Business Etiquette Tips for the Coffee Shop

Caffeine Lovers R Us

Joanne and I love a good cup of coffee so we regularly meet clients and conduct business at coffee shops. When we’re on the road we often use coffee shop Wi-Fi to check in with our social media and I sometimes even write these blog posts there.

(Recent Favorite is Caffè Artigiano in Vancouver and now in Calgary)

Your manners? To stay or go?

As image consultants and business etiquette experts we try to remember that our personal brand is always on display. In our business dining seminars we remind attendees that people get clues to who you really are by your manners, how you comport yourself at the restaurant and deal with wait staff. The same holds true for coffee shops.

Laptop hobos

One of the things Kaitlin warned about was being a ‘laptop hobo’. She talked about interesting steps some coffee shops have implemented to discourage people who rarely order anything but spend hours at the coffee shop working or surfing the net.


Of course, none our business etiquette savvy readers would have the bad manners to do this. But the five tips Kaitlin shared are something that we need to be aware of.

Her Top five coffee shop etiquette tips:

Tip #1 – One chair per butt. –  Don’t spread out like you own the place.

Tip #2 – Headphones – Your electronics should funnel sounds through your headphones.

Tip #3 – Clean up after yourself – Yes, there are paid staff but it’s a classy thing to do.

Tip #4 – Share bandwidth – Don’t download six hours of Madmen.

Tip #5 – Buy something – You’re in business and so is the coffee shop.

Terry’ Bonus tip (and pet peeve)

Please, please, please use your indoor voice when talking on your cell phone. You’re constantly creating impressions. Make sure your business etiquette know-how doesn’t undermine your professional image, even at the Starbucks.

What other coffee shop bad manners or etiquette tips would you add?

Other Articles:

Posted by Terry Pithers – Canadian business etiquette expert and coffee loving non-laptop hobo

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