The LA Times has reported that coffee shops in San Francisco are banning WiFi during peak times to make way for more lucrative customers.
"We had big parties or family groups who wanted to eat but had no room," said Jean Paul Coupal, proprietor of the Coucafe speaking to the LA Times. "They were getting upset about it. They felt the whole place was being taken over by techies."
The cafe scene in the California played a role in establishing the free WiFi hotspot concept in the first place. By appealing to techies looking for a place to consume their favourite hot beverage, the WiFi hotspot logo acts as an attraction in an area that loves it's coffee almost as much as it loves an Internet connection.
However when there's a shortage of places to seat customers on a rapid turn around basis, with some of those looking to drop in and buy food as well, coffee shop owners have been pulling back from the idea, at least during busy times according to the LA Times report.
It seems likely that customers in search off coffee and a WiFi hotspot during the quiet hours will not have difficulty in finding a laptop-friendly cafe in the foreseeable future. However it seems at least some cafes are turning the WiFi novelty on its head and providing a novel refuge from the online world.
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