Slutet för gratis WIFI?
About 30 miles south in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley’s technology industry, the Coupa Cafe offers some of the fastest Internet service in town. But even this popular hangout for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists bans Wi-Fi on weekends to make room for customers sans laptops.
“We had big parties or family groups who wanted to eat but had no room,” said Jean Paul Coupal, who runs the cafe with his mother, Nancy. “They were getting upset about it. They felt the whole place was being taken over by techies.”
Coffee shops were the retail pioneers of Wi-Fi, flipping the switch to lure customers. But now some owners are pulling the plug. They’re finding that Wi-Fi freeloaders who camp out all day nursing a single cup of coffee are a drain on the bottom line. Others want to preserve a friendly vibe and keep their establishments from turning into “Matrix”-like zombie shacks where people type and don’t talk.
Tanken med gratis WIFI är givetvis att folk ska dricka en hel del kaffe när de sitter där och jobbar. Men allt fler sitter bevisligen och dricker en kopp kaffe. I åtta timmar. Och har kafét som arbetsplats. Svårt för ett kafé att få det att gå runt då.