Picnic in a Coffee Shop
We have spotted a growing trend recently where guests smuggle their own food or food they have bought elsewhere to eat in the comfort of our Coffee Shop, effectively having a picnic. They seem to believe that because they have bought a drink it’s ok to tuck into a bag of chip’s or a sandwich they have brought in with them.
Where have these incredibly bad manners come from? It’s inconceivable that they would feel free to take their own food into a restaurant, even MacDonald’s, unpack it and start eating, so why is it acceptable to do the same in a coffee shop?
When we ask them politely to not eat other people food in our establishment pretty much everyone is embarrassed and know what they are doing is bad form. They have normally found an area that is quiet and private where they think they won’t get caught surreptitiously stuffing their face with illicit food.
We have recently had to tell people eating kebabs in the comfort of our chairs that not only was it not allowed but the smell of the fried food was very upsetting for the rest of the guests.
Why is it suddenly OK?
Ok we can understand baby food or a kids favourite snack here and if our food was outrageously expensive or not of the highest quality, then we possibly could understand why people may be tempted to do it, but it’s not. It’s all made fresh every day and is reasonably priced to complement our finely crafted coffees and teas. We’ve even put up signs to the effect as well, telling people they are only allowed to eat food bought on the premises.
Is this a topic that is just a coffee shop problem or is it a wider trend? We would love to know your comments on this.
About the authors
Andrew and Claire Bowen have run their own coffee shops for the last decade starting as franchisees and moving to develop their own independent business. The knowledge and experience gained from this have been used in the development of Café Success – the UK’s best resource for a coffee shop, café and tearoom owners. Free to Join at cafesuccesshub.com it is growing to cover all aspects of setting up and running a coffee business. Please link in with them and join the Coffee Shop Owners of the UK discussion group on linked in.
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