No laptops allowed in this Mississauga cafe

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Published October 18, 2023 at 1:47 pm

A no laptop policy at a Mississauga cafe has angered some people but the owners say they had no other choice.

The Archtop Coffee Bar & Market in Port Credit say they started the policy in April but recently people have posted several negative reviews on Google and social media.

“Came to this cafe to get come by and work on my laptop as you ussally [sic] do at cafes, pleas [sic] be aware this cafe doesn’t NOT ALLOW LAPTOPS,” one person wrote on Google. “they said the have a rule against this which is totally bizarre to me as most cafes want guests to sit down and work…”

“Looks like a nice shop but FYI they don’t let you use a laptop inside or on their patio! I wish I’d known – writing this review from a park bench on my laptop,” another person posted.

A discussion on the Port Credit Friends Facebook group seemed to have differing opinions. While some thought asking people to leave after using a laptop (after asking permission for a short business meeting) was harsh, others felt the cafe had the right to make the policy.

“If the sign said no shoes no service, you wear shoes or go somewhere else. It’s written in black and white. NO LAPTOPS,” one person wrote.

The policy was necessary, a spokesperson for the cafe told insauga.com.

 

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It has become an issue recently as more people are working from home and looking for an alternative space to work.

“They feel isolated,” the spokesperson said. “They want to be around people…I think they miss the social part. So, you know, part of the culture in the past has been — ‘let’s go to the cafe.'”

But as inflation has increased the cost of business, many cafes can’t afford letting people occupying seats for many hours without purchasing anything.

“The amount of people that are doing that has increased dramatically,” the spokesperson said.

At times they would have to turn away customers and they got complaints from other customers who didn’t like the laptop atmosphere.

Archtop tried other methods such as putting time limits on customers or adding a laptop-free time period but people didn’t follow the rules and people would get rude with staff.

no laptops cafe mississauga

They made the tough decision to ban all laptops to save the business.

“If we don’t do this, I can almost circle the day on the calendar that we’d be closing if we didn’t do it,” the spokesperson said.

The one-star, negative reviews followed but overall, the policy is working out and Archtop is creating the space they want.

“Our sign says it all. We are a place for good food, good beverage and good conversation,” Archtop posted in response to a Google review. “Every day we get customers thanking us for having a policy where they don’t feel they are at work surrounded by laptops.”

There are other spaces people can go if they looking for community while they work, the Archtop owners say.

“You do realize there are co-working spaces, libraries where you can work. Why is it you feel our business must provide you with free workspace,” they posted on Google.

They aren’t the only cafes changing policies. The Starbucks in Port Credit recently re-modelled, removing many of their seats, which some say is to limit the laptop culture. And in Toronto, some cafes started to ban laptops in 2018.

“You’re going to see it more and more, if businesses don’t do it, they won’t survive,” the Archtop spokesperson said.

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