Do you think your kids might be spending too much time staring at the screens on their smartphones, tablets and laptops? Parents can certainly restrict the amount of access their children have to technology (although perhaps not without many complaints), but do you have the ability to restrict the usage of technology in other contexts? If you are the owner of a cafe, then the answer is yes. A growing number of cafes are banning the use of laptops on their premises, but why might you be tempted to follow in their footsteps?
Reasons for a Ban
There are a couple of main reasons why you might be considering a ban on laptops in your cafe.
- Rows of people staring silently at a screen might detract from the atmosphere you are trying to create. You are running a cafe, not an office.
- It can affect your income, with someone on their laptop sporadically ordering cups of coffee taking up a table that could be occupied by people who wish to have a full meal.
But should you go with a blanket ban on laptops in your establishment, or only ban them during certain times?
A Full Ban or a Partial Ban
You could choose to implement an outright ban on laptops, or only ban them during certain times. If you do not wish to totally ban them, you could forbid their usage during your peak times, namely your breakfast, lunch, and dinner rushes, allowing you to efficiently turn over tables during these busy periods. During these selected periods, you can disable your WiFi, cutting off access, although you and your staff should mention this to anyone who might be working on their laptop, telling them that access is about to be disabled in line with your policy. Such a policy should be clearly stated with a prominent sign, which can help to prevent any complaints, since your customers will be forewarned. Your signage does not need to be particularly detailed (as in, you do not need to give a reason for your decision), but it should clearly stipulate the times that a ban will be in place, or whether laptops are banned outright.
So when laptops are getting in the way of people enjoying your delicious creations, or if they are destroying the sociable atmosphere you are trying to create, banning or restricting laptop usage could be a viable step.