what is the best way to post a wifi sign? I have people who come in to use the wifi but they don't buy anything. I feel the Free WiFi is for paying customers. Should I post a sign and how should I say it? Anyone have any helpfull advice?

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My business hours sign says "WiFi available for customers" on it. We change the password on our WiFi monthly and that works out just fine. The password is only given out to customers who come to the counter to purchase something. So far we've not had a problem with that.
Its your store, go over and talk to the person who is sitting in it and not ordering anything. Say something like "What would you like to drink today?" Or just go strike up a conversation.
I've been in some places that have an access key that expires in 60 or 90 minutes. You get the key with your first purchase and then you need to go back and make another purchase if you are planning to use it longer.

You could have a designated wifi area in the less desirable seats so someone doesn't come in and squat in the nice window seat all day long with their laptop.

The problem is that baristas aren't bouncers, so you can't rely upon your staff to enforce a no-loitering policy.
I would say from our experience in this very little town of 1,520 humanoids, Not.
Or don't post it. "Free WiFi is mention on our website" It seems to be enough because most just expect it and discover it anyway.
It does not sound like you have a low traffic problem and need more bait like another sign to bring them in Teri.
Now if you know or know someone who can set up your router. You can meter the usage and actually make some money on the use of it. Go ahead and charge a nominal fee for it. No big deal. If they are so cheap they don't buy a coffee when they come in and use it. Well you know where I'm going with this...
Joe
Adrian,
I like it. Nice and simple.
Thanks,
Joe

Adrian Badger said:
My business hours sign says "WiFi available for customers" on it. We change the password on our WiFi monthly and that works out just fine. The password is only given out to customers who come to the counter to purchase something. So far we've not had a problem with that.
I take a different approach: I welcome free riders.

People add human interest and vitality to what would otherwise be an empty chair and static room or seating area. Non-paying people are of value as scenery that attracts other people, who then become your paying customers. The only exception I make for free riders is when I've a line of paying customers standing around waiting for a seat--then and only then I walk up and say it nicely, "Time to move along, little doggie..."
I really love the sign right near the bar at Ninth Street Espresso in NYC. The network name and password are listed with a simple reminder that "WIFI is free. Your seat is not." (that may or may not be the exact wording). I think most people get it.
At work, I'll usually just go up to those customers and ask them if they'd like anything and let them now they can come up to the bar to order when they're ready. Most people seem to take the hint.
Robby,
I love your take. The warm human side is the best side of this work. Thanks for reminding me why I am doing what I am doing.
A full house is the most inviting house.
Love it, keep up your sweet passion.
Joseph

Robby M said:
I take a different approach: I welcome free riders.

People add human interest and vitality to what would otherwise be an empty chair and static room or seating area. Non-paying people are of value as scenery that attracts other people, who then become your paying customers. The only exception I make for free riders is when I've a line of paying customers standing around waiting for a seat--then and only then I walk up and say it nicely, "Time to move along, little doggie..."
We dont advertise we have WIFI although we do actually have it in all 3 of our cafes plus the cafe/roastery in Auckland. I know its a pain in the butt, however I change our password daily. For Antipodean in Jakarta we have a cheap cafe competing next door- its all to easy for those wanting to be on the net all day to buy a flatwhite from us and then migrate to our neighbours. I wouldnt mind them sitting on someone elses stools for the entire day but it gives the image that the place is actually popular...and I wouldnt want that!

Despite not advertising WIFI I dont find too many people abusing the system...so to date have not had to do the "little doggie" routine, although it might be fun to try :)
Why not get rid of WiFi altogether?

Are people coming to your place and hanging out because of your product or your WiFi? Are you a WiFi provider or a coffee place?

And while having people in your shop to fill it out and make it look more "human" is a nice thought, it's not paying your bills or making you a living. I disagree with the assertion that people buried in their laptops is a positive thing to cultivate in your environment.

Get rid of the WiFi!
With so many people out of work and looking for jobs this has become a big problem for me. People are looking for work and maybe just want to get out of the house or maybe can't afford internet at home. My policy is everyone must buy something or they have to move on or I will be the one looking for a job in someone elses coffee shop.
Hey, Jay
How's it going. Nice to read your posts even if I don't agree with them. What is a "positive thing to cultivate"
and what your customer base expects is two different things. In other words if all the cafes on your block have wifi and you don't it begs the first question from your clients, why not? Then the second question when will you be getting it? I sure some of us have heard that. I on the other hand live in a small town of 1520 city limits. Folks looking for work or just looking for a quite place to do home work or what ever. I knew the trends and needs of today's "Third Place" I can't tell you how many have thanked me because there new Google phone could connect, small convenience but just another value added service.
Now if you want to present a different business model Jay which you might be doing I applaud you for that. I know by your website that I would enjoy your services. If I lived nearby it would mean my visits to your shop might not need an extra bag with my computer in it and I could enjoy your beautiful staff more. =))
Warm Regards,
Joseph
--
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform


Jay Caragay said:
Why not get rid of WiFi altogether?

Are people coming to your place and hanging out because of your product or your WiFi? Are you a WiFi provider or a coffee place?

And while having people in your shop to fill it out and make it look more "human" is a nice thought, it's not paying your bills or making you a living. I disagree with the assertion that people buried in their laptops is a positive thing to cultivate in your environment.

Get rid of the WiFi!

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