I just had a tea at an independent coffee shop while I was waiting for my bus.
The people working were very nice. But everything else was a series of roadblocks.
$5 minimum for a credit card purchase.
You had to ask for a key to get in the restroom.
Every table had an upright sign that said the tables were for paying guests only. It also said there was a 30 minute maximum stay at a table.
One sign had 30 crossed out and 20 was written above it.
I was there at 7:30 am. 2/3′s of the tables were empty. Not surprising.
The message was clear: You people are annoying the shit out of us.
When you get to that point in your business you have two options:
1. Get someone else to manage the store. Maybe you’ll enjoy working with employees more than customers.
2. Get a new line of work.
Dunkin’ Donuts next door was packed. There were no signs on their tables telling me anything other than to get some coffee and a donut. They gladly swiped my card for $2.20 (just like Starbucks does).
When you are an independent store going up against a national brand the only chance in hell you have of winning is being better than them.
Being worse is pointless.