General Question

Evelyn_475's avatar

How long are you allowed to sit in a Starbucks?

Asked by Evelyn_475 (787 points ) January 28th, 2011

I frequent Starbucks when I know I need to buckle down and get homework done. I often wonder if there is a time limit. I always get a coffee or something so technically I am a customer. I sprawl out with my books and my computer and stay for 1–2 hours usually. Does Starbucks have a policy on the amount of time you stay? I imagine there are people out there who stay longer than me. Instead of searching for the policy or asking a barista, I figured I’d ask on here.

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19 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

No, I don’t think they do. IF there is one, it’s because they don’t have enough seats for their paying customers and resent you taking up space. LOL!

BTW… I use to do the same thing at Panera Bread! : D

Great place to do yer work, ain’t it! : D

mrlaconic's avatar

In my town near the college campus there is no time limit… they even installed several giant round tables with power outlets so the college kids could plugin and work…

At other starbucks.. I haven’t seen one and like @CaptainHarley says if there is it’s probably because they run out of seats..

Vortico's avatar

I just got home from a 3 hour Atlanta Bread visit. I brought my laptop and ordered a bagel an hour after arriving. No one seemed to mind.

cookieman's avatar

In answer to a similar question here on Fluther, someone suggested you buy at least one thing every hour your there. That sounded fair to me.

missingbite's avatar

A business attracts customers if it looks busy. They enjoy you being there as long as people aren’t waiting for tables. Order a coffee and scone and get your homework done.

jlelandg's avatar

beautiful answers, I love when consensus agrees with me.

Silence04's avatar

There is a coffee shop I go to in Chicago that has $3.50 bottomless coffee and the place is always packed. I’ve been there for 9 hours before. I’d imagine starbucks wouldn’t care either.

Blueroses's avatar

I go to a local chain that has free wireless and plug outlets at every seat. I follow the rule of ordering something every hour and never had any dirty looks. There are always people around who look like they brought half their house with them and stay for hours.
They offer perks because they want you there. If they wanted to take your money and have you GTFO, they wouldn’t have comfy seats.

Nullo's avatar

As I recall, the Starbucks model (including the Starbucks-on-every-corner business) aimed to promote the lingering romantically associated with the pseudo-bohemians – coffee, and space to read your book, debate, etc.

submariner's avatar

That inflated price that you pay for the drink is partly rent for the space you take up. Stay as long as you want. I laugh at the dimwits who pay those prices for a coffee to go.

I never go to Starbucks, though, because they try to charge for Internet access. Or they used to—do they still do that?

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you’re camped out and it gets busy, offer to share your table/space with another single.

Blueroses's avatar

@submariner Same here. Last time I was in a Starbucks they had sub-par coffee and a HotSpot fee for wireless. The local guys undercut them and we actually had 2 Starbucks close here

lillycoyote's avatar

Generally, unless there is a posted policy, I think you’re allowed to sit around just about anywhere as long as you want, as long as you’re not uncomfortable with them hovering around you and giving you more and more obvious hints that they would really, really appreciate it if you would leave because they would like like the table to have more of turn around than one person drinking the same cup of coffee for 8 hours. Though some places are less obvious and if you are a regular customer, I think they don’t care as much. Anyway, what the hell. I really don’t know.

seazen's avatar

I agree with @submariner – who happened to pick a really cool nickname too – just saying.

downtide's avatar

Last Monday I had a train to catch coming home from London but I had 2 hours to waste. I sat in the nearest coffee-shop to the train station (it was a Costa Coffee, not a Starbucks) and I sat with a coffee, and reading a book. No-one seemed bothered even though it was 5.30pm-7.30pm so quite busy.

flutherother's avatar

The last time I went to Starbucks I ordered a coffee then found I couldn’t get a seat. That was no use to me so I told them sorry, I expect to sit over my coffee I no longer want it and I have never been back. I blame you all.

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submariner's avatar

I remember a busy cafe in Iowa City put up a sign encouraging people to share tables. In other words, you could stay as long as you wanted, but you might have to share your table with a stranger. I thought that was a nice, sociable way to deal with this issue. (Maybe such a policy goes without saying in big, crowded cities.)

xxteargodxx's avatar

I have gone to Starbucks a few times when I get off work to have a coffee and I’d like to relax and use the wifi a short while maybe an hour. However there are NEVER any seats available. I’ve even gone there on my off days and it is still hard to get a seat, I swear some people go there like drones.

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