Hey everyone. We have the classic problem of customers coming in, spending $1.50 on a cup of coffee, and then setting up their office at one of our tables for the next 5 hours. A couple of them even have the audacity to complain when the connection goes down once in a while. I'd hate to limit our internet, but with the rules in our city we have VERY limited seating and we need to create more turnaround. Anyway, long story short, I don't know how to limit the wi fi connection in our shop. I'd like to give customers a certain amount of time on the internet every time they buy a coffee, but I don't know how to set that up. Can anybody help me? Thanks for your input.

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Very amusing response. I have no problem kicking them off or asking them to move to a side chair if we need the table for "higher" paying customers. My problem is electric-they unplug my lights to plug in their computers!

Tim Bartz said:
OK. First of all, raise your coffee prices. A buck fifty? Come on, you're worth more than that.

Next, WiFi. I own a similarly tiny (22 seat) coffee shop in Piermont, NY and we've been wrestling with the yin and yang sensibilities of the WiFi question since we started in 2004: weighing customer's desires for WiFi against the fiscal common sense that screamed an emphatic "NO!"

Guess what. Money won. As I couldn't find a way to turn WiFi's expense into a reasonable revenue stream, we never did it. Best decision I ever made. (For a while, one of the residents in the apartments upstairs had an unprotected network that wireless customers pimp rode, but they moved out.) It just doesn't make that much money. Green Bean (above) made $300 a week, but for a 24 hour a day shop, that's just a bit over 50-cents an hour. I can make more than that short changing the cyclists.

But now that you've opened the Pandora's box and customers are accustomed to the service are you forever screwed? No. We found there were a very few customers using WiFi, but they drove away a large number of other customers who just wanted to sit and buy coffee. What do you do? Lose the WiFi. A few will complain. Then they'll stop complaining and either leave or stay. If they leave, so what? You've only lost a few bucks.

If you are worried about complaints, make up any reason to discontinue the service: Our computer got a virus and infected all the users so we had to put it in quarantine. The phone company called and told us no more porn. The dog ate it. Whatever. In the end, it'll be a lot like a vasectomy - after a brief period of mild discomfort you'll have a lot more fun and worry a lot less
That's it. Now go raise coffee prices. Tell 'em you had to because the dog ate your cash register.
Tim
Ok...here is an Idea for you Judith...it requires minor construction.
Build a small(shallow) box that completely encases the outlet. Build it with your design or decor of choice.
Once you have this case you can then attach a small locking mechanism to lock it to the wall or the bench or where ever your outlet is.
Here is a drawing I just did up on MS Paint.
I think this would put an end to it...because you would hold the keys.


Judith A Rudy said:
Very amusing response. I have no problem kicking them off or asking them to move to a side chair if we need the table for "higher" paying customers. My problem is electric-they unplug my lights to plug in their computers!

Tim Bartz said:
OK. First of all, raise your coffee prices. A buck fifty? Come on, you're worth more than that.

Next, WiFi. I own a similarly tiny (22 seat) coffee shop in Piermont, NY and we've been wrestling with the yin and yang sensibilities of the WiFi question since we started in 2004: weighing customer's desires for WiFi against the fiscal common sense that screamed an emphatic "NO!"

Guess what. Money won. As I couldn't find a way to turn WiFi's expense into a reasonable revenue stream, we never did it. Best decision I ever made. (For a while, one of the residents in the apartments upstairs had an unprotected network that wireless customers pimp rode, but they moved out.) It just doesn't make that much money. Green Bean (above) made $300 a week, but for a 24 hour a day shop, that's just a bit over 50-cents an hour. I can make more than that short changing the cyclists.

But now that you've opened the Pandora's box and customers are accustomed to the service are you forever screwed? No. We found there were a very few customers using WiFi, but they drove away a large number of other customers who just wanted to sit and buy coffee. What do you do? Lose the WiFi. A few will complain. Then they'll stop complaining and either leave or stay. If they leave, so what? You've only lost a few bucks.

If you are worried about complaints, make up any reason to discontinue the service: Our computer got a virus and infected all the users so we had to put it in quarantine. The phone company called and told us no more porn. The dog ate it. Whatever. In the end, it'll be a lot like a vasectomy - after a brief period of mild discomfort you'll have a lot more fun and worry a lot less
That's it. Now go raise coffee prices. Tell 'em you had to because the dog ate your cash register.
Tim
Used to offer WiFi, but no longer, and it's not a problem. Get 1 person a month (maybe) looking for internet, and that is ALL they are looking for. If I was in a college town it would be a no brainer, but I'm not.

Don't need it.

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