for people who don't have a laptop (there are lots). We originally offered the services for free... the problem ... people would sit at the computers ... all day... so 'customers' would come in order a cheesecake, a coffee with the intention of using the computers... only to find that they are all occupied by people who ... for the most part are not customers.

For the most part we always try to be understanding, but honestly some people are so rude about this.

The other day I had a guy sitting at a two top, backpack on the chair of the table next to him and foot on the chair to the left... effectively taking up three two tops...in walks a woman with a baby in her arms, two kids behind her... the husband behind them with another one in the stroller... they ordered everything in site and then started dragging tables and chairs around to try and arrange seating... I had been in the cafe for over two hours and watched this guy sitting there... so I went over and said... excuse me... but could you move to a smaller table... the guy gives me all kinds of aggravation huffing and puffing ... dirty looks... and then finally moves... some people just have ... no shame...

We get people who walk in, sit down, plug in their computer... spread out their papers and don't even bother to go to the counter... I am 'excuse me'... can we get you something? Oh, no... I am good...

Anyway, our two downtown spots don't have computers... just WiFi and I am looking into software so that we can limit use... we really need to address this problem... it's well past reasonable.

http://patronsoft.com/firstspot/online_demo.html

http://www.publicip.net/features.php?anchor=tickets#tickets

http://www.antamedia.com/products/

I am liking the last one but it would require another PC with a second card... it would address the problems.

I am still sniffing this out. Ideally I would like a solution that I can add to my POS so we can just print passwords on our receipt printer... that would expire after an hour. For our regular customers we would have the 'secret password' that didn't time out.

Oh and finally and on a lighter note, we have a guy come into our of our shops a month ago with, get ready for it... a Mac desktop computer, a 30" display monitor and mouse/keyboard... he was on a cruise ship and yes... he lugged all that stuff onto the ship... and then off again ... just to use our internet...

Marek
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i, luckily, have not had a problem with wi-fi moochers yet. sometimes we get crowded enough that i have to ask people to consolidate if they're taking up a 3 top, but that's very rare and my customers don't mind doing it.

if someone is coming into your coffeeshop and using the wi-fi without buying anything, kick them out - that's loitering. most people who are rude enough to do that don't have many friends to complain to, and they're not buying anything, so you shouldn't lose any business. i am quickly learning that if you don't have the confidence to deal with problems quickly and firmly, you shouldn't be in this business anyways
Jay,
I had a hunch you had something special up your speciality coffee sleve. I applaud your direction and model. For me and it looks like you, it's all about the People #1 and Coffee #1 or is it the other way around? Sometimes I confuse myself because I love them both so much. The rest is fluff and window dressing.
I'm seriously on the same page with the " "if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't you?" argument." I'm an old hippy protester from the 60's. Damn I just dated myself. Just kidding my profile couldn't be more public. If someone wants to patronize my shop or shops to be, I want them to know me through and through.
Sounds like your putting out your heart and soul too Jay. Good for you. Geographically I'm way off the beaten track and main stream traffic of Portland Oregon. When they see what we have going here for their first time most have to ask if we have wifi. I built this network from scratch as I have all my computers since, so technology is not only fun but very useful these days. Social Networking ( Facebook, Baristaexchange etc. ),is cutting edge for us business folks and most of my regulars as well. If I can help people stay in touch with people it does not matter to me if they are in my shop or another one down the street. (ie twitter).
In fact I can't wait to put in a live web cam so I can roast live on our website. Now if I could only install a scent cam to help sell my Sasquatch roast, you can bet I would. =)))
I still can't wait to visit your shop next time out to the east side of our big island Jay,
Warm Regards,
Joseph
--
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.

Jay Caragay said:
Joseph-
I'm very cool with disagreement. If everyone agreed on everything, the world would be a boring and uninteresting place to exist.

I'm not one who buys into the "if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't you?" argument. Especially in the situation where "everyone else" is doing something, you should be the one doing something different. I'm interested in differentiating our place from the rest - and continuing with the WiFi thing that everyone else does does nothing to set us apart.

Interestingly enough you asked about presenting a different business model. Well, I have opened a different approach to coffee last Friday. Eleven coffees, 9 brew methods, one size, two syrups, no WiFi, no art, no music and simply some of the best coffee we could find on planet earth. People ask why do we not provide all the things that other shops offer, mainly it's because we're not the other shops and we have a particular vision of coffee that we are demonstrating - one that removes the extraneous interference caused by things such as WiFi, art and music. We want our customers to focus their attentions on the product and each other.
Perfect solution. FOUND IT!!! Five hours of online research. This is idiot proof (what I need).

One, plug into a LAN port on your existing router. Connect to WAN port on HOTSPOT ROUTER.
Two, configure preferences by accessing from your computer. Choose an SSID broadcast name.
... mine will be ... ( C_cashier_4_PSWRD )
Three, connect printer.

Four, assuming you had a wireless router. Stop the SSID from broadcasting, or change the name to CAFE PRIVATE or something suitable.

So now you have a stand alone system and only need to make room for the three button thermal printer.

Mine will be Button 1, half hour... 2 one hour and 3... two hours... that's the factory config. I will remove all the time/hour/day/minute/location/expiration stuff from the printer... so it just prints USER NAME and PASSWORD.

Depending on the customer purchase, attitude and repeat business... you can push the appropriate button.

What's ideal about this is it removes the staff from having to be bouncers... seeing as how it is connected to a thermal printer... 'sorry sir, we can only generate passwords when there is a sale'...

I just ordered two of these... installing in our two problem locations ASAP.

It's the perfect solution.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120416210445...

By the way, that is the best price, Dell has them for almost $700...

Regards


Marek
Cafe del Sol
Cayman Islands
We seat 12 on high tops in the window and 10 and two tops near the front. The photo's, speak for themselves. There are days when we have people standing with their laptops open in their arms... and we seat another 12 outside. Whenever ships are in town, it's very common for us to have 35-40 people with laptops.

The cruise ships charge $20 an hour for slow access, we offer 6 MIPS for free... and yes, if you look at the photo's most everybody has a drink :)... it's the six hour seat warmer that we need to deal with... interestingly, it's the one who isn't a customer... who always gives us a hard time.
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Hey Jay,
I know this is a tangent from the thread, but I'm just curious and jealous about the nine methods you speak of. I'm just curious as to what all of them are.
Thanks,
Andrew

Jay Caragay said:
Joseph-
I'm very cool with disagreement. If everyone agreed on everything, the world would be a boring and uninteresting place to exist.

I'm not one who buys into the "if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't you?" argument. Especially in the situation where "everyone else" is doing something, you should be the one doing something different. I'm interested in differentiating our place from the rest - and continuing with the WiFi thing that everyone else does does nothing to set us apart.

Interestingly enough you asked about presenting a different business model. Well, I have opened a different approach to coffee last Friday. Eleven coffees, 9 brew methods, one size, two syrups, no WiFi, no art, no music and simply some of the best coffee we could find on planet earth. People ask why do we not provide all the things that other shops offer, mainly it's because we're not the other shops and we have a particular vision of coffee that we are demonstrating - one that removes the extraneous interference caused by things such as WiFi, art and music. We want our customers to focus their attentions on the product and each other.

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