Coffee Shop Etiquette for Writers

Cup of Coffee

Photo credit: Zach Inglis on Flickr

I love writing in Barnes & Noble.

There’s a big one in my hometown with a little Starbucks in it and I love to sit down there and get some work done. There’s nothing like being surrounded by books and inhaling the scent of fresh roasted coffee while pounding away on my laptop.

I spend so much time in coffee shops that I’ve noticed an unspoken code of behavior for working from a coffice (coffee shop office).  If you like working in coffee shops, there are a few rules you should follow.

Share Your Space

Stick to the one chair per customer rule. Your butt gets a chair. Put your stuff on the floor. Don’t hog the seats. Also, if you’re sitting at a table and the coffee shop is busy, don’t spread your stuff out all over the place. Share the table. Basic stuff.

Buy Something!

If you’re sitting in a coffee shop, you’re a customer. It’s your duty to purchase something. You should be buying a drink or snack every ninety minutes to two hours. If you don’t want to buy anything, try to keep your visit to an hour or less – just know that you’re disrespectful for using the space without giving back,

Be Kind to Other Customers and Workers

Most coffee shops have tip jars. I encourage you to use them, especially if you spend a lot of time in that particular location. If someone asks you to watch their stuff, watch their stuff. If you need to listen to something, bring headphones. Take calls outside. Don’t hog power outlets. Here’s a bright idea – bring your own power strip and make some new friends.

When it comes to writing in coffee shops, these are some simple rules for human behavior to follow. It all boils down to this: don’t be a jerk.

Do you like writing in coffee shops? What are some other unspoken rules for working there that you can think of?

Tweet tweet:

The key to coffee shop etiquette for writers? Writer @thecollegenov says, “Don’t be a jerk.” (Click to tweet)

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9 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Etiquette for Writers

  1. s.ogugu

    I looooove coffee shops – the lighting, how they smell, how quiet they can get sometimes. I moved away from my favourite coffee shop about seven months ago and I haven’t been the same since. Something about the club sandwiches with friends at Cake Hut leaves me warmly nostalgic. I wrote some drafts and complete stories there and I miss the place.

    I totally agree with everything you just said. Although we were always the last to leave, my friends and I always tipped over ten percent and would make considerably large orders. And this was one place where we liked the people serving enough to not raise our voices.

    Great post!

    Reply
  2. The Coffice™ (@TheCoffice)

    Hey Briana!

    Great piece. Between you, me and everyone else reading this, I think those 3 tips rank as some of the more important ones.

    I have nothing to add. 🙂

    Cheers!

    Sam Title
    Chief Executive Cofficer
    The Coffice Corp.
    TheCoffice.biz

    Reply

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