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The Worst Things You Can Do at a Coffee Shop


From Central Perk on “Friends” to Cafe Nervosa on “Frasier,” coffee shops have long been a popular setting for TV characters to work and hang out, sometimes for hours on end. And the same goes for non-fictional people in real life.


“People enjoy the energy associated with a vibrant, friendly coffee shop and choose the location for conducting business as well as studying and socializing,” said Diane Gottsmanauthor ofModern Manners for a Better Lifeand founder of The Protocol School of Texas, USA. “But, as with everything in life, there are some etiquette rules that make the experience easier.”

We should always try to be considerate of others when we are in a public place, and a cafe is no exception. Speaking to HuffPost, Gottesman and other etiquette experts shared common rude behaviors they see at coffee shops — and advice on how not to become a criminal.

holding the line

“Read the menu and know what you want before you get to the counter,” advises Gottsman. “Don’t stand there and gaze for several minutes while you decide what size latte you’d like. It’s okay to ask questions, and being cordial is a plus, but chatting for long periods of time can hurt your back.” It’s frustrating for people.”


Try to be prepared to place an order once you’re at the front of the line, and remember that there are ways to take care of others even when you’re not ready.

“If you need more time to make a decision, step aside and let the person behind you lead,” said the show’s co-host Nick Leighton. “Were you raised by wolves?” podcast,

slack off without shopping


“First and foremost, people should remember that this coffee shop is a business,” said Jodi RR Smith, president of the Massachusetts-based company. Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, “If the shop doesn’t make enough money, it will shut down. This means, if you want this coffee shop to stay open, you must support them financially through your purchases.

Tom Werner via Getty Images

Try to have an idea of ​​what you want to order by the time you get to the front of the line.

She recommended at least one purchase per hour of sitting — plus added a tip.

“You can stay longer when it’s not crowded,” Smith said. “Since seating becomes scarce, you can stay as long as you’re actively consuming your drink.”


In addition to ordering additional drinks or food items, you’ll want to check back periodically to check on crowd conditions and see if new customers are waiting patiently for a table.

“If you find yourself parked with your laptop for an extended period of time, make sure the cafe actually welcomes it,” Leighton said. “And then keep track of how long you’ve been idling, especially at peak hours.”

hugging a big table as one person

“It’s also important to be mindful of your location,” Gottsman said. “If you’re sitting at a table for four and there are several people waiting, you might consider grabbing a single chair or bar stool to make room for others.”

Of course, you’ll be sitting with a group of friends or co-workers in the beginning and you’ll need a large table. But once they’re gone, consider downsizing. And if it’s you from the start, do your best to sit in the most efficient spot.

“Choose the smallest table possible and try to keep yourself — and your cords and your bags and your papers — as self-sufficient as possible,” Leighton said.

When groups are waiting to be seated and you have little space available, be sure to get a large table.

Lechtnauer via Getty Images

When groups are waiting to be seated and you have little space available, be sure to get a large table.

loud phone calls

“This is not your office,” said Smith. “Reading or typing quietly is perfectly acceptable. Swearing while reviewing email, listening to voicemail on speaker, or having extended telephone conversations is not.”

If you’re a remote employee, plan to stay home for scheduled Zoom meetings that require you to talk. If you’re only attending a virtual meeting but don’t need to participate, don’t listen in full swing.

“Headphones are a must, and avoid making or taking phone calls,” Leighton said.

monopoly power outlets

Outlets at coffee shops can be rare, especially if they are located in older buildings. Be aware that others may need to use them as well.

“If outlets are provided, you can take that opportunity to recharge,” Smith said. But “you shouldn’t plug in your laptop and leave it plugged in for the entirety of your stay,” she said.

take out food

If you plan to be at a coffee shop during mealtimes, plan to buy your food there. Some businesses don’t offer much food, but unless they specifically note otherwise, you still can’t order delivery or pack your own snack to eat out.

“You can’t bring outside food in to enjoy inside the venue,” Smith said. “This is both disrespectful to the coffee shop and could potentially make them liable in case of suffocation or allergic reaction.”

relax like you’re at home

A coffee shop can be a comfortable, welcoming environment that feels like home. But that doesn’t mean you can put your feet up and stretch out like you’re at home.

“This is not your home,” insisted Smith. “Your shoes should stay up and your feet should not be co-located where other people may be sitting or eating.”

Avoid putting your feet where people sit.

Eva-Cutlin via Getty Images

Avoid putting your feet where people sit.

ordering something off-menu that is too elaborate or cannot be explained

“Don’t assume that every barista knows how to make a ‘Frosted Snickerdoodle Latte,'” Leighton said. “If you’re ordering off-menu, you need to know what’s in it and how it’s made.”

ordering a wide coffee drink This has become more common in recent years, but baristas have expressed frustration with these complicated concoctions. If you’re asking for something that isn’t listed on the menu, try to be respectful of their requests.

leaving the mess

Gottsman said, “When you leave, be sure and clear your area for the next person who will take your seat.” “Yes, there may be someone responsible for cleanliness at the coffee shop. But more than likely there’s a tight turnout for the next person seated, and it’s courtesy to keep your place clean.

Do your best not to make a mess at the cream and sugar station, other than busing to your table on the way back.

“If it’s the kind of spot you have on your lid, try to spot only the top without touching the entire stack,” Leighton said.

(Tags to translate) food and drink


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