“Want to meet for coffee?” is something I say on seemingly almost a daily basis. With more and more of us working in non-traditional office environments, it’s easy (and fun) to meet clients and colleagues in a relaxed, coffee shop atmosphere. Here are six things to keep in mind to set a good example at your local coffee bar:
1. When meeting for coffee, actually order coffee. Or a soft drink. Or tea. Or something. Every person taking up a seat at the table should place an order. Remember, you’re in a food and beverage establishment. They make their living selling food and beverages.
2. Keep your meeting to a reasonable length of time. An hour-ish is generally acceptable. The restaurant or coffee shop needs to turn over the tables and there are others who enjoy the same place you do. They might want that table.
3. Select a table of appropriate size. If there are two of you, take a two-top. Leave the four-tops for larger parties.
4. Be mindful of your cords. If you must plug in, select a seat near an open outlet. Otherwise, make sure you're at full power before leaving the house or office.
5. If you’re in an establishment that functions as both coffee shop and restaurant and you find your meeting running into lunchtime, go ahead and order lunch. I refer you back to point #1 if you need clarification.
6. Finally, be generous with your gratuity. Morning beverages tend to not be expensive and it’s nice to go beyond the standard 20 percent. If you are a repeat customer at an establishment, you will likely find with this practice that you get a bit of extra service attention. And that’s always nice when you’re trying to impress a client.