The up and coming coffee shop on 16th street by the name of Provider, known for its long drinks and delicious lattes recently announced a new concept to reduce overcrowding and camping out in their coffee shop.
Sharing a post that garnered over 750 likes to their Instagram page, the coffee shop stated that they will be a laptop-free area on Saturdays and Sundays from 9AM-3PM. While implementing this policy, they also stated that there will be a mandatory $5 minimum purchase per hour on electronic devices + study materials or a $5 minimum purchase of a coffee, pastry, etc. in order to welcome all guests. Visitors of Provider expressed frustration due to lack of proper seating or parking space.
While some are very happy and supportive of the new policies, some frequenters are left disappointed. Instagram accounts opposed the new policies, mainly those that were studious college students. Others felt students could find studying accommodation elsewhere, such as their local libraries. As someone with somewhat of a entrepreneurial mindset, I can understand this side of the spectrum. Such policies are an excellent method of welcoming all guests while at the same time creating traffic for larger revenue. It’s a win-win situation for those that want to visit Provider to chit-chat with friends over a cup of coffee without a bright screen as a distraction or a cluster of of books in the way while Provider makes bank.
Provider states they will not start handing checks or setting timers on visitors.
As someone who is also a student, I can understand the other side as well. Being restricted from bringing your laptop into a public space unless you pay (as stated in the caption on Instagram by Provider).. is silly. One should not be restricted from bringing study materials or laptop to a coffee shop. It’s not conducive that someone will pay to have their electronic devices or school textbooks at a coffee shop. If that is the case, they will go elsewhere to study or work. There are plenty of coffee shops that do not follow this policy and allow electronic devices. As many frequenters of coffee shops are students, this could potentially hurt business. It is reasonable, however, to pay for a latte or coffee when staying at a coffee shop for a couple hours. This is common courtesy. It is the considerate and right move for using someone else’s free Wifi and taking up a seat. For this, I do agree and support Provider 100%. Personally, I could never walk into a coffee shop and stay there for hours without purchasing anything. Keep in mind, there are coffee shops on the east coast that do not provide Wifi services to their customers.
Regarding the new policies, I think I have to give it to Provider for this one! If I have to study, I’ll have to find a new spot especially one that might not charge $7 for my latte. If I want to catch up with a friend, I’ll know I can go to Provider (and indulge in their scrumptious Pistachio latte).
The new policies have given me a revelation that coffee shops are not solely for studying. For a long time, that’s all they have ever shared a relation with. A space to spread out all school materials and stare into a computer screen. After reading Provider’s announcement, I could not honestly recall when I last sat down at a coffee shop simply for a conversation. Even though students have to take the short end of the stick on this one, can we really complain given that it’s only 6 hours, two days in a weekend? Students can surely default to other options. If it’s the coffee at Provider that makes the difference, grab a cup to go on your way to the library or wherever. Kudos to Provider for redefining what coffee shops are and can be – a place to connect and bond. It is actually exciting to have a space for a period of time on the weekends where that is all a coffee shop will be.
But the question and thought really lies in – and can be a little terrifying to think about, will the rest of Indy’s coffee scene follow such concepts? Will this or will this not be the new trend for local coffee shops? We shall find out!
XO – Hads