I am just wondering how you all handle the people who come in just to hang out or have a meeting without purchasing anything. They also have no intention of purchasing anything and get insulted when you suggest they need to buy something.

Views: 112

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

i have few of those in my shop,the way i look @ is foot trafic they will bring some 1 who will buy somthing or become a regular!!
Adrian:

Permit me to answer the "WebBeams receipt code printing" solution. I was contemplating using WebBeams to keep people out but I thought that "booting" them off the Internet after and 1 hour or two hours was too much of an issue to bear.

A "programmer/customer" suggested that I change the passcode to the wi-fi router and that would solve the issue of "freeloading Internet users" in the parking lot and in the store. I change the passcode now and it has worked for me! I no longer have people using the Internet without buying drinks. Now, as long as the customer buys a drink, I give them a passcode to enter on their laptop and get through the wi-fi router to the Internet.

I change the passcode as often as I like, and I don't pay any fees to do it! The customers get a passcode when they buy a drink -- Returning customers disconnect from the old passcode, enter the new passcode and they are good to go. Consider this solution before you buy into a "monthly fee/receipt code solution".

Hope this helps!
Hi Adrian,

No we do not. Like David, we just change the code on the router periodically. We have a house computer connected to the router and run the network management software (have used Network Magic and Linksys's complimentary EasyLink Adviser). This just lets us see who is on and gives us more control.

We do have some customers that will use our WiFi without coming in... which I don't mind if they are regulars that have already been in that day or even that week. EasyLink does let us flag intruders and prohibits access for freeloaders. We consider this both a courtesy issue and a network security issue.

We just manually change the printed line on the POS when we change codes. We don't do this very often though, generally people either give up or come in and become customers. Probably about time to rotate it again...

Hope this helps.

b
In our shop, customers come up to the counter and order. We then take the beverage to their table. If they just come in and sit down, and don't order for 10 minutes, then I (the owner) approach them and say, "Please, come up to the counter to order, and we'll be happy to serve you." If they say they don't plan on ordering, then I say, "Well, I'm so sorry, but you have to order to stay." Think about it this way... if they get "insulted" and never come back, you are not driving away a good customer. You are driving away a bad customer. They can go to the library and camp out for free, if that's what they're looking for. I also have had people come in with OTHER SHOP'S food & beverage. Now, that's nervy! I tell them it's against health code to bring in outside items. If someone gets sick, I wouldn't know if it's my food or someone else's.
This is how it should be done.

Bully Blends Coffee & Tea Shop said:
In our shop, customers come up to the counter and order. We then take the beverage to their table. If they just come in and sit down, and don't order for 10 minutes, then I (the owner) approach them and say, "Please, come up to the counter to order, and we'll be happy to serve you." If they say they don't plan on ordering, then I say, "Well, I'm so sorry, but you have to order to stay." Think about it this way... if they get "insulted" and never come back, you are not driving away a good customer. You are driving away a bad customer. They can go to the library and camp out for free, if that's what they're looking for. I also have had people come in with OTHER SHOP'S food & beverage. Now, that's nervy! I tell them it's against health code to bring in outside items. If someone gets sick, I wouldn't know if it's my food or someone else's.
I dont say anything, if they hang around enough they will probobly eventually order something. if not they may end up bringing someone who will order something. just remember if you insult someone they will go tell people who will tell people who will tell people that they employees at your shop are rude. I believe it is always better to be hospitible. sometimes i'll even offer one free drink. after that they are hooked and will be back time and time again. kindness is the best advertising anyone could do.
Johnny Bicycler said:
I dont say anything, if they hang around enough they will probobly eventually order something. if not they may end up bringing someone who will order something. just remember if you insult someone they will go tell people who will tell people who will tell people that they employees at your shop are rude. I believe it is always better to be hospitible. sometimes i'll even offer one free drink. after that they are hooked and will be back time and time again. kindness is the best advertising anyone could do.

Being hospitable is one thing... but you should definitely clearly (and in a friendly way) communicate what you expect. They may eventually order something, they may not.

At another shop, we had a guy ("the mooch") that would come in several days a week, sit for hours, and never order. The owner didn't want to approach him to ask what he wanted. Instead the staff would hang out behind the bar and give him dirty looks. One day I was on bar by myself and went over and talked for a little while, then casually asked him what he wanted. He ordered a large blended drink and continued our conversation for another few minutes at the counter. He became a good regular customer instead of just a mooch.

Agree that you should not insult this person, but you should certainly ask for their order. Your silence on the matter does nothing for you. Ignoring a freeloader is not good customer service. Communicating your store's policy clearly and in a friendly manner is not insulting them - it is your responsibility as and employee or owner. Don't be so afraid of bad word-of-mouth.
Why do most coffeeshops put themselves at a lower standard than a bar or restaurant??? Go in to a local bar or restaurant, hang out, don't order... see what happens. You have a business. Treat it like one. If, as an owner or a manager, you don't place yourself at least equal to a good bar or restaurant, then no one else will either. Take pride in your business, be polite, be firm, make 'em order or move on.
I agree with this.

There are many tactful ways to let them know that they need to either purchase something, or take their freeloading elsewhere.

I'll second the fact that being a chain doesn't help your case much.

In addition to that, I'll say that the culture you create has MUCH to do with how people treat the space. Try to funnel in everyone, and everyone will feel comfortable, regardless of whether or not they are paying.

John P said:
Why do most coffeeshops put themselves at a lower standard than a bar or restaurant??? Go in to a local bar or restaurant, hang out, don't order... see what happens. You have a business. Treat it like one. If, as an owner or a manager, you don't place yourself at least equal to a good bar or restaurant, then no one else will either. Take pride in your business, be polite, be firm, make 'em order or move on.
Its great to read this forum. I've learnt much from the cultural aspects. Seems the same happens no matter where you are in the world. In Singapore, students (12 - 21 year old (undergraduates)) love to hang out at the Airport terminals, McDonald's, Starbucks and similar cosy cafes, occupying seats near power plugs and hog them the whole day to study, chat, go out somewhere for lunch and come back later...call them inconsiderate but you run the risk of a bunch of them blogging about how bad your service is (even when its untrue). Its difficult to defend against these occurences.

Businesses here have resorted removing or plugging up the power outlets and putting up notices to inform potential "squatters" that no studying or skyving are allowed within the premises...maybe such signages might help...
that's an awesome idea! i'll use that next time.

Cedric said:
Being in a college town this happens a lot. But if there's plenty of room to sit down at, then I don't mind people freeloading on the space. It's kind of like a club letting the first so many people in the door for free. But I do purposely walk by them with mouth watering creations in my hand and intentionaly hold it a little lower so that they can see it. Most of the time they end up buying a drink when they leave. If I know for sure that they're constant freeloaders and there's hardly a place to sit. I bring out the secret weapon. That crazy customer that's always there and can talk and talk and talk and talk. I do a quick chat with the freeloader, get there name and then say, "hey ____, have you met loco before?" Then let the customer do my dirty work =P
I expect this may become a problem for us as well because some of our customers will be teens... I plan on tactful but classy signage on the tables if needed "Parking for Customers only" just as will need to do in the parking lot.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2021   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service