Laptops and Cafes
A mindful co-existence
Why do we go to cafes?
Is it for the food, the drinks, the interior design, a place to unwind and escape to, or the social aspect? Can you pick out just one reason why you go?
Because often our reasons to go to a café comes from the mix of all the above. Perhaps an answer that is unsurprising considering the history of the café.
A little café history
It could be said that the role of cafes as a place of connection dates all the way to the birth of the coffee shop, Kiva Han, recorded to have been established in 1475 in present day Turkey.
Although Kiva Han was created to serve coffee to its customers, like many businesses, the way its customers interacted in the space had a significant influence. Kiva Han organically became a place of political discussion around its coffee.
Customers continued to influence the evolution of coffee shops as seen in the United Kingdom.
Coffee and the history of coffee shops were introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1600s. Coffee shops were not only a place of political discourse and where ideas were traded (nicknamed ‘penny universities’), they also became a place to conduct business. The birth of Llyod’s of London being a famous example. (Look no further than Mila’s history as another example.)
In our modern world, cafes continue to be a space for social connection (even if it doesn’t involve interacting with others) and a place to conduct business. But we must not forget that a café is also a business; a topic at the heart of on-going debates around the use of laptops in cafes.
Laptops and cafes: a marriage or a divorce?
The debate around laptops and cafes is not a new one. In fact, I found an article about it dating back to 2011.
For many cafes, what the discourse seems to come down to is the impact laptops have on the business. Yes, there is the obvious financial aspect, but as importantly, is what can be described as the ‘spirit’ of the business.
Some businesses are happy ‘marriages’ such as the larger commercial cafes that are able to absorb the higher costs required to support large numbers of laptops. Other businesses have chosen to ‘divorce’, triggered by the necessity to balance financial needs and protect the spirit of the café, whether it is adopting a laptop-free policy, and even going to the extent of removing wifi altogether. In many instances this has brought customer awareness of the business perspective behind these decisions.
At Mila’s we’ve chosen to design things tailored to our guests.
Something old with something new
For us, the diversity of our guests reflects how we like to do things. Which is why we offer our guests a solution in the middle. We don’t like to discriminate and we also believe in the importance of equality, two differences on the same coin.
Providing a social space to all our guests, new and loyal, is a pillar of our business. To do so requires us to include those who want to be in a space where they can enjoy food and drinks whilst talking to friends, meeting new people, having a peaceful moment with a book and also being able to work. This is the story behind our café’s laptop policy and why we chose to dedicate Mila’s biggest communal table for our laptop guests.
We see it as mindful co-existence.
We welcome our guests to come and take a seat at our communal laptop table. We are equally grateful in your awareness that we are a business that is here to provide service to all our guests’ consumption needs. Our team is there to help you if you have any questions.