Ok, so this customer has come in everyday now for the past four days, (she has worn the same clothes everyday) she comes in, orders a sandwich, grabs the remote for the tv and proceeds to make herself at home for the next five hours, monopolizing the tv and commenting on everything she sees on the screen. Now I find out that she let her dtv coupon expire, so she comes here just to watch tv. Now normally I encourage customers to "stay and relax" but this woman is driving us crazy. We normally try to leave the tv off and play Irish music, making a soothing environment for customers. She spends the whole time laughing out loud and making rediculous comments to the tv. Now other customers are starting to look at her with "the airy eyeball". Ok so what am I supposed to do?

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Amen Brother!! I hope thee is not some law somewhere that says that Conservatives are not allowed to patronize coffee houses. . .God Forbid we own one! We have Fox News on our tv quite regularly, along with TLC, DISC, PBS, AMC and News 10 Now. We have started muting the tv and hiding the remote. Anyway, this is a predominantly Liberal area, but thank God, they are open-minded for the most part.

Jay Caragay said:
Jason Shipley said:
Fox News at a coffee shop????

Fox News?

Of course!

The library and The Spro are not partisan operations. Both entities serve the public at large.

Oddly enough, the most vehement objections we get regarding the tv programming are the supposed "liberals" who "can't believe" that anyone would "allow" Fox News to be shown. Talk about narrow-minded and prejudiced thinking - these are the people who propose that they want "freedom of speech" but rally against voices in opposition to their own. Red or Blue, it's all about the same.
Just sharing my thoughts, and honestly am wondering how you approached space design, theme formating and furnishing of your retail space? I'm not presuming anything about the setup you have in your client seating area Chuck. It's just that your dilema with the TV, which has come up many times, fosters a greater question. I'm directing the following to all of you that have designed and built your retail space.

I always wonder what the business objectives are of a small business. The only sitting area I know of that offers comfortable seating, TV, and in their case, free beverages including coffee, is the lobby area of the hotels I visit while traveling. My business side has to ask if you're providing the "den/living room atmosphere" because you think it's really a great idea, or because you did solid marketing, polled your customer base, and did a quantitative analysis on "client retention" in your business space versus optimal returns in gross sales. Yes, I understand that building a clientel can directly relate to offering "the coffee shop experience", but more often than not, I find that it's the proprietor's perceiption that they're making their corner of the world "really cool", and that their clients will "like them more" and come back more often. I suppose if you're independently wealthy, and don't need the money, you can simply live your dream. But in my opinion, if you're about being in business to make a profit and build a business future, these kinds of decisions deserve a more objective consideration. And while focusing on this issue on the business side, I'm presuming you have a dedication to optimizing your coffee offerings and quality of service. If you're retaining, for instance, only 3% to 5% of your client base at the cost of tieing up 400 square feet of retail space, then what's the motiviation? The question should be, how much do I offer to hit that optimal return? Again, I'm wondering if adding a TV and long term comfortable seating was an objective decision based on wanting to optimize the business, or more a personal decision based on what you think would work best? Again, this doesn't mean I have anything against someone living their dream and being spontaneous. That's a business decision too.
as a business owner YOU control the mood, ambiance, etc of your shop. YOU are creating a mood and ambiance that will benefit your business, and the majority of your customers. If you let ONE customer rule the show, then YOU are not in control. if you are going to have a TV in the shop, YOU have to control it.

You are running a business, not a living room. There is a difference between making customers and making friends. You have to not be afraid to stand your ground and make decisions that will benefit your business. You can't do that if don't have the remote!

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