Sign of the times
Starbucks is making the change as many coffeehouses experiment with ways to cut off squatters who browse and do not spend. Some post signs asking people to continue buying food and drinks if they stay, while the more aggressive ones cover their power outlets with tape so people cannot charge their laptops.
Other coffeehouse owners say Wi-Fi detracts from the atmosphere they are trying to foster.
Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco has no Wi-Fi or power outlets for customer use. “We all have had experiences of working at cafes where the laptops just took over, and it started to feel more like a library,” said Jodi Geren, head of operations for Four Barrel. “We just really feel like it’s important for people to talk to each other.”