Simply Business homepage
  • Business insurance

    • Business Insurance FAQs

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Sign In
Call Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Knowledge Centre

This coffee shop has banned laptops and tablets – but does it count as bullying?

2-minute read

Sam Bromley

21 November 2019

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

A coffee shop on England's Lane in north London is the latest to ban people from using laptops and tablets.

  • MPs want to introduce a tax on using self-service checkouts

Business owner Mojgan Mohajer, 51, made the decision after getting complaints from customers who couldn’t get a table at the weekend.

But while the coffee shop is part of a growing trend of businesses turning their backs on technology, one writer says the move amounts to bullying. Do you think it’s unfair, or does it make business sense?

A ban on technology at the weekend

Chromebooks and Macs, iPhones and Androids – no matter the device, the combination of technology and coffee is a familiar sight in cafés all over the country.

It helps that lots of coffee shops and cafés offer free WiFi, meaning customers can get lost in important projects or conversations while they eat and drink.

But Mojgan Mohajer is the latest business owner to join a growing anti-screen movement. She runs a coffee shop in north London and has recently issued a ban on laptops and tablets at the weekends, when space is particularly limited.

She told the Daily Mail: “I received a lot of complaints from customers during the weekend that lots of people were coming with a laptop and sitting and they couldn't have a table.

“I was really upset. I just want to encourage them to be social and to enjoy the coffee, drinking, eating, and to talk to each other.”

”A situation where I was being bullied”

Writer Francesca Specter, 28, was asked to leave the north London coffee shop after trying to read a Sunday newspaper on her iPad.

She said: “I live by myself and part of my weekend routine is I go and get some headspace and enjoy breakfast and brunch by myself at one of the local cafés. The owner took one look at the iPad I was reading my paper on and said you can't do that in here.

“I thought it was a situation where I was being bullied and I was by myself so I was in this minority. I had to leave and haven't been back since.”

The coffee shops shunning technology

Francesca Specter blogs about the joys of spending time by yourself. She said that she’d been going to the café for two years and that people should feel able to occupy public spaces alone.

But for smaller independent cafés, customers spending too much time on their devices could end up hurting their bottom line.

The Guardian mentions three coffee shops in Brighton that have scrapped free WiFi “because they believe it is costing them revenue as a result of laptoppers spending too much time – and too little money – taking up tables.”

And Small Talk Tearooms in Bourton-on-the-Water told GloucestershireLive in 2017 that they’ve been going 14 years without WiFi. They don’t plan to install it any time soon, as they can’t afford it: “People turn up, buy one coffee, and spend all day sat a table using the Wi-Fi. We need customers coming in and out throughout the day to survive, we're only a small business.”

What do you think about coffee shops banning technology? Let us know in the comments below.

Ready to set up your cover?

As one of the UK's biggest business insurance providers, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored quote?

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Categories

Popular articlesBusiness resources from FarillioGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resources from FarillioLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19 business support hub

Insurance

Public liability insuranceBusiness insuranceProfessional indemnity insuranceEmployers liability insuranceLandlord insuranceTradesman insuranceCharity insuranceRestaurant insuranceCommercial van insuranceInsurers

About

About usOur teamAwardsPress releasesPartners & affiliatesOur charitable workModern Slavery ActSocial mediaSite map

Customer support

Contact & supportPolicy renewalMake a claimProof of policyComplaintsAccessibility

Address

6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

Careers

Careers at Simply BusinessTech careersCurrent opportunities

Benefits

BenefitsRefer a friendFinance

Legal

Terms & conditionsPrivacy policyCookie policyVuln Disclosure policy

Knowledge

Knowledge centreOpinionsMicrosites

© Copyright 2022 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.