Is It Considered Rude to Go to a Coffee Shop and Not Make Any Purchases?

Coffeehouses have transformed into places where people meet, talk, work, or study.

But, like any other premises, there are rules you won’t see written anywhere.

However, you must follow these rules to be considered a polite customer, especially if you visit a place regularly.

So, Is It Considered Rude to Go to a Coffee Shop and Not Make Any Purchases?

Yes. It is impolite to sit at a coffeehouse and not order anything. Please remember that the shop is there to make money. The operator pays rent, gas, electricity, insurance, equipment maintenance tax, and other expenses. So they need to make money per seat hourly to keep the business running. If you sit and order nothing or just a single drink per hour, the place loses money only because they may be too polite to tell you. Therefore, even if there are many empty seats, it’s still a great idea to purchase something from the shop.

But occasionally, you might hang around in a restaurant without being considered impolite.

Additional Coffee Shop Topics
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Can You Meet Someone Special at a Coffee Shop?
Do You Need to Tip at a Coffee Shop?
Is It Rude to Have a Zoom Meeting in a Coffee Shop?
Is It Rude to Talk on the Phone in a Coffee Shop?
Is It Bad to Go to the Same Coffee Shop Every Day?
The Unwritten Rules of Coffee Shops: To Buy or Not to Buy?

For instance, if you are a regular customer who spends money in that place but decides just to go and work on one occasion, that’s fine since you have supported the business in the past.

But on the days you are going to buy anything, it’s poor taste to sit there when other customers can hardly find an open table.

Priority should be given to customers who are buying something at the store.

However, we must mention that some cafés allow customers to hang around without ordering anything.

For instance, you can use Starbucks’ restroom and sit on the patios and cafes even if you aren’t buying anything.

What About Buying One Drink the Entire Day?

Some people think it’s OK to sit in a café as long as they want to once they buy one drink. However, this isn’t appropriate.

You wouldn’t sit in a restaurant from lunch to dinner with a single meal, would you? So, it’s not cool to stay in a single drink.

Remember that you are occupying a table which could be occupied by another customer who also wants to buy.

Two people may want to come in and buy a drink and a cup of coffee.

However, their journey may be cut short by a customer staring at a laptop for three hours sipping his cup of tea.

So, be humane and either leave when you’re done or buy a product every couple of hours to ensure that you aren’t overstaying your welcome.

What Other Things Shouldn’t I Do at a Café?

1. Video Chat

A coffee shop can seem like an ideal place to video chat because of the ambient atmosphere. Therefore, you might be tempted to call your pal while waiting for your order to arrive.

However, video chatting may come out as rude and self-centered.

The café has other customers inside and won’t appreciate being part of your conversation. So, don’t subject them to the torture of listening to your talks.

2. Play Videos Without Headphones

No one needs to hear the noise from your phone or laptop.

See Also: Should You Make Coffee A Hobby?

So be considerate of other people when watching in a coffee shop. And one way to do that is to ensure that your headphones are plugged in.

3. Spread Your Things on the Communal Tables

Most coffee houses have a communal table where many can sit and work or study as they drink a cup of coffee.

But some people think that as they were the first to occupy the communal table, it belongs to them entirely.

So they will spread their books, laptops, chargers, and backpacks along the table so other people have no room to put their things.

Please do not be such a person. Understand that other people also need to use the facility’s resources.

A coffee shop isn’t your office desk or a university library. Therefore, please do not turn it into one.

4. Leave Your Trash

You wouldn’t leave behind your trash at home for someone else to collect it, would you?

So, why  do it in a café?

Is it because you feel the staff is paid to collect it?

Whether that’s their job or not, leaving your trash trail behind is rude and selfish.

This makes you look bad and gives a bad appearance to the coffee shop, piling more work on the employees.

5. Occupy a Table for a Long Time

Many of us go to cafés for the ambiance and seating.

Therefore, relaxing there the whole day can be tempting, enjoying the vibe.

However, occupying a table for a long time is not polite, especially when other customers who want to buy are being chased away.

Remember that the business is there to make money.

But this is only possible if they serve many customers per day.

However, this is impossible if some people occupy the tables the whole day. So be cautious not to overstay your welcome.

At the same time, avoid reserving a seat for someone who isn’t present, and you’re not sure whether they will come or show up on time. Leave that seat to a customer who is ready to be served.

What Can Be Ordered at a Coffee Shop?

Now that we mentioned that staying in a coffee shop for too long without ordering anything can be rude, you might wonder what to order.

Unless you have a favorite drink, most of the coffee drinks on the menu sound strange, and it may be hard to understand what you want to order.

1. Iced Coffee

Although every place has its unique way of making iced coffee, most use dark roast or medium coffee and brew it extra strong.

This is a popular, less expensive drink.

But since it can be bitter, request for a syrup or flavor swirl.

2. Cold Brewed Coffee

This drink is made by mixing water and coarse ground coffee and steeping the mixture for 12-24 hours.

3. Espresso

This is dark roasted coffee brewed using water pressure.

As a result, it tastes different from regular coffee.

It’s loved mainly by Italians, but anyone can enjoy it.

What’s important is to know the order, which is milk, espresso, and foam/hot water.

Other drinks you can order include

  • cappuccino
  • latte
  • long black
  • frappe
  • or macchiato.

Also, remember that you don’t have to order the same drink if you stay for a long time. Try to sample several of them.

The Bottom Line

Coffeehouses are like any other business which has invested capital and needs to make profits.

If you sit for long hours without buying anything, you prevent the coffee shop owner from making money from their café business.