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Laptop-Free Zones: Why More and More Coffee Shops Are Banning Laptops

Laptop-Free Zones: Why More and More Coffee Shops Are Banning Laptops

Have you noticed a new sticker decal at your local coffee shop? Instead of the internationally recognized crossed-out cigarette signifying a no-smoking area, more and more coffee shops are including a crossed-out laptop signifying a no-laptop area. Working from coffee shops was always a thing, but it really took off during the pandemic as more people started working remotely. So why are some coffee shops banning laptops?

As it turns out, there are a few good reasons why coffee shops are banning laptops. For one, it can be distracting for other customers who are trying to enjoy their cup of coffee and a nice conversation. Especially if someone is on a zoom call. More importantly, many coffee shop owners believe that laptops kill conversation. When you're sitting in a coffee shop with your laptop, it's easy to tune out the world around you and get lost in your work. But when you're actually talking to someone face-to-face, you're more likely to be engaged in the conversation and more likely to buy something from the shop.

So is the laptop-free zone trend here to stay? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, it's something to consider if you're looking for a nice place to relax and get some work done.

The Rise of the Laptop-Free Coffee Shop

It all comes down to hospitality. In the past, coffee shops were a place where people could come to relax and have conversations. But with the rise of remote work during the pandemic, that's no longer the case. People are visiting coffee shops more frequently, but staying longer, and spending less.

But some coffee shops are fighting back. They're creating laptop-free zones in order to bring back the old-fashioned hospitality that's been lost over the years. And it seems to be working. The August First Bakery in Burlington, Vt., increased sales after banning laptops and tablets. And Mojgan Mohajer, 51, decided to ban laptops at her coffee shop after customers struggled to get a table.

The Economics of a Laptop-Free Coffee Shop

It's a common belief that a coffee shop full of people typically attracts more customers. So why are coffee shops banning them? Well, it turns out that when people are using their laptops, they typically aren't spending money. A growing number of coffee shop owners say they are failing to turn a profit because remote workers spend too much time on laptops. In some places, customers just get cold looks, but in a growing number of small coffee shops, firm restrictions on laptop use have been put in place.

While laptop bans can result in awkward conversations between customers and baristas, the financial benefits are too significant to ignore. So if you're looking for a quiet place to work on your laptop, you want to make sure that your local coffee shop is cool with it.

The Concept of the Third Place at Coffee Shops

It used to be that coffee shops were a place where people would go to relax, have a conversation, and enjoy a cup of coffee. But in recent years, that's changed. Laptops have become ubiquitous in coffee shops, and for many people, they've replaced the traditional office or study space.

This has led to a lot of tension in coffee shops. People who want to chat or relax are getting drowned out by the sound of keyboards and people talking on the phone. It's created an environment that's not particularly welcoming or conducive to conversation. That's why more and more coffee shops are trying to create an environment that's more inviting and conducive to conversation. Hence the laptop ban.  

Image courtesy of Sketchplanations
Will There Be a Backlash If You Ban Laptops at Your Coffee Shop?

There are all sorts of potential backlashes for this trend, but the main one is that it's causing a lot of friction between baristas and customers. Even though the point of the ban is to enable a more inviting atmosphere, it's not exactly great hospitality to chide a customer from using their laptop at your shop. For the most part, people are okay with not being able to work on their laptops in coffee shops. They understand that it's a distraction for other customers and can often be noisy. But there are some people who feel like they're being punished for wanting to get some work done.

And then there are the coffee shops that have redesigned themselves to discourage laptop use. These shops have features like no plugs, limited seating, or low tables, which make it difficult to work on a laptop. But even with these changes, there's still a lot of backlash from customers who feel like they're being punished for wanting to get some work done.

What Is the Future of Laptop-Free Coffee Shops?

As it turns out, coffee shops are finding that banning laptops actually helps business. Sarah Allen reports in an article for CNBC that the August First Bakery in Burlington, Vermont, found this to be true. After banning laptops and tablets, the coffee shop saw a spike in business. So what's the future of laptop-free coffee shops? Only time will tell. But for now, it seems like this trend is only going to continue to grow.

TLDR

With the increase of laptop-free zones in coffee shops, more and more people are debating the pros and cons of this new trend. On one hand, some people argue that banning laptops creates a more productive and intimate environment, while others claim that it's discrimination against freelancers and remote workers.

What's your opinion on laptop-free zones? Do you think they're a helpful way to create a more productive environment, or do you think they unfairly target certain groups of people?

When searching on Yelp, more customers seemed to approve of the laptop ban than gripe about it.

Laptop-Free Zones: Why More and More Coffee Shops Are Banning Laptops

Laptop-Free Zones: Why More and More Coffee Shops Are Banning Laptops
by
Doron Segal
by
Tomer Molovinsky
by
Olivia Terenzio
by
Jessica Buckley
by
Ashley Rodriguez
December 21, 2021

Have you noticed a new sticker decal at your local coffee shop? Instead of the internationally recognized crossed-out cigarette signifying a no-smoking area, more and more coffee shops are including a crossed-out laptop signifying a no-laptop area. Working from coffee shops was always a thing, but it really took off during the pandemic as more people started working remotely. So why are some coffee shops banning laptops?

As it turns out, there are a few good reasons why coffee shops are banning laptops. For one, it can be distracting for other customers who are trying to enjoy their cup of coffee and a nice conversation. Especially if someone is on a zoom call. More importantly, many coffee shop owners believe that laptops kill conversation. When you're sitting in a coffee shop with your laptop, it's easy to tune out the world around you and get lost in your work. But when you're actually talking to someone face-to-face, you're more likely to be engaged in the conversation and more likely to buy something from the shop.

So is the laptop-free zone trend here to stay? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, it's something to consider if you're looking for a nice place to relax and get some work done.

The Rise of the Laptop-Free Coffee Shop

It all comes down to hospitality. In the past, coffee shops were a place where people could come to relax and have conversations. But with the rise of remote work during the pandemic, that's no longer the case. People are visiting coffee shops more frequently, but staying longer, and spending less.

But some coffee shops are fighting back. They're creating laptop-free zones in order to bring back the old-fashioned hospitality that's been lost over the years. And it seems to be working. The August First Bakery in Burlington, Vt., increased sales after banning laptops and tablets. And Mojgan Mohajer, 51, decided to ban laptops at her coffee shop after customers struggled to get a table.

The Economics of a Laptop-Free Coffee Shop

It's a common belief that a coffee shop full of people typically attracts more customers. So why are coffee shops banning them? Well, it turns out that when people are using their laptops, they typically aren't spending money. A growing number of coffee shop owners say they are failing to turn a profit because remote workers spend too much time on laptops. In some places, customers just get cold looks, but in a growing number of small coffee shops, firm restrictions on laptop use have been put in place.

While laptop bans can result in awkward conversations between customers and baristas, the financial benefits are too significant to ignore. So if you're looking for a quiet place to work on your laptop, you want to make sure that your local coffee shop is cool with it.

The Concept of the Third Place at Coffee Shops

It used to be that coffee shops were a place where people would go to relax, have a conversation, and enjoy a cup of coffee. But in recent years, that's changed. Laptops have become ubiquitous in coffee shops, and for many people, they've replaced the traditional office or study space.

This has led to a lot of tension in coffee shops. People who want to chat or relax are getting drowned out by the sound of keyboards and people talking on the phone. It's created an environment that's not particularly welcoming or conducive to conversation. That's why more and more coffee shops are trying to create an environment that's more inviting and conducive to conversation. Hence the laptop ban.  

Image courtesy of Sketchplanations
Will There Be a Backlash If You Ban Laptops at Your Coffee Shop?

There are all sorts of potential backlashes for this trend, but the main one is that it's causing a lot of friction between baristas and customers. Even though the point of the ban is to enable a more inviting atmosphere, it's not exactly great hospitality to chide a customer from using their laptop at your shop. For the most part, people are okay with not being able to work on their laptops in coffee shops. They understand that it's a distraction for other customers and can often be noisy. But there are some people who feel like they're being punished for wanting to get some work done.

And then there are the coffee shops that have redesigned themselves to discourage laptop use. These shops have features like no plugs, limited seating, or low tables, which make it difficult to work on a laptop. But even with these changes, there's still a lot of backlash from customers who feel like they're being punished for wanting to get some work done.

What Is the Future of Laptop-Free Coffee Shops?

As it turns out, coffee shops are finding that banning laptops actually helps business. Sarah Allen reports in an article for CNBC that the August First Bakery in Burlington, Vermont, found this to be true. After banning laptops and tablets, the coffee shop saw a spike in business. So what's the future of laptop-free coffee shops? Only time will tell. But for now, it seems like this trend is only going to continue to grow.

TLDR

With the increase of laptop-free zones in coffee shops, more and more people are debating the pros and cons of this new trend. On one hand, some people argue that banning laptops creates a more productive and intimate environment, while others claim that it's discrimination against freelancers and remote workers.

What's your opinion on laptop-free zones? Do you think they're a helpful way to create a more productive environment, or do you think they unfairly target certain groups of people?

When searching on Yelp, more customers seemed to approve of the laptop ban than gripe about it.
Doron Segal

About the author

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky

About the author

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Olivia Terenzio

About the author

Jessica Buckley

About the author

Ashley Rodriguez

About the author

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).