A cup of coffee doesn’t buy you a 12 hour seat at New York City Starbucks anymore. High-traffic New York City Starbucks have been covering up power outlets to chase away ‘squatters’. Squatters are people who hog up good seats pretending to be busy with their laptops and stay there for hours.
For just a price of a cup of coffee, getting free Wi-Fi, sitting on a comfie chair, and free air conditioning in the Summer or free heat in the Winter does sound pretty good. I have used Starbucks’ facility before, especially when I travel where Wi-Fi isn’t easily available. Having the power outlets to prolong the stay sounds even better.
Starbucks (through Reuters) has confirmed that they are doing it to free up seats, with the purpose of supporting the business.
Will the trend be followed in other Starbucks elsewhere, including Ohio?
Panera Bread limits their customers’ Wi-Fi airtime at peak hours. This may be a better approach to a win-win situation. I see fewer electrical outlets at Panera, but at least there is no duct tape over their eletrical outlets.