Coffee Shop Owner Says Curtailing Laptop Use Boosted His Business

Ashley Lutz

A coffee shop owner says that posting signs discouraging people from camping out all day has boosted sales. 

Luigi Di Ruocco, owner of San Francisco's Coffee Bar, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was plagued by patrons who used the shop's free WiFi for hours at a time. 

The so-called "laptop squatters" deterred new customers because they couldn't find seats, he said. 

Di Ruocco decided to limit access to tables. 

From noon to 2 p.m., some of the tables have 30-minute limits and are reserved for customers without computers. 

As a result, sales have soared 15 to 20%, Di Ruocco said.

"We unclogged the clog," Di Ruocco told the Chronicle. "We made it work for the office workers in the area who wanted to grab a quick lunch. Now they can actually get a table."

Starbucks has also taken measures to keep people from camping out all day. 

The coffee chain began covering some electrical outlets at locations in 2011. 

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