During the sweltering heat, it is understandable that many prefer to escape to coffee shops for a temporary workplace.

Instead of dedicated coworking spaces, they often opt for coffee shops with appealing aesthetics or cozy interiors, including milk tea spots.

Upon arrival, they settle in for extended periods, glued to their devices.

Increased Occupancy, Decreased Revenue

P, owner of a sizable coffee shop in Da Nang, laments that his establishment’s inviting decor, spacious outdoor areas, and air-conditioning draw numerous customers, primarily students, who occupy the air-conditioned seating for prolonged periods with their laptops.

Due to the uncomfortable outdoor temperatures, many other potential customers opt for alternative locations, resulting in a drop in revenue despite consistent high occupancy.

“While we value each customer, our shop struggles to sustain itself due to monthly rent of VND50 million [US$1994], staff salaries, and other expenses, especially when some patrons stay for hours after purchasing a single beverage,” P. explains.

To address this, P. plans to reduce the number of power outlets and switch from comfortable cushions to wooden chairs in an effort to discourage extended stays.

Facing similar challenges, H., manager of a milk tea shop, observes a surge in students working on their laptops throughout the day during the summer months.

“Milk tea consumption typically increases during the afternoon,” H. notes.

“However, many potential customers leave due to a lack of available seating.

“It would be considerate for those occupying tables for extended periods to order additional beverages.”

Finding Common Ground: Courtesy and Communication

To foster courtesy among patrons, online forums and groups dedicated to Da Nang youth share tips for mindful behavior in coffee shops.

Tan Khoi, a 22-year-old student, suggests that coffee shops display signs informing customers of the expected duration for using the space, encouraging them to consider their needs before entering.

“Establishments should clearly outline their policies and any associated fees,” he recommends.

Ai Nhi, a 29-year-old freelancer, points out the existence of dedicated workspaces, often located outside the city center.

These spaces typically charge higher beverage prices to ensure profitability, yet customers are willing to pay to secure a place to work.

“When I work in non-dedicated coffee shops, I choose a table with two chairs and offer to share if needed,” Nhi says.

“I rely on my laptop battery until I require charging.

“After 3-4 hours, I order a snack to maintain a comfortable environment for others.”

Managing Extended Stays

On platforms dedicated to the hospitality industry, coffee shop owners share strategies for managing laptop customers.

Thai Tuan, owner of a chain of coffee shops, suggests that staff politely inquire if customers who have been present for an extended period would like to order anything else.

Some customers become engrossed in their work and may neglect to hydrate or eat, so a gentle reminder can lead to additional purchases.

For coffee shops not catering to laptop customers, implementing a Wi-Fi usage limit by providing a unique password for each purchase rather than sharing it publicly can be effective.

Tuan recommends prioritizing smaller tables during less crowded hours.

He acknowledges that extended stays contribute to a lively atmosphere, which can attract new business.

However, smaller tables allow for better turnover when needed.