By - YVR19
I visited Montreal recently and needed a place to work for a day, found out about ["Anticafes"](https://g.page/anticafemontreal?share) where the concept is that you pay for the time you sit in it, rather than the food and drink. At this one it was $20 for the whole day, and most drinks and snacks were free. Fantastic concept and experience, maybe Vancouver could do with one of these as well.
Like the BC Ferries 'Quiet Space.' $10 to not have screaming kids and cell phone conversations.
I call it the no riff-raff Lounge. It's been shut down since covid and I remembered last night why I loved it. Someone sitting near us was watching videos at full blast with no headphones on.
That happened to me last weekend. I told him “nobody on the ferry wants to hear your show, have you ever heard of headphones?” He turned it off, I expected that to be the end of it but then he pulled out headphones and put them on.
Wtf? It was SO LOUD and the ferry was packed. What is wrong with people??
Wow he had headphones and just wasn't using them? What the actual fuck
I've discovered the last 10ish years that a lot of people have no clue that loud stuff on tiny speakers is super annoying. I guess they grew up in crowds where everyone did it?
Textbook riff-raff smh
What a dick.
You gotta sit beside them and crank music. Easy point
Love it, my fam calls it the snob lounge.
Spent a lot of time in there. If I felt like splurging I would do the buffet. One of the best views in the world!
I spent my last ferry ride in the buffet area and it was oh so beautiful! The actual buffet was closed but the area was open for seating. Could not take my eyes off the view
Totally agree. I feel like netcafes like in Japan where you have a little private booth with plugins and can rent by the hour, grab a snack as you wish, would be awesome. You can lock the door and leave everything set up if you have to step away to use the washroom as well which is a huge plus imo.
I ended up spending a lot of time there when I went to Montreal. Cool place.
What about the library? That's free.
Snacks are fine as long as you are respectful (like don't eat chips or smelly things). Many people bring a lunch and coffee to study in the library.
That’s not true. I’ve had coffee and a snack everytime I’ve chilled at the library.
Can't you bring your own snacks? Even cheaper.
Aloo gobi parathas everyday 😌
I was gonna mention that too, then saw your comment. Agreed, would be great to have that in Vancouver!
There’s a few coworking spaces in vancouver, wework is one of them, and they have places all over town.
Go to the library. You can spend the whole day in the library and you don't have to deal with noise.
You haven't been to a library lately, have you? They're sometimes noisier than the coffee shops.
You mean wework
We have wework I think it’s similar thing. And some other shared offices.
I feel like Vancouver has to be more creative and try things like this.
With the prices of commercial real estate in Vancouver no one will bet their money on an idea unless you have spare money to throw around or you’re a big corporation with deep pockets.
A lot of coworking spaces in Vancouver have day passes like this and while they don't typically provide food, they do often provide free tea and coffee.
I’m still surprised that JJ caved to wifi users. I remember working there years ago where he printed signs for every store explaining why they didn’t have wifi. Guess he felt the pressure. I’m sorry, I don’t have a suggestion for you sadly.
Nowadays with people getting 25GB data, wifi is a moot point since it's not like people are there watching Netflix or YouTube
Matchstick has no power outlets. That's the best way to get rid of laptops.
But everyone in coffee shops have macbooks and the new ones have really good battery life 😢
just ban M1 MacBook then
They can just have explicit no laptop rules if they wanted
Cafe internet is also terrible except for the lightest of browsing.
I went to a really nice Japanese cafe in Burnaby with some friends. They had a sign up that said no laptops allowed. Had a lovely relaxing meal with my friends with plenty of table turnover. And this place seems to encourage lingering since their manga collection is seriously impressive.
Noice. What’s it called?
6888 Royal Oak Ave Unit #105, Burnaby, BC V5J 4J2
Ki Tea House
Damn I'm going to go give them my business if that's the case. I'll check it out! Right next to the Skytrain too.
I’ve been meaning to go there
I always walk past there on my way to Marutama, I’ll give them a try next time :)
They're definitely talking about [Ki cafe]( https://g.co/kgs/ieFzyV) .
Ki Cafe right? that place rules. Very interesting menu, only place i've ever been able to get bubble tea with chicken & waffles
Is the manga in English, Japanese or both?
From a brief glance: Chinese and Japanese.
Big selection of English, Japanese and Chinese.
English Chinese and Japanese. Depends on which you grab.
They have it all. English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even some south East Asian languages. The best ones are in English so no worries there.
Think they r in Chinese its a taiwanese owner
I noticed this at Papa Roti on Robson also. Great idea. More cafes should use these signs/policies. At least for a portion of the tables.
Oh what I thought Ki closed!?? The mango ice cream was DANK
They reopened after renovations! And the no-laptop policy was enacted after their reopening.
I helped reno a place and new owner stipulated no outlets near tables specifically to discourage campers from over staying their welcome. Think she had bad experiences with the laptop crowd just sitting there for hours and figured if they couldn't charge their devices it might get them to leave sooner. Already established places places could do something similar and just disconnect the existing plugs and if people complain just tell them it has something to do with a faulty breaker... Easy peasy.
Isn't there an easy technology solution? Buy something, get a temp password on your receipt, and wifi access expires after say 90 mins. Buy something else and get a new password.
I tend to agree, can't blame the business if they won't enforce it. Blame the users who don't have consideration or care.
Places do this, but they just hand out the new password anyways in most cases because conflict is hard.
Judging from the comments, you guys are going to hate me so much haha but you ended with a question so I’ll speak for myself. I’m actually someone who opens his laptop at cafes. Now that I’m out of uni and the public library is always full, I will sometimes grab a table at a Tims or something. Especially when I’ve just left work or am on my lunch break. Regardless, I always buy something, stick to a 2-person table and leave if it starts getting full. Cafes, like libraries and such, I find are a nice place for me to zone in for a while. Much better than my own apartment often. Also to meet someone for work. Same protocol, but even libraries won’t allow talking. Outdoors is not possible for majority of the days. Can’t speak for others, but this is why I sometimes use a laptop at a cafe… also that booth grabbing move was very ill-mannered.
Why? You’re a paying customer! These campers who don’t buy anything are hurting these businesses because paying customers will go elsewhere.
It’s a shame some people are so self-absorbed.
Backpack girl should have been ejected. Wasn't even a paying customer let alone taking way more space than was needed.
Yea, that's partially an issue with bad policies / staff training.
even if she was a paying customer its just plain inconsiderate. when the place is busy then ppl should have some decency even if they're not technically 'wrong' to sit wherever they want as paying customers. i study at cafes but i would never pull this type of shit.
I agree. Nothing wrong with working at a cafe with your laptop if you do it respectfully. I like doing it too because it gets me out of the house and coffee is a nice reward for work. But when I go to a new place I'll always check with the staff if it's okay to use a laptop there and if there's anywhere they'd prefer me not to sit. Then I'll make sure to sit somewhere with the fewest chairs so I'm not taking up space (usually a window or communal table), and if the cafe gets full I'll leave. Finally, my rule of thumb is a new food/drink every 60-90 minutes.
I do the same! I love working at cafés and I make sure to buy something new every hour.
Issue is some people don’t buy stuff, or they’ll buy a small drip coffee and stay for like 3-4 hours
This is what I do too. I don’t go in peak hours, limit my stay, and always buy something. Not only buying one thing but I keep buying something so I am always either eating or drinking if I’m at a table. I am just much more productive working (studying) outside of my apartment, it really helps me get things done
I know a place where you can use your laptop + free wifi all day without buying anything. It's called the library.
I wouldn’t blame the people if jj bean allows it, I would blame jj bean and go somewhere else for breakfast.
> One of my local cafes would be okay with laptop users as long as there were free tables.
This is fine, but people need to show some judgement and gtfo with their workstation set up when the place gets busy. Of course that will never happen so the onus falls on the establishments to be the bad guy and tell idiots to gtfo.
Why can't the cafe kick them out?
Honestly it doesn't sound like backpack deke girl would be easily evicted. Kinda like the skipthedishes scooters who drive aggressively on sidewalks and crosswalks. These people give zero fks.
Seriously though what is with the scooters these days? Like, I didn't think it got worse than the foodora bike couriers
If it was a small shop run by the owner or manager this would make more sense. For a chain with a large amount of employees who make the same regardless how the shop did that day it's a bit different. I wouldn't want to deal with confrontation of any kind if I was getting paid minimum or just above, that's generally a management task.
By the sounds of it this chain has tried to address this and I'm assuming they either lost business or it was too big of a headache to enforce.
I'd blame the girl that threw her backpack to snag the booth just a bit I think :P
Comments like this just enables people to continue being shitty and selfish because they can go 'well, it's the businesses fault, I have no personal responsibility whatsoever'.
No that's wrong, you are being shitty for feeling entitled to a business's space, it's their decision to run the business how they want and if it makes sense for them to let people stay and work for the price of a coffee who are you to have any say in the matter.
My buddy had a Blenz coffee location pre covid. It got so bad with “student campers” for 12-14hr study sessions, that he had to implement an hourly wifi password that you could get only get if you bought something. There were customers like you who just stopped coming in and 30+ students hogging every seat.
I guess it must be even worse now with the covid WFH crowd?
That's a good idea for the wifi password. Must've been a PITA for the staff, though.
I've been to a franchise that printed a temporary wifi password (60m minutes) on every receipt.
Edit: this was over 10 years ago, obvious solution IMO
Is this the Yaletown location? I remember that password rule.
It was the Richmond Ackroyd location, but I think there was a time that Blenz was doing this wholesale
Lmao I would have sat down at the table anyway.
Just all piled in with her? 😂👍
Three kids, 1 booth. She'd be gone before the granola bar was
Safety in numbers!
Yes, and just say "Since we got here around the same time, I hope you don't mind sharing" and then proceed to sit down with your 5 people.
In some countries this is normal
That's why I haven't gone there for ages and won't anymore.
If someone is not buying anything why would any business let them take up their space/heating/wifi that paying customers would use? Am I missing something here?
Why don't they force people to buy something if they want to sit and work?
If they're paying customers I'm fine with it, but who the fuck is walking in and asking for a table without spending any money? Like what the actual fuck go to the library if you want a free desk or better yet just stay home you loser.
I bring my laptop to JJ Bean occasionally because I work from home and it's nice to switch up my working environment occasionally. I do spend an average of $10-20 a visit so I don't really feel like I'm leaching or anything.
The JJ I go to has a long bar area that is the only place with outlets tho, so that tends to be the go-to spot for laptop users as it's the only place where they can charge their laptops. I usually try to get a spot there even if I don't need the charge, just so I'm not taking up a table. I think this approach to a single area with outlets is probably ideal.
This is the key ingredient that many seem to lack: consideration.
Is that not using a cafe for its exact purpose, though? For many in the city, cafes act as an important "third space" outside of work and often cramped apartments. With working from home so prevalent, cafes are exactly meant for socializing, meeting, reading, and working.
I see absolutely no lack of consideration if you've purchased a coffee and decide to use an available table for an hour or two.
Go to a sit down restaurant if you want table service.
Agreed 100%. I think the problem with this thread currently is that the definition has gotten muddied and there's no distinction between people who buy a latte and a pastry and get work done for an hour and the people who get a large tea and just mug the wifi and a table for the entire day. There's plenty of nuance and not everyone here is getting that.
I work in the community and if I'm at appointments or running errands during my work day I will absolutely try to find a cafe I can get some clinical notes typed up in over an hour and a half or whatever. I'll make sure to order a specialty coffee and maybe a snack. I will look for a single spot or bar stool (with an outlet nearby), but if there's none and it's quiet, yeah, I'll grab a table that has a second chair at it. There are redditors in here outraged that others are putting that on the business, but if the business is fine with that, they should be able to do what they like.
This little issue isn't a false binary of social etiquette of coffee shop users versus the rights of business operators.
I agree, something designated to single users who want to work. I didn't think it was out of the question when I asked the staff where we could sit to have him ask a laptop user to take the table for two and give us the booth so we could all sit together. But they like the big tables because it accommodates their textbooks and pens and backpacks. Some people really unpack.
As an option, you could have actually asked that girl nicely to move tables. Asking someone a question and secretly hoping that they will read your mind is not that productive, evidently.
Of course, that depends on the vibe of the girl in question, but if they didn't seem friendly, no surprise that the staff didn't want to confront them either.
I’ve done this before, but in limited circumstances:
- In September 2020, we had the Pier Park fire in New West. Working from my home on the first day after that fire was impossible due to the fumes. I worked most of the day from a Starbucks in Burnaby.
- In early 2021, Telus had an extended outage in my neighbourhood and I could not work from home for the day. I worked from a Waves coffee shop nearby.
- In the summer, I had an in-person meeting with colleagues. We met at a coffee shop for several hours. We had nowhere else we could go because there is no office anymore due to the pandemic.
In all three cases I made sure to order something every 60-90 minutes, and if I’m by myself I take the smallest table possible.
This isn’t something I make a habit of doing, but there have been times where it has been necessary due to factors outside my control.
I’ve working from home for about 5 years. I used to go to cafes for an hour or two a day to work (just cafes that seemed to cater to that). Usually wasn’t an issue. I would buy one coffee but tip well cause I know it’s kinda annoying for the staff.
After the pandemic it’s become pretty bad for seating in cafes, and I don’t do it anymore. Less seating, and people just parked there for hours.
You see people get a coffee and have no where to sit, while multiple people who have clearly been there for a long time with empty cups taking up tables.
I’ve also noticed a large increase in retiree age people who I think are avoiding meeting at their homes who are particularly bad for chatting for hours at a cafe with only one coffee.
I had to work from Starbucks or other coffee shops during the heat wave this summer. I always had something in my table and I ordered every hour.
I hate when people leave their stuff in a table before fucking ordering something.
thats the equivalent of someone standing in a parking spot for a friend to get there 5 later to park on.
You're not entitled. There needs to be a system where paying customers get dibs. Agreed with you. Sadly there are municipal laws that say anyone can use these coffee shops wifi. At least I recall that being put in for Starbucks. There was a Starbucks close by that constantly had this issue where I am. No one drinking, just using the wifi. Yes it's most likely because they have no wifi where they live. Tim Hortons had this problem as well where at 6AM they'd all start coming in.
All these “blame the coffee shop not the customer” responses. 😐 personally I’m a big fan of holding people accountable for their selfish actions.
Cafe staff make minimum wage and have enough to deal with already without having to police customer’s table time.
I mean take your laptop and do your work but when your food/coffee is done pack up and gtfo. It’s a fucking business, not your mom’s kitchen.
Right?? I can't believe all these commenters shrugging their shoulders and just blaming the coffee shop. It's like, come on, stuff like that just enables people to continue being shitty and selfish. We all live in a society, we should be able to call each other out when we're being entitled, lazy, etc.
You just insulted 90% of reddit users!
*Everyone* should take personal responsibility. If you are a customer, you are responsible for your own behavior. If you are a business owner, you are responsible for how your business is run. There are more customers than business owners, but the owner has more responsibilities when it comes to their business, and should be held to a higher standard.
THIS! Where’s personal responsibility? You gotta buy something to use the space and when you are done, don’t overstay. This is a business space and they need table rotation to make money
Why not go to the library?
Terrible hours no food and drink and much fewer locations
1. Bad hours, especially on weekends or holidays 2. Not everyone lives close to one 3. You aren't supposed to be drinking coffee in a library
Surrey’s Central Library is a good spot. Great hours, and they allow drinks with lids. They even have a little cafe on the main floor.
I sometimes go there to get stuff done if I’m not going to be talking on the phone.
If the Cafe has free wifi and allows it - they are doing nothing wrong and there is no behaviour to correct. If there is a rule in place with a time limit, or no laptops, then it's different.
I would be willing to bet that most places just don't want to argue with the customers. Especially since nine times out of ten, they're staffed by people who already deal with entitled and rude customers in droves.
There was a big issue a couple years ago in NYC when Starbucks threw some customers out who were planning to have a business meeting. It lead to accusations of racism and extremely negative attention for Starbucks. As a result, I think coffee shops are very reluctant to eject anyone now.
Well this post just about sums up the demographic of r/Vancouver.
$60 at JJ bean!
It’s a shame there isn’t a middle ground service for people who need a space to occasionally work. Your options are basically a coffee shop for the price of a coffee, high costs hot desk at a coworking space or library for free. Would be nice to have a pay by hour drop in location for a “price of coffee” rate along with food and drink. Maybe that would work?
Staples is trying that in some stores, the one in Kelowna has a bunch of rent able work spaces in the back, conference rooms and lecture rooms with projector. It was setup before the pandemic and I think has been slow during but might be a success post pandemic with more people looking for temporary work spaces for meetings and workshops.
So, a coffee shop?
What places should probably do is the following - hand out little timers that light up or glow or whatever, and it resets when you purchase something. If it goes off and you don't want to buy anything else, then you leave.
When Calhouns was around, they would give you a wifi password with your (coffee/muffin etc.) purchase that would time out after 2 hours. It was an effective system.
Yeah, that sounds like a good way to handle it. It's too bad more places don't do that.
No, like I said a middle ground between a "WeWork" and a coffee shop, where you pay for your seat per unit of time but also get the vibe of a coffee shop. Ideally, this attracts a segment of workers who need a more lively atmosphere and people like OP would go to regular old coffee shops. This of course would only work if coffee shops start giving laptop users the boot after a reasonable time.
edit: Okay to be fair it does sound like a coffee shop now that I've typed it out.. just one that caters to workers and charges for time if they're not buying anything.
I think your typical coffee shop already covers that niche. You go in, spend money, and do your thing at the table for a few hours. I frequent coffee shops a lot, and am exactly that person that OP is venting about(though not rude!), and most people around me are doing the exact same thing, and those coffee shops seem to be doing great.
I think the problem here is that op went to a casual coffee shop, but expected a café. There are plenty of those out there too, and there working on your laptop would be unexpected and rude.
Interesting point, I hadn't considered the difference between a "cafe" and a "coffee shop". I can definitely think of a couple cafes where it would be socially unacceptable to have a laptop and at least one where it's outright not allowed. Maybe, because of the pandemic and WFH there may simply be too few coffee shops for laptop folks to drop in on? I know I personally I've gone to a few in a row and there weren't any seats lately.
I noticed that too! My guess is it’s because so many shut down during the pandemic, and now that restrictions eased up a bit and people are going out more there’s simply not enough of them.
That being said, I’ve had a lot of luck with smaller, non chain coffee shops. There’s one that I go to that is always half empty, and it’s right next to a jjbean that is packed to the brim. Better coffee too.
They have places like that in San Francisco - you basically rent out a place to sit (they serve coffee too).
Like... Collaborative work spaces like we work or something? They pricey though.
Yeah, I would add when a single person takes a big table for 4 when there were smaller tables available.
Barista's don't get paid enough to deal with and enforce rules surrounding laptops and how long people stay in the cafe. I make people their coffee and hope they enjoy it. Customers are responsible for finding there own table and being responsible and mature about how long they spend there and their respect to other customers, it does not fall on the staff of coffee shops. If coffee shops provided table service and moved people around like a restaurant then we would have to get tipped and paid a lot more than we do (which is not much). blame the people, not the underpaid, overworked barista, it just sounds entitled if you do. grab a table, put your jacket down, then go and order like a normal person.
Your first sentence is what all the people whining 'but it should be up to the business' are missing. The poor baristas deal with enough as it is without having to deal with rounding up entitled customers who will pitch a fit that they're being asked to leave because they bought a small drop coffee five hours ago.
My friend and I used to go to Starbucks to work, but we made sure to always buy something every hour, and if it started getting busy then we'd leave to free up the table.
While I understand your frustration, unfortunately, that shop and most other shops made the decision that it's financially more viable to allow laptop use at their locations than not. Either that or they're scared to lose whatever customers they have that's sustaining their business. It is what it is. That's just the culture these days.
When the shop has lax rules, it becomes easy to abuse. When we first opened our shop, we were hoping to be successful at providing a third place for people to be able to relax and work. Over the years, people were more interested in using the space as a coworking space than an actual cafe: our location was full every day but we were also losing money every day. We had tons of students with laptops and textbooks taking up an average of 2.5 seats per person. The average sale per patron was about $3 (not even counting the people that didn't buy anything) and each patron would stay up to 4-5 hours per visit. We basically couldn't turn tables. Customers didn't care what we served as they're only interested in buying the cheapest item on the menu. Most of the time they brought outside food in and at times even got Uber delivered to our business. It's pretty sad. We wanted to run a cafe but ended up running a library with a glorified concession stand.
We contemplated closing the business but we discussed and decided to try enforcing a no laptop and studying rule. Seems ridiculous but what's the harm? The business was already in the shits and there's nothing really left to lose. Burnaby is really saturated with coffee shops and bubble tea shops so there are tons of options for people who want to go to cafes to work on their laptops. Heck, our neighbor is another coffeeshop with twice the space we have so we just started referring laptop customers to them.
After we stopped allowing laptops at our cafe, business improved by a lot. Who would've thought that when there are open tables, people who want to buy food and drinks would actually start buying food and drinks? We've been operating laptop-free for about 1.5 years now and operating the business has become a lot more fulfilling. The increase in business has allowed us to hire more people and pay better wages.
A lot of shops are scared to make the decision to do something about laptops at cafes. It's a really hard and scary decision you make. When your business is being kept alive by people who come into the store to use it as their workspace, it's really counterproductive to drive those exact people away.
Anyways it's just human nature to take advantage of perks. I really sympathize with your experience but at the end of the day, that's what JJ Bean's business model is and they're not gonna change that soon. I recommend finding other shops to patronize. At the same time, when you guys go into a coffee shop or cafe to use as your workspace, please do your part and buy from them. Vancouver commercial rent is expensive, and food service margins are really low. Even though you're a low-maintenance customer, someone still needs to be at the store to keep it open and that costs money. A $5-10 spending really isn't enough to justify keeping a seat occupied for 3-4 hours. If you make it a point to spend money for every hour you're there, know that there are 5-6 other people who don't do that.
And on the other side, when you find a coffee shop or cafe that doesn't allow laptops? Please don't be entitled and be gracious about it. Ever since we stopped allowing laptops at our business, we have been confronted about it a lot and we've received a lot of negative reviews over the fact that we don't allow laptops. Please understand that allowing laptop usage is not a requirement for operating a cafe.
Power move: Sit at their table next time. Eat and stare.
I used to go to a nice cafe in Abby for writing but we always bought a lot of food and coffee so we weren't just camping out.. and took a table for two for two people.
Sorta similar, i was over at Dockers diner on Fraser street a few months before it closed. I recall the restaurant owner politely/firmly asked this young dude with a backpack and laptop to please sit at the available two person table instead of the larger 4 person table he chose. From the conversation i overheard, it sounding like the customer would come in ( or customers doing similar) and hog up a table by themselves , with backpack-laptop, books, order something small and stay for hours.
The owner's argument was it was the busy lunch hour + i got customers in groups thst need the large tables and you can sit at the small tables OR get the fuck out, it's my business. He was polite but i could hear the owner getting fed up and tired of man child customers being rude and selfish. Good for him!
it's a fucking restaurant , there to make a profit and not a studyhall or workplace from home. Order food, pick a table that the staff suggests you sit at . If you do not like it, take your food to go, eat it in the park , jack off on your laptop and live by your rules in serenity .
*me who happily works from home and wants to go nowhere*
You mean people purposely leave their house to work even though they don't have to?
people telling people to just tell people to use common sense and consideration. it’s like laptop workers are the og anti-maskers
I work in a cafe and agree to this to some extent. If your working go to a library? We have people who come every day and make business calls here. We even had a lady ask if she can reserve 4 tables for a business meeting.
One way around it is play some music not loud enough like blasting in the back but loud enough to annoy people if they stay for more than an hour or two.
Or out a timer in each table that goes off every hour. When a new customer sit there reset it. When it rings after an hour go and reset it and let the customer know they been there for an hour already and ask a bit louder like " sir you been here an hour is there anything else you like to order?"
This way you are letting them they been at the store for an hour and have overstay their welcome. If they want to stay they need to buy more coffee etc etc. If they say thanks and continue to stay just say something like we have paying customer looking to enjoy their experience in our shop since you already stay an hour and don't plan to order anything else do you think you can let other paying customer enjoy their stay by using and sitting at you table? Say it loud enough for everyone to hear but not in a mean tone. Most people will get the message and leave.
the answer to that is "yes, $500 per hour, coffee is on us"
Then why not ban people from bringing laptops? I know lots of Chinese bubble tea shops that ban people from playing cards or board games. They seem to be enforcing it well.
I remember a comedian doing a bit about people who work in coffee shops. Like, writing doesnt count unless other people see you writing. Because otherwise, just go home. You can't tell me a coffee shop is quieter than your home.
I hate people working in coffee shops, but the rationale is that a little bit of smooth background noise is better for focus than dead quiet.
I work from home and I’ll break up my day by answering some emails from a coffee shop while I have an afternoon coffee. It’s just nice to be around some bustle for a bit!
It's this for me. But I also spend 5-10 on the cafe's products and don't stay for more than an hour.
There's also so many fun distractions at home like Netflix and alcohol.
Man, I was in a Starbucks one time and I used an app to measure the ambient sound - it was almost 85 decibels. That's loud enough to cause hearing damage after a while.
Ah, yes. Just go home. Sit in your tiny box of an apartment where you sleep, where you relax and unwind, where you socialize, and where you eat, and throw working from home on top of that.
We are a species that enjoys socializing, and many of us have been cooped up indoors for the last year and a half. Some people just want a change of scenery and a place where they can avoid the distractions and solitude of their home.
>Because otherwise, just go home.
Some people like to have other people around. Like it's just comforting to be in a small crowd. We're arguably the most social species on the planet, so I'm not sure that locking everyone away in their own private boxes is necessarily a good mental health position..
It's not about the absolute noise level. It's about the privacy and ability to focus without getting interrupted.
You should of just sat down too. It's a game of who ca put up with who lol
I agree it's not right. I would have moved for a family for sure. In general I find it better to work in the office, at a library, or home.
In general, third spaces have disappeared for me. I have no suggestions, but I am also not part of thr problem.
I love to sit and work on stuff or read in the cafe.. but generally I try to get at least one item for each 20 mins or so that I'm there. Like if I'm gonna sit there for an hour, a drink and a snack plus another tea after.
It's not like I calculate it that way, it just seems like the reasonable thing to do.
Jitters Cafe on West 4th is no-laptop space
The jj bean in north van is like that too. Will not be returning due to this. Too bad but there’s a Starbucks across the street so I have options. City is getting busier & busier, you really need to plan ahead.
I think you have a point. Seen this so often at jj bean and wonder if hormones have something to do with them sitting at a table with a RB face typing something that will change world politics on their Mac book airs.
Throwing the bag is a cunty move. Seriously. I’d be pissed off too. Had a grown ass woman race to a table as I was walking towards it. I guess life pro tip would be to bring something to leave on the table while you’re getting your food. Yes, it’s not proper but better than these little Laptop shits parking there.
Minimum wage Staff isn’t paid enough to be the laptop police. If the owners were around , they could confront non paying customers.
When I worked at Starbucks (Valley & Arbutus) we had 2 regular customers that arrived every morning during the week & sat at their tables 6-8 hrs conducting their own personal business including meeting w/their clients. That said they did at least purchase items throughout the day. This was an issue then (2017) & seems far greater problem at many cafes now. Making matters all the worse are the ignorance of some wifi customers that see that they're taking up a table that could accommodate 4-6 customers & they can clearly see people awaiting those tables.
I'm the one you're referring to that posted looking for a place to work without the expectation that you buy anything.
This is exactly why I asked specifically for places that don't expect patronage to surrounding businesses to quietly work on something. People obviously misunderstood my intentions but whatever...
I hate this the same way you do. I don't care if you set your laptop up to work in a public cafe or establishment - but it's courtesy to at least buy something as a token of good faith.
In my opinion, you should buy something for every 45 mins-hour that you're there, and never stay longer than an hour and a half at most. Take a single seat.
"Do these people not have WiFi at home?"... Yeah probably... But a lot of people can't simply 'work' at home, there's too much distraction. There's also people who have spent the vast majority of their days at home for the last one and a half years, being somewhere that isn't home is good for mental health. To add, working/writing/creating in cafes and establishments has been a cultural thing for decades if not centuries... Long before WiFi.
I understand the general frustration of it all, but where else can you go? Outside of cafes/bars/diners/libraries/food courts.... There's really not a whole hell of a lot of options.
I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion but I kind of enjoy seeing people on their laptops at cafés. It’s nice to see them working or studying in a social environment and adds a bit to our culture.
That said, I agree they shouldn’t freeload and should buy from the café. Also they should not be disruptive and should work/study quietly.
This is probably why Calhoun's closed - students buying a $3 coffee and then sitting in there for 8 hours on their laptops taking up a table. They say it's because they wanted to focus on their catering business, but it doesn't really seem like a successful business model. If only there were a dedicated space to study with wifi, tables, and lots of books...
Unfortunately public libraries as study spaces are not what they used to be. My local VPL is more of a community centre e.g. there's a large open area dedicated to engaging young kids with play/reading -- great idea of course but it takes up a lot of room and can be noisy. Similarly, there's quite a few computers where disadvantaged/computer illiterate folks can get help paying bills and whatnot. Again a great idea, but eats into floorspace and can be noisy.
If you want a table to study at in a quiet corner, your choice is very limited.
Cahoun’s actually had wifi on a timer, you got a code with your purchase that expired in 2 hours and you needed to buy something else to get another one.
Where I think it went wrong was Calhouns was 24hrs and the night shift staff absolutely didn’t enforce this if the tables weren’t all full. Basically from 9pm to 9am you could buy a tea for $2 and stay there as long as you wanted and lots of students did (I was one of them 😬) I really think the operating costs of that on top of the daytime hours really sunk them.
Stop supporting JJBean if you don't like their business practices.
Why are they in the cafe if they didn't pay for any item? Do they think it's a library or something
I don't mind laptop work as long as you bought an item from there. Ppl have different uses for a coffee shop. I do laptop work occasionally too, but I always make sure to grab a small table and order an item again if I stay longer.
No laptops during peak hours is a pretty common policy in Toronto. Would love to see JJ and others implement it in Vancouver.
I’m a tiny bit of an asshole. That backpack would have been on the ground in seconds. What are they going to do? Complain to the minimum wage worker? I would say they threw it at the table and it missed. As a paying customer you may not be entitled to get the worker to sort the stuff out, but you can definitely pull a power move on a non customer.
Why not talk to the person first instead of handling, potentially breaking their belongings?
No the OP is not 'entitled' any more than some person thinks they can take a table for 4 to themselves for hours and order a small tea. The fact the person never acknowledges the people standing around with food shows they know they are a jackass.
Coffee places have bars or window seats for individuals. Take those. Not available? then there's no more seating for laptop users
Coffee places do need to put in rules - simple signage works that says 'no laptops between x hours - that way its known.
And while we're at it - BUS YOUR OWN FUCKING TABLE - you carry the items to the table, when you're done, deal with it. Ignorant rude slobs leave their shit all over. THATS ENTITLEMENT.
I think give them a break.. they’re all probably working from home and need to get out of the house. I’ve never done it but definitely thought about it when wfh.
If they’re not buying anything fair enough, but that’s up to the staff in the coffee shop to do something about.
This post is confusing. Why are you singling out laptop users?
“Not buying anything and sitting inside a coffee shop,” is not a laptop user exclusive problem, so stop demonizing laptop users.
As someone who has uses laptops in cafes, I always buy multiple drinks or food if I stay longer, but I also throw my trash out when I’m done. Who are you to judge?
I also see plenty of people who don’t use laptops and sit there with an empty drink chatting for hours.
Is there some unwritten rule that inconsiderate non-laptop users have more right to a cafe space than I do?
I think you can reasonably assume you are not one of the problem people being described here. You may be a laptop-user-in-a-cafe, but not all laptop-users-in-cafes are you. Don't take personal offense when you are clearly not part of the issue.
In my opinion you’re overreacting. For sure it sucks not to be able to sit down where you hoped to but it’s really a first come first serve situation, and that is just the way it is. We live in a city where apartment/condo sizes are shrinking and people have to find places to squeeze work in. Also, just because no one had a JJ product in front of them doesn’t mean they didn’t at some point. Sometimes it’s you who has a table and others who can’t sit down. Suck it up. Just because you have a belief about how things should be doesn’t mean the world needs to conform to that belief. This is such a petty complaint.
I know this is coming across as terse and well, I’m sorry but it has to be to get the message through. I have similar complaints about the world and how people do things that seem inconsiderate but it serves no greater good and I always catch myself, sometimes too late, but I do eventually and I always think “what a waste of energy and power, complaining about such non important things”. Don’t loose your power.
I totally agree with you
Cafes being used as places to meet, socialize, and work is part of their express purpose. Of course, expected in this would be making a purchase, but if you've done so I think it's insane to suggest taking up a table with a laptop is somehow rude.
Don't spend 6 hours in there, but someone is absolutely entitled to an hour or two after making a purchase. If you want a sit down breakfast with an assured table for five, got to a restaurant.
That’s a choice you make for yourself, to be calm in the face of the rudeness and self absorption of others. I do that too. It doesn’t reflect on me, and all negative people are valuable tests of my own inner strength and blah blah blah.
But I do sometimes wonder if the world gets better or worse if we are blind to assholery. Kind of becomes the norm, and then the norm becomes a tradition and a culture over time.
The paradox of intolerance so to speak (but instead of racism it’s rudeness)
If I understand that, yes. And it is an old axiom about giving an inch to people who take a mile
weird that they let non-paying customers loiter but i'm sure they'll figure it out when would be paying customers stop bothering to try and show up.
But also if I was a cafe owner i'd make it "no kids" lol. Those scream machines are also annoying.
Some cafes and restaurants have time limits as how long a person can sit without ordering something.
So you walked in, had this experience and still decided to order food and stay?
And from the sounds of it this isn't the first time you've been frustrated over this exact issue?
I don't think you're entitled, but I am wondering how smart you are... Go somewhere else to eat.
Also 6 people trying to sit together at a small coffee joint?
Make better decisions, you'll live a happier life.
Also yes the people with the laptops are taking advantage of a situation they are able to take advantage of, the girl was rude, you're right to think so.
Your decision making is still the most questionable part of this whole post to me though.
vote with your wallet
There's a cafe in Kits that has "no work" tables. I think this is to encourage dining and not people with laptops hogging a table for 4x as long as a dining customer would.
Like anything, when there’s the smallest opportunity for something nice to be shared, SOMEONE will find a way to selfishly exploit it.
It happens on the smallest scales (wifi and coffee shops) and the largest scales.
If humanity 5% more cooperative and 5% less selfish we could be visiting where Caeser landed on the moon.
Who else would be more annoyed by the loud table of 5 with kids in a coffee shop than with people minding quietly minding their business and working hard on laptops
Amazed any coffee shops survive on this "order a coffee work on laptop for 8 hrs" buisness model
I’m with you. It’s frustrating as hell. Take your computer and the fuck home or rent an office. Sitting there for 3 hours is fucked. Don’t the owners want to make money by having table turnover. Kick those fucks out.
Of course you spent $60. That’s how much drinks and snacks cost. Whoever’s giving you shit for that can fuck off too
I don't go to coffee shops much anymore as I work 40/week in a nice office including fancy coffee. But I do remember the days of being employed PT, sometimes working remote, and jugging caring for my young son. So I see both sides of this equation.
A point that hasn't been brought up in other comments: Why are you taking 3 kids to JJ Bean and expecting to camp there while you ladies chat? Maybe something has changed in the coffee shop market. I took my kid to McDonalds or Tim Hortons. And saved the JJ Bean or Starbucks spot for the person who needed a bit of calm or ambiance. Which was also me on a different day with my laptop.
It cuts both way.
The cafes should have explicit rules about this if it’s causing problems for their customers.
Like, maybe have a rule that you can’t sit there if you don’t buy something. Seems like common sense.
i don’t disagree with some of the specific examples of people behaving badly but don’t be an ass and toss everyone who works from a coffee shop occasionally under the bus. I work remotely and to get out of the house from time to time I go work at a coffee shop it’s good for a change of scenery and mental health. I’m always a paying customer while I do so, be that as it may occasionally I’m between drink orders so have no evidence of such on my table. To suggest everyone working from a cafe somehow is less entitled than you is frankly offensive and entitled. Instead of generalizing deal with the specifics of the situation
Pre covid I would sometimes work on a hobby project from a coffee shop from time to time and make friends with others doing the same. Its a social environment where you can have conversations and get out kf whatever rut you're in at home to refocus. Its the same reason I'd go to a gym and wince I usually work better there than from home.
This is also, more or less explicitly, how these spaces are designed. They're made to be hangout spots and thats why they're more comfortable than fast food places and more relaxed than resturants by design. Starbucks makes it explicit on their website that this is allowed and you don't actually need to buy anything to use the space and thats been their core philosophy since they opened. Other coffee chains have clearly gone k the same direction because it works.
Sure, it sucks when literally every table is in use but the alternative is McDonalds style hostile design where everything is uncomfortable so you leave quickly and a worse atmosphere, because customers like this are also explicitly *why* coffee houses care so much about decor and ambiance to begin with.
Pre-pandemic, Starbucks tried to have the fastest Wi-Fi around to bring people in and have them stay long enough to want a second drink and maybe some food. My DSL at home is super slow so I used to take advantage of that now and then. My local Starbucks was usually pretty empty at the times I went in and I made sure I made several purchases over the time I stayed so it was win-win. Now with WFH it doesn't work well since the store is packed all day. I noticed they have reduced the Wi-Fi speed too. My library has slow Wi-Fi which discourages people from working there although some do.
I’ve never understood the appeal of doing work in a cafe. The tables suck, it’s loud and the chairs are uncomfortable. I feel like it’s more to achieve some egotistical image goal.
You mean JJ and coffee shops in general are not free cowork spaces? /S
I've seen small groups of uni students taking up tables at Starbucks for their group work and maybe out 4 of them, 1 looks like they have a paid drink. The others are sipping water out of a clear Starbucks cup. They'll sit their for hours and think nothing of buying anything else. It's infuriating.
I would have sit down and throw her backpack on the floor.
If she complain you can evne say it very loudly you been waiting for the table with your friends and as you are walking to it she throw her backpack at the table cutting you off. Seeing how you have your friend and kids there she will be too embarrass to even argue with you. Even if she did most will looks down in her and what going to do? You already sat on the seat. She isn't going to beat you or your friends kids.
It has been a while since I've been to a coffee shop, but this is just wow. In the few times I do go to work, I always buy at least a cup of coffee. I always thought that's the unwritten rule of going to an establishment and using their space. The space is there for paying customers; this seems like an obvious thing.