After frequenting over 50 coffee shops over the last decade, I learned five fundamental rules that can make your experience and the experience of other customers enjoyable and worthwhile. In order to conduct an accurate case study, I went to one of my favorite spots: Peet’s Coffee. The coolest thing about Peet’s Coffee is that they play classical music consistently. The brand of coffee is delicious and the ambiance is distinct. These rules are timeless and applicable at almost any coffee shop. Wherever and whenever I frequent a coffee house I stick to these basic rules:
Seriously, if you are at the same coffee shop every day and the barista knows your name, drink and plays with your kid, they deserve at least fifty cents a day.
#2 Keep it Clean
If you make a mess while pouring the sugar and cream, clean it up. Not only is it proper etiquette, but the barista will appreciate you and give you free perks over time. #message
#3 Don’t Talk to Strangers
Clarification. Don’t talk to strangers that are not interested in talking to you. If they don’t make eye contact then 9 times out of 10 they are there to get work done, get away from home, or zone out. Basically, they are not in the mood for small talk. One day I will teach a class on how and when to talk to strangers.
#4 You are not at home
This means don’t bring your entire home office to the coffee shops and clog the outlets with various chargers. If you do happen to stay there all day working on a project then purchase something every couple hours.
#5 Respect the Culture
Each coffee shop, even chains, has its own set of spoken and unspoken rules that keep the flow of the coffee shop going. Remember, it is a brand, and in order to respect the business owners take time to scope out the scene. Ask the manager's permission before holding a business meeting, birthday party or day care in the coffee shop.
Bonus: Enjoy. You paid for the experience. Enjoy the ambiance, the people, the regulars and the neighborhood people that recognize that place as the only place they can stay warm in the winter or cool in the summer.
Good Coffee + Good People = The Good Life
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