Coffee shop owner sparks anger by BANNING laptops from her cafe

There could be trouble brewing! Coffee shop owner sparks anger by BANNING laptops from her cafe at weekends

  • Mojgan Mohajer, 51, decided on ban after loyal customers struggled to get table
  • The move has upset some at England’s Lane cafe in Belsize Park, north London 
  • One person says ban amounts to bullying of those who want to spend time alone

Walk into any cafe and you are likely to see customers glued to the screens of their laptops and iPads as they nurse their drink and hog the free wi-fi.

So when one independent cafe owner asked people to refrain from using their devices at the weekends, it was bound to cause a stir.

Mojgan Mohajer, 51, decided on the ban after loyal customers struggled to get a table during busy periods.

‘My cafe is quite small,’ she explained. ‘I received a lot of complaints from customers during the weekend that lots of people were coming with a laptop and sitting and they couldn’t have a table.’

Mojgan Mohajer (pictured), 51, decided on the ban after loyal customers struggled to get a table during busy periods

But, while welcomed by some, the move has upset other customers at England’s Lane cafe in Belsize Park, north London

But, while welcomed by some, the move has upset other customers at England’s Lane cafe in Belsize Park, north London. Francesca Specter says the ban amounts to bullying of those who want to spend time alone.

The 28-year-old blogger said she felt forced to leave the cafe after trying to read a Sunday newspaper on her iPad.

She added: ‘I live by myself and part of my weekend routine is I go and get some headspace and enjoy breakfast and brunch by myself at one of the local cafes. The owner took one look at the iPad I was reading my paper on and said you can’t do that in here.

‘I thought it was a situation where I was being bullied and I was by myself so I was in this minority. I had to leave and haven’t been back since.’

Miss Specter – who runs a website celebrating being alone – shared her experiences online and said many cafe regulars agreed that the policy was ‘ridiculous’. However, Miss Mohajer said it was a shame customers could not come in and enjoy each other’s company without technology.

Francesca Specter (pictured) says the ban amounts to bullying of those who want to spend time alone. The 28-year-old blogger said she felt forced to leave the cafe after trying to read a Sunday newspaper on her iPad

She added: ‘I was really upset. I just want to encourage them to be social and to enjoy the coffee, drinking, eating, and to talk to each other.

‘Nowadays with technology, people just don’t talk to each other.

‘I see parents coming and giving a device to their children and it makes me really upset. I think what are you doing, let your children play and just speak to each other or bring books for them, rather than this device.’ Miss Mohajer is not alone in wanting to curtail the use of electronic devices.

Last year the owners of the Dough Lover cafe in Brighton put a sign on its door stating, ‘This is a laptop-free zone’, arguing it will give customers more time to chat.

And Small Talk Tearooms in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, has no wi-fi for financial reasons.

Owner Ernie Goodwin said: ‘We just can’t afford it. People turn up, buy one coffee, and spend all day sat at a table using the wi-fi. It’s just sad not to see people talking any more.’

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