I have many clients that come in from the college down the road. They feel that because "they don't like coffee" they should not have to purchase anything and will use our wifi. We have now posted one note on every entrance and on our microwaves that no outiside food is permitted. I try my best to ask them politely to purchase something or leave but this is a difficult thing. I dont want people to leave that would have purchased something when the rest of their group came, for example. I recommend when it's not too busy to just have our staff clean the tables around the person and ask them if they have been helped and, can get them anything. Chances are a waitress kind of attitude from the staff gives the customer a chance to say "oh, I'm waiting for ...." and if they tell me they're not getting anything I have recommended the library down the street from us that gets Federal funding to be in business with free wifi while we don't.

I went to a coffee shop that had little signs that said "admission is one cup of coffee" but I haven't gotten that ballsie.

Good luck and let us know if you find something that works

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SBX now has the ability to turn off some power outlets and/or cover them at a few stores specifically to cut-off non-paying customers from parking longer than their battery will hold out.

http://eater.com/archives/2011/08/03/ny-starbucks-covers-outlets-cu...

 

We have changed our password in the middle of the day to cut squatters off. We also print the password on our receipts. 

 

Regardless of the fact that they have not purchased a drink from you... I do not think that it is in your best interest to chase them out... Although their presence may seem an inconvenience.. Chasing them out or "forcing" them into purchasing is ultimately not world class customer service... And could lead to negative word of mouth... Which in the end is worse than their presence.. I.e.... You don't get chased out of walmart just because you didn't purchase anything... I would recommend killing them with kindness.. Give them samples...converse with them... eventually they will spend money... Earn their business. Don't automatically view them as the enemy.. Own them.
This could work.

seanmellor85 said:
Regardless of the fact that they have not purchased a drink from you... I do not think that it is in your best interest to chase them out... Although their presence may seem an inconvenience.. Chasing them out or "forcing" them into purchasing is ultimately not world class customer service... And could lead to negative word of mouth... Which in the end is worse than their presence.. I.e.... You don't get chased out of walmart just because you didn't purchase anything... I would recommend killing them with kindness.. Give them samples...converse with them... eventually they will spend money... Earn their business. Don't automatically view them as the enemy.. Own them.

I disagree with this completely. Let me paint a scenario for you.

 

You own a popular cafe. It has its busy times and quiet times. Usually during your busy times, all or most of your tables are full for up to one hour with different groups of customers come in on their lunch breaks or coffee breaks or what-have-you. So these people would maybe have about 30 minutes to order a coffee and a sandwich, sit down with their colleagues, eat, drink, chat, and leave. So from entering the cafe, they might only actually be at a table for 20 minutes or so after they order, find a seat, and sit down. During a rush in your busy cafe, on a table that seats 4, that could be up to 12 customers at that table alone that would probably be spending about $10 each. Could be. Of course, there may always be one or two people in a group that don't order food, or don't order coffee, but I'm talking about potential here.

 

You could have a few of these rushes. I've even worked at cafes where the scenario above is pretty non-stop for about 8 hours. Lets say your cafe has a rush like this at about 10am, after people come into the office, realise it's all too depressing to handle without coffee and come downstairs to the cafe for a bit, And then another at about midday when people come down for lunch.

 

Now lets say you have your customer. The one who bought a smoothy and a bagel around the corner, and then came into your cafe because you have big tables to spread out on and free wifi. The customer comes in at about 9:30, takes a table, and covers it with books and laptops and bagel crumbs while writing that paper, studying, facebooking, and downloading the latest Glee episodes. The customer sits there until 2pm. At most, maybe buying a muffin or a bottle of water, but as others have said they often don't buy anything. 

 

What would you do?? The table occupied by this one not-even-a-customer for 4 and half hours could have been occupied by real customers that could have spent up to a total of $240. And because you are a very busy cafe and your customers only have a limited time to spend there while they have a break they don't have time to wait - they go somewhere else. They might even become regulars at another cafe if the problem persists.

 

What would you do? Being a business owner, and watching this person deprive you of $240, could you really say to yourself "If I'm nice to this person, they might become a real customer and buy a coffee now and then" and then treat the person to samples and chit chat, while your loyal customers are walking out the door??

 

You don't get kicked out of walmart for not buying anything, but walmart doesn't have limited seating for customers.


seanmellor85 said:

Regardless of the fact that they have not purchased a drink from you... I do not think that it is in your best interest to chase them out... Although their presence may seem an inconvenience.. Chasing them out or "forcing" them into purchasing is ultimately not world class customer service... And could lead to negative word of mouth... Which in the end is worse than their presence.. I.e.... You don't get chased out of walmart just because you didn't purchase anything... I would recommend killing them with kindness.. Give them samples...converse with them... eventually they will spend money... Earn their business. Don't automatically view them as the enemy.. Own them.
One of the biggest issues in regards to business is the "me vs them" attitude.. If a person is in your store... and not causing any police removable problems... they are your customer... bottom line... they are just as real of a customer as any one else that walks through your door... and they deserve to be treated as the same customer.. I manage a very high volume 24 hour location... I see this type of thing occur day in and day out and I exercise the principals that I stated in my previous posting.. If the customer buys a muffin and a cup of coffee at 9am and stays until 2pm at that table... they are in fact a paying customer and have every single right to that table for as long as they want during your open hours... if they didn't pay but aren't causing any issues... and it is "seat yourself seating"... the situation is what it is--- bottom line is you can't waste your time chasing out customers.. you need to be out behind the line focusing on the customers that are purchasing things and giving them a unforgettable wold class experience...or using this time to manage other aspects of your business.. there are far more important things to do than become a police officer to your cafe'.. this is a waste of time/labor... trust me, in the end you will loose more than you will gain by controlling/timing/restricting your cafe' customers.. let them be...

We all run our businesses differently, but personally if I have a customer that is depriving me of business and continues to do so I would ban them from the store. I've done it before and I'll do it again and I've been praised and even applauded by other customers for giving a bad customer their marching orders. Most people aren't arseholes and if they see your cafe is particularly busy they will leave or make room, but sometimes people are too inconsiderate to accomodate other people and that is when I would rather not have their business.

 

I'm happy for a customer to buy a coffee and a muffin and stay for 5 hours buying nothing else until it starts causing problems for other customers and reduces my business. If it becomes a regular thing then I would rather they go somewhere else and drive another cafes customers to me.

 

Further, the volumes I'm used to tend to make it a waste of time and labour to try and sweet talk a bad customer rather than to cut them off.

 

Bottom line is it's a business. This is how i earn my living. I'm not running a charity and my cafe isn't a public space. If you can't appreciate these facts, and choose to consistently cheapen what I do, then I'd just rather you didn't come into my cafe.

 

I'm guessing our markets are very different, but where I was if you didn't tell the odd fuckwit to bugger off then your regular customers won't respect you!

The definition of customer is one that purchases a commodity or service from a business
merria-webster dictionary
seanmellor85 said:

One of the biggest issues in regards to business is the "me vs them" attitude.. If a person is in your store... and not causing any police removable problems... they are your customer... bottom line... they are just as real of a customer as any one else that walks through your door... and they deserve to be treated as the same customer.. I manage a very high volume 24 hour location... I see this type of thing occur day in and day out and I exercise the principals that I stated in my previous posting.. If the customer buys a muffin and a cup of coffee at 9am and stays until 2pm at that table... they are in fact a paying customer and have every single right to that table for as long as they want during your open hours... if they didn't pay but aren't causing any issues... and it is "seat yourself seating"... the situation is what it is--- bottom line is you can't waste your time chasing out customers.. you need to be out behind the line focusing on the customers that are purchasing things and giving them a unforgettable wold class experience...or using this time to manage other aspects of your business.. there are far more important things to do than become a police officer to your cafe'.. this is a waste of time/labor... trust me, in the end you will loose more than you will gain by controlling/timing/restricting your cafe' customers.. let them be...

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