Coffee, Tea and Your Meeting Place


The need to meet is real.

Friends connect for coffee and conversation.

Book clubs linger  over  lattes.

Colleagues join us for a spicy chai meeting of the minds.

Starbucks THRIVES off  our need to meet and connect. Coffee shops act as a mobile office to many – especially those with home offices.

When you’re meeting out, personally or professionally, do you patronize your place?

Do you buy a little something from the business as  rent payment? A scone? A steaming cuppa Early Grey?

If you don’t,  you probably should.

Don’t misunderstand. Last I checked, Starbucks is doing just fine without your purchase of a salted caramel mocha. They get that they are in the comfort people business – not the coffee business. They know how to make us feel warm & cozy. They LOVE when we gather at one of their 1,000’s of locations. Even when we don’t make a purchase 100% of the time.

Full disclosure: I’m a straight-up tea girl.  But when I meet up with friends or a business connection at a Starbucks or  the local coffee shop, I’ll at least buy a bottle water or tea.

While we’re on the subject of meeting others for coffee/tea, I’d love your opinion – and so would my friend Laura who asked these great questions:

If you decide to meet at 10AM, do you get there early so you’ll already have your beverage at 10?

What if your people are already seated when you arrive fashionably 5 minutes late. Do you check-in with them before waiting in line? Or simply place your order and get your morning cup of jolt before joining them?

Curious minds want to know your thoughts…

I want to know your thoughts!


Mind Your Manners,


  1. I have two work related meetings a month at a coffee shop in a nearby town. Like you Kelly, I am not a coffee drinker, and I prefer eating breakfast at home, but I will always get an iced or hot tea. I will also sometimes get a lunch to go if our meeting ends mid or late morning. I see it as an exchange of sorts; we used their table, chairs, and wi-fi, so I feel like I should purchase something. Someone in our group usually orders a breakfast or pastry. I like the shop and their products so it is not a problem, but rather a treat.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for weighing in Maureen! I like how you frame it: an exchange.

  2. My favorite is Panera – they encourage meetings as evidenced with their large conference/dining tables – great for study groups; community meetings, etc. I recently visited a corporate location in Lexington, MA where the manager shared with me that they try new concepts at that location. We can look for kiosks to enter your order in addition to the counter & staff serving to your table! That will answer Kelly’s question of checking in with your group vs. ordering.

    My 2¢ — arrive early, order your beverage and be ready to begin at the starting time; similar to what I share with employees — 8:00 is start work time, not arrival time…….. Be courteous to your fellow attendees, respect their time. If an unfortunate circumstance prevents a prompt arrival, call and let someone know. IMHO, being habitually late sends the message that you do not respect other peoples time, it’s all about you instead of the contribution you make to the group. Now I’m stepping down from the soap box. 🙂

    • Kelly

      All wise words Barb! Thank you for contributing your 2cents. I’m excited that Panera will be trying cool new ways or ordering. Panera is one of my favorites too….and a perfect meeting space.

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