When you don’t have the space to host meetings with clients or even your coworkers, a coffee shop may seem like a suitable alternative.

After all, most people love to grab a cup of coffee, right? But… not so fast. In fact, here are 7 reasons you should avoid using a coffee shop for business meetings:

Reason #1: It’s too loud
Communication can be difficult in a noisy public setting. You’re trying to get important points across, but the person in front of you has a blank face and says, “Sorry I can’t hear you – what did you say?” Other patrons have just as much of a right to speak as you do at a coffee shop, so there isn’t a whole lot you can do. From a professional business standpoint, it’s best to avoid coffee shops altogether and hold your meetings and job interviews in a more private location.

Reason #2: There’s no privacy
Speaking of privacy, it’s hard to have any at all when you hold work meetings at a coffee shop. Anything you talk about – including potentially sensitive or confidential company information – is fair game to the listening ears of everyone around you, so be careful what you say. If you need to share sensitive information, your meetings are better suited to a private office or conference room.

Reason #3: There’s too many distractions
Distractions can absolutely kill the flow of ideas during business meetings and – let’s face it – at a coffee shop, distractions are everywhere. Coffee shops have a tendency of affecting all human senses. Instead of listening to what you are saying, your associates smell fresh baked doughnuts or brewed coffee and suddenly are thinking about which tasty treat they could purchase that won’t wreck their diet. Never mind that people are talking all around you so instead of focusing on your business meeting, your associate may be eavesdropping on the conversation of the couple behind them. In order to avoid distractions, take your meetings to a more professional setting.

Reason #4: They don’t want you to stay (unless you pay)
While it’s not terribly expensive to buy a cup of coffee at a cafe, costs can – and do – add up. Coffee shops are businesses too, which means that when you visit, you need to buy something. Furthermore, during peak hours of business – which is probably peak hours for your business too – you may be limited to sitting at a table for 30-60 minutes. Rather than spending unnecessary money and restricting your meeting time, stick to a private office or boardroom for work meetings. A professional office space won’t limit your time and the beverages might even be complimentary.

Reason #5: Staff interrupt and interfere
Your business meetings can easily be interrupted by coffee shop staff who are simply performing customer service. They can easily disrupt your train of thought by going around and refilling everyone’s coffee mug or cleaning up around you while you are in the middle of a meeting (or even mid-sentence!). To avoid this problem, it’s in your best interest to just avoid coffee shops altogether for business meetings.

Reason #6: Technology is limited
Coffee shops cannot be expected to meet the technological needs of a professional meeting. If they do offer free wifi, it won’t be anywhere near the quality that you experience at an office or even at home. Video calls can be hampered by lost connections and bad quality. If you need access to electrical outlets to power your laptop or charge your phone, the staff and customers aren’t going to be to happy with all of the extra cords spread out across the floor — never mind that it can be difficult to even find an outlet, especially during busy periods. Wouldn’t it make more sense to be somewhere that has reliable wifi and can support all of your technological needs?

Reason #7: There’s nowhere to put your belongings
Coffee shops don’t have the space that a boardroom or private office typically does. The bistro-type tables at coffee shops are typically small and don’t have room much more than a beverage and small snack plate. Cramped spaces can lead to spills and other accidents rather quickly. Stick to a more professional venue that has room for all of your computers, papers, and other personal items.

In summary, while popping in to your favourite coffee shop for a quick break and to recharge makes perfect sense, holding meetings there just doesn’t make sense.

If you need extra office or boardroom space for your meetings in the Burlington area, consider the variety of office space and services provided by OnePlan. We offer a professional setting for all of your business needs and a great environment for collaboration. This includes fully furnished private and shared office space, meeting rooms in various sizes and layouts, enterprise-level wifi, the latest A/V equipment, access to kitchen facilities with complimentary refreshments, professionally staffed reception, and more.