General Question

Spargett's avatar

Is it rude to just get coffee at a restaurant?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) August 2nd, 2007

I'm thinking mid-day. I don't always want to have to go to a Starbucks, and I love sitting outside somewhere just sipping on a coffee.

At what point do you think it wouldn't be a problem? Maybe if I left a a few bucks for a tip?

Or in which ways do you see it being a problem. Anyone in the restaurant business want to chime in?

P.S. I'm not talking about an Applebee's or anything, I live in San Francisco and some streets here are just packed with Restaurants.

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11 Answers

flameboi's avatar

Hey, i don't see any problem if you just want top stop by for a cup of coffee and a cigarrete, maybe a good book at any time. I do it all the time, obviously people at the restaurant know me as a frecuent visitor, this means, they've seen me there for lunch and dinner also not only for being a coffee fan. Besides, its way better to stop in a nice place that in the average starbucks, which is a shortcuit to diabetes for the amount of sugar they add in their coffees, packed full of people with their laptops and i-pods rushing for the afternoon latte enema... leave the average tip and try to be attended by the same waiter most of the times, and remember his/her name, so u'll always have a nice table whenever you need one, you'll become familiar to them for being a good customer, and a good tiper. It also works to meet interesting people :)

erinford's avatar

I don't see how you can be "rude" to a service organization. Now you can be rude to other diners by using up a table, or rude to staff by denying them other (larger) tip opportunities; but as in most areas of life I find if I ask first I rarely get refused. So, ask the restaurant staff if its OK with them if you sit a while and have just a coffee. If they have a problem they'll let you know, and you can be reassured that they know up front.

Spargett's avatar

Thanks for the answers guys.

Any servers who have thoughts on this?

flameboi's avatar

Yes, I used to work in a very fancy hotel, and there was this gentleman, a british guy in his mid 40's that used to go every afternoon to read the newspaper and used to order coffee or tea, I guess depending on his mood, I was assistant to the costs manager and had to take a look at the restaurant from time to time, I never heard a complaint from any of the staff, because, a customer is a customer, if he wants lobster for lunch or not, the staff is responsible of making feel at home. Most high end places are driven by this principle and never had a problem about it.

extolsmith's avatar

If a waiter finds it rude, talk to the manager or owner. If the owner finds it rude, find a different restaurant.

We go to a restaurant to be served food prepared for us, as we please.

gooch's avatar

as long as you leave a good tip to offset the potential loss tip from a eating table.

zina's avatar

none of this stuff really applies unless the restaurant (or seating section, in some cases) is full. otherwise, your coffee is more business than nothing. and as above, you're going to a restaurant to be served, not feel bad. you're paying for it. and you shouldn't buy more than you want to. i used to have this dilemma/guilt about going to restaurants and sharing a dish with someone - then i got over it.

breedmitch's avatar

I think it really depends on how busy the place is. If they're full and you can see that other guests are still waiting to be seated while you nurse one cup of coffee then you should pay and go (or ask to move to the bar). This also applies to guests who have finished their meal, paid their check and want to linger (we call them campers, because they have chosen to "camp out") when there are obviously people waiting to be seated. it's important that a restaurant does its best to satisfy a guest, but it's just as important that the guests have some consideration for a business trying to make money. Your purchase was the food, not a night's rent.

artemisdivine's avatar

OMG first you live in San Fran you LUCKY person! I dont think anything is wrong unless you take up a table for 3 hours at the busy time. Or they have one of those signs with minimum $3.00 to be a customer or something.

babygalll's avatar

I don’t think it’s rude. You can order what ever you want. There are no minimum amount you have to spend to sit in a restaurant. There aren’t any signs that say “must order more than just coffee” At least I have never seen any.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

I don’t see why that would be a problem.

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