Coffee Shop Etiquette
Like most writers, I put on the pretence of doing my writing in a coffee shop. I therefore have a great deal of experience of the type of people who frequent them. Not as much a pubs but I still consider myself expert enough to tell you how to go on.
You’ll notice that a lot of the rules are similar to those for drinking in a pub. The staff aren’t your friends, it is their job to be polite. When they ask how you are, the only acceptable responses are ‘okay’ and ‘not bad’. Do not under any circumstances think of telling them how you are.
Have some sort of idea of what you want before approaching the counter, it’s basically coffee or tea. You don’t get bonus points or a discount for asking for the most obscure thing, or something that is not on the menu.
You don’t sound sophisticated by asking what temperature the water is. The more intelligent you try to sound, the more likely they are to hoy some Nescafe in a mug and tell you that it is the latest guest roast from Guatemala.
You wouldn’t get into somebody’s car at the traffic lights and plonk yourself in the passenger seat. Don’t think you can do the same at somebody’s table even if it is ‘where you always sit’.
If it’s busy, obviously sit wherever you can find a free table, if it isn’t, give people some personal space. Nobody wants you lookingover their shoulder to see who they are stalking on social media.
There are no hard and fast rules as to how long it takes to drink a coffee, and coffee shops do have a relaxed atmosphere that encourages a certain amount of sitting around doing nothing but they are businesses. They aren’t there to keep you warm.
We’ve all used coffee shops to waste time between appointments but you can’t live there. Sup up and bugger off.
I’m writing this in a coffee shop now but this is not an office. Do not take video calls, conduct interviews, sack pilfering staff or conduct your office affairs in a coffee shop.
Informal meetings are fine, coffee shops rely on the trade, but don’t have your team building event including raft building, paint balling and role play in one.
A lot of coffee shops are pet friendly, that doesn’t mean all of the customers are. Keep your dog, cat, weasel or parakeet away from other people unless they specifically show an interest.
The same rule applies to children, nobody is as interested in them as you assume they are.
Most coffee shops rely on you taking photos and posting them on social media but don’t become a Facebook bore. We don’t need to see every bite you take or have a running commentary on where your avocado was sourced from or how many ‘syns’ are in the giant wedge of sponge cake you are ramming down your neck.
Also be aware of who is in the background of your photos, not everybody reads my blogs and knows not to conduct their office affairs in a coffee shop.