Coffee Shops Say Free Wi-Fi Is Bad For Business

A recent story in the LA Times says that some coffee shops are pulling the plug on free wi-fi because freeloaders are taking up large tables and only having a single cup of coffee.

Some of the coffee shops say no to wi-fi altogether, but others are just shutting it off during peak hours so they can, you know, have tables for people to sit at. People who want to order food.

“We had big parties or family groups who wanted to eat but had no room,” one cafe owners told the LA Times. “They were getting upset about it. They felt the whole place was being taken over by techies.”

Now that Starbucks is offering free wi-fi, unplugged cafes are more of a niche. Apparently some people actually seek them out.

Dan and Nathalie Drozdenko turned off the Wi-Fi at their Los Angeles cafe when it malfunctioned. The complaints poured in, but so did the compliments: Lots of customers appreciated a wireless cup of joe at the Downbeat Cafe, a popular lunch spot in Echo Park.

“People come here because we don’t offer it. They know they can get their work done and not get distracted,” Dan Drozdenko said.

Do you make your coffee shop choice based on the availability of free wi-fi?

Coffee shops are taking Wi-Fi off the menu [LA Times]