I have been to many coffee houses and many offer couches as a sitting option. But I notice that mostly they go unused. I think the TV show Friends offered the stereotype that couches are how people like to sit and relax in a cafe...but I think in general most people don't for a few reasons:
1) Drinking a hot beverage that can spill is not good for a seat that you sink into (couch)
2) Generally, in our culture, we don't want someone to sit right next to us; and with a couch someone could do that...so many prefer their own chair.
3) Cloth chairs/couches is great in your own home, but in a public setting it can be seen as dirty/nasty.

Ok, this is just my observations from visiting many cafes in this city. Tell me about your experiences.

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at all three coffee shops i've worked at, people have used the couches...
all of the cafes i've worked at have a good amount of college kids in the area, and they come by and love to lounge on the couches while doing homework or on dates, etc.
i find that the "grown-ups" who visit the cafes i've worked in usually sit in chairs...
I agree. We are in a University town and the couches mostly get used in the afternoon and night by younger customers. I recently changed out 2 couches for 8 leather club chairs in my other store. It gives more seating room for the same space and is great for different groups.
Our couch is one of the more popular spots, and we're suburban. Guys by themselves, husband and wife, a couple of ladies meeting for prayer group (also use the chairs on the other side of the seating group). Its a clean sofa though, which may help :)

I think quite a bit depends on the sofa and placement in the space. If its part of a larger seating group (or otherwise feels enclosed) and its not too low or too reclined it'll probably do better than if its hanging out by itself or impossible to sit upright in.

Oh, and must be paired with places to set your drink down.
People really dig our random furniture. They're used at least as frequently as any other seats.
We have a couch, a love seat, a padded wrap-around bench, a rocker/recliner and a leather padded straight-back chair and they all get used. Couples love the couch and the love seat, the wrap-around bench is popular with groups and folks love the rocker/recliner.
A three seat couch is not worth doing because the center seat hardly ever gets used but we have a loveseat and a couple of comfy chairs that are great to settle into and read. The Love Seat in our shop is usually the first seat taken.
Wow, great feedback guys. Would love to see pictures!
I always head for the couch. Nice leather is probably best though.
I had a couch at my last shop and will continue with that at my new cafe in addition to a recliner and a coffee table. People love them and use them constantly.

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