NEWS

Montreal coffee shops ban cellphone use, ditch wifi

07/27/2015 06:43 EDT | Updated 07/27/2016 05:59 EDT
Some Montreal coffee shops are banning cellphones and other technological devices to make their establishments tech-free zones.

The Camellia Sinensis Teahouse in Montreal has had a ban on cellphones for the last five years.

"We were not really happy about the way the atmosphere was in our place," said Kevin Gascoyne, co-owner of The Camellia Sinensis Teahouse.

"We have a little teahouse that's very focused on tasting...so we really wanted to create that atmosphere. We found that projected voices going into cellphones didn't really suit the environment."

Gascoyne says the teahouse also had wifi for a while, but that didn't last long either.

"We ended up with a room full of screens. It just didn't go with the atmosphere we were trying to create," Gascoyne said.

At Caffè Mille Gusti on St-Zotique Street, owner Joe Scalia says offering free wifi is good for business.

"People love the wifi and they use it when they get free access," he said. "It's a service I offer. I brings people in."

But Scalia admits he occasionally has to crack down on customers.

"If a customer walks in and just uses the internet and has one coffee...if they've been there for an hour, I basically tell them, 'I have customers coming in who would love the table. Do you mind using the counter?' I do enforce a little law."

To hear the full discussion that took place Monday on Radio Noon, listen to the audio link.

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