Coffee Shop Etiquette 101: The Do’s and Don’ts of Staying in a Coffee

coffee shop etiquette

Specialty coffee houses have created a culture around coffee preparation and drinking. Every coffee shop is a hub where people get together, professionals work in their “extended office,” or students get the motivation to study.

Coffee shop owners and staff have seen and experienced serving different types of people every single day. They might have also seen the best and the worst while trying to put on a smile every single time. The following are just a few things they want you to know about ordering coffee and staying in their coffee shop.


(1)    Order at least one coffee for every three hours you’ll be staying in the coffee shop

You lounge comfortably in stylish chairs, enjoy the blissful ambiance, and savor that uplifting aroma of coffee. You get to enjoy bonding with friends or working away while using the in-store Wi-Fi. The least you could do to the coffee shop’s business is to order from their menu. The rule of thumb is that you should order at least one coffee for every three hours you’ll be staying.

Coffee shop experts say that if you plan on not buying anything after four hours, you should leave the coffee shop to give room to paying customers. The coffee shop may be jam-packed during peak hours, so at least give courtesy to other customers who are going to buy something.

And please, no camping out in a coffee shop and abusing the amenities if you’re not going to pay for anything. The coffee shop owner and staff have worked so hard to keep things running.


(2)    Please don’t bring food and drinks from another store

You might be saving money by bringing in cheaper food from another store to eat in a coffee shop, but you’ll mostly likely embarrass yourself for doing it. Give courtesy to the coffee shop by buying food from their menu, and not sneaking in food from another establishment.


(3)    Share a seat

This will most likely happen during peak hours. Imagine yourself going to a coffee shop so that you could grab a cup of coffee, work away on your laptop, or just relax after a long day. It would be difficult if you can’t get a proper seat, or if other people are hoarding chairs. Share a seat with others and karma will work its way to share a seat with you when you need it.


(4)    Asking someone to watch over your stuff

It’s definitely okay to ask the staff or other people to watch over your stuff whenever you need to leave your seat. However, limit the waiting time to 10 minutes because they might need to do something or be somewhere else immediately. Remember the coffee shop karma: don’t do unto others if you don’t want others to do the same unto you. You wouldn’t want to watch over someone else’s stuff for ages.


(5)    Be easy on the Wi-Fi

Limit Wi-Fi use to web browsing and email. It would cause a headache to other customers when you are hoarding bandwidth. Let everyone enjoy a good use of Wi-Fi at the coffee shop by taking care of your movie downloads at home.


(6)    Mind your wires

This is another cause of mishaps – device wires, cables, or chargers spreading out on the floor. The staff or customers might trip over the wires, and accidents can happen (yes, even at coffee shops). To solve this, move your table closer to the power outlet or secure it properly so that it won’t get in other people’s way.


(7)    Keep a low sound profile

There’s nothing more annoying when you would like to work or relax in a coffee shop and another customer is roaring on the phone. Keep your voice down, or might as well answer your calls outside. If you’re going to listen to music or watch a movie, use your headphones for it. It’s also best to make sure your kids behave so as not to disturb anyone.


(8)    When a barista recommends a drink or an addition to your coffee, be gracious about it.

Baristas pride themselves with specialized knowledge about coffee. So when they recommend another syrup for your drink or another kind of coffee, do try it out. If you don’t like it, might as well let them know about it.


(9)    When it comes to “flirting” with baristas

Yes, baristas can be good looking. But save the flirting for later when they’re not busy. If you take too much of their time while there’s a long line of customers waiting, you’ll not only earn the ire of the public, but you might also embarrass yourself when the barista says “no.”


(10)    Tipping can be good

Baristas will love you for tipping them well. If you don’t buy that much during the length of your stay, at least tip the servers or drop something in the tipping jar. You’ll earn the admiration and respect of the coffee shop staff, and they’ll most likely give particular attention to you whenever you’re around.

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