Thankfully with the mushrooming of coffee shops in most urban centers around the world, people who travel to different places can still enjoy their favorite drink, hot or cold and even get to taste some new concoctions.
The coffee shops of today, however, have gone beyond just being a place to drink coffee and have some snacks. For some people, it’s become their comfort zone or even their home away from home. Customers now meet up with friends here to discuss projects or business apart from updating each other of their lives while some go here to study or go online via their laptops to check their mails and social media accounts. The others stop by to catch up with their work.
A study has also found that coffee shop customers often display a territorial behavior by marking their spot. Authors Mary C. Gilly, a marketing professor at UC Irvine and Merlyn Griffiths of the University of North Carolina looked into the habits of people at coffee shops through their research “Dibs! Customer Territorial Behaviors published in the Journal of Service Research.
After spending 103 hours observing and taking photos of customers and interviewing them, they concluded that coffee shop habitués normally mark their spot using their belongings for an indefinite period. They can do this even after consuming their drink and food.
According to the researchers, many of those guilty of showing this territorial behavior are the teleworkers who don’t have an office space and don’t often to work at home all the time. Although it’s not necessarily that they want to be with people, they just want to be around people while doing their work and not be home alone. Students are also part of this territorial group.
A common behavior of this group of people is they believe they can claim their space for as long as they want at coffee shops as long as they order drinks and food there. Oftentimes, these territorial customers are seen alone occupying a booth or a table that can accommodate two or more people. And when the shop gets filled, they will even defend their spot and reason out that the extra seat is reserved for a friend although it may not always be true.
For this behavior, the female authors stressed that coffee shops owners should have a clear cut policy notably in using space while still making their shop customer-friendly.
Photo courtesy of thespec