Sitting in a cafe this afternoon, enjoying a coffee and tapping away on my computer, I looked around to notice that the other five customers looked just like me. A beverage, no food, and making the most of the free wifi.
It was a great little cafe in Bondi. A cute place, nice decor, rustic furniture, beautiful view, cruisy tunes and a quality menu.
But it seemed none of these draw cards were what got the visitors in the door – the golden ticket was the free wifi.
Of course it is a combination and the whole package is great. But the fact that there was no food to be seen and the tables near the power points not with a view were in the highest demand does say something about our priorities.
It got me thinking – if I had a cafe would I provide free wifi?
Yeah I probably would. It helps feed that lounge room feeling where people are comfortable to stay for prolonged periods of time and you are happy to have them. I wonder though if it pays off on the books – the solo visitors that have one coffee over three hours, take up table space and burn through your download?
So my question is – how long is too long to stay and work from a cafe? What is justified and what is just plain rude? How much wifi time does a single flat white buy you in this connected world?
*On a side note – I wrote this blog post while I was at the cafe, Chapter One Wine & Coffee Room, and after all this thought I decided to order a glass of wine and some Sicilian olives, grissini and Spanish anchovies. It was a nice place and I felt my three hours of wifi was worth more than $3.80.