How Small Coffee Shops Feel About Starbucks WiFi
from the mixed-feelings dept
Starbucks’ (via T-Mobile) move to offer WiFi access in most of their stores has received a ton of attention lately. However, there have been a bunch of smaller, independent coffee shops that have offered internet access for a while now (sometimes for free), so SFGate wanted to see how these shops felt about Starbucks muscling in on their internet access business. It seems they have mixed feelings. Some are upset that Starbucks is going to steal customers away, even though the T-Mobile offering seems to be a lot more expensive than any small shop is offering. Of course, I still think that these shops should focus on what they do best (selling coffee and associated foods) and simply look at offering free wireless access to bring in new customers. If T-Mobile keeps up its current pricing, then cheaper or free access would certainly counter that. However, there’s also one coffee shop owner who says that he doesn’t want the sort of traffic that these laptop toting, web surfing types bring in to his coffee shop. It seems they mostly buy a single cup of coffee and then sit there for four hours (admittedly, I am guilty of doing this). Of course, the people who do that, tend to come in during off-peak hours anyway, so they’re not keeping anyone else from sitting at a table, and they’re still buying something. I just find it amusing to think of laptop-toting wireless web surfing geeks as being the “wrong sort of element” for a coffee shop.