Coffee Shop Meetings

So, we have all likely done it, met someone at a coffee shop for some reason (lots of reasons there).  I have met lots of people at coffee shops for all sorts of reasons.  I have also spent plenty of my work days at a coffee shop as I am blessed with a position that allows me to get my work done there (or anywhere honestly) when I need a change of venue.  That said, as I spent most of my day in a coffee shop yesterday, some observations/questions came to mind that I thought I would share.  So here we go…

Arrival Time

Do you arrive right on-time, likely sitting in the parking lot for a bit (if you were smart and arrived early for the meeting)?  Or, do you get there plenty early, order your coffee, take a call, get some work done, and then hope that the person you are meeting is on-time?  Upside there is that you are set and comfortable before your meeting, get to pick your spot, guarantee there is a spot for your meeting if it’s crowded, and avoid the awkward “who buys the coffee” moment when ordering.  The risk there is what if you both get there early – then what?  Who buys coffee?  I think that the answer to all of these questions varies if it’s a business meeting, personal meeting, and for either of those it also varies if it’s the first meeting.  Oh dear, I haven’t even considered if it’s a date-like meeting!  I have been married too long to chime in on that one, but would love your input there.


Assuming it is just two of you, do you go for the comfy seats (if they exist there), or is that awkward if it is a business or first meeting? You would be much more comfortable, but if the chairs are on a 45 degree angle, is that weird to talk?  Of if the chairs are close (which they are some times), will your legs bump if you are crossing them?  Definitely uncomfortable for business stuff.  Business aside though, do you go for the high-top table, two-person only table, or spread out with a table for 4, even if there is only 2.  Oh wait, maybe we should sit outside?  There is also a “bar” at some shop, so keep that in mind.

What to Order?

Is it cool to order a muffin or something if you are meeting up with someone, or is that just rude to eat in front of them?  Or does guilt them into getting something maybe they didn’t want?  Or what if you are starving, but you walk up together and they say they will get it – probably not cool to order a $7 sandwich, or even a $2 bagel at that point.  Ugh.  On the drink side too, clearly if they end up buying you want to keep it reasonable and simple.  I am easy that way – black coffee – cheap and impossible to screw up.  You probably do not want to be “that guy” who fires up the “venti half-caf, extra-hot, non-fat, no-whip, almond milk vanilla latte with only 2 pumps and double-cup” drink.  Man, that says a lot, and you may have heard me rant about that before.


There are also considerations on where to meet and when to meet, but maybe I’ll save that for another blog.  This one ended up a bit longer than planned, so I’ll give you a break.

But if you look above, you’ll realize all the decisions that have to be made when the simple “Hey, let’s meet up for coffee” suggestion comes out.  Not so easy eh?

I will end with my approach: get there early, order black coffee, table for four, and do not order food unless it’s a close friend – then all bets are off.  You can sit together in one comfy chair at at that point. 🙂


Have a great day!!


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  • Jared B. Tremper

    Wait, what abut waffles?

    • You fall under the “close friends, all bets are off” section. 🙂

      • Jared B. Tremper

        Good! More crème Chantilly, please 🙂

  • Ron Lilek

    What really bugs me is when you meet someone for coffee and they don’t order coffee. This has happened to me several times and has been a major contributor to my various neuroses. IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT!

    • It’s a sign of their character Ron – clearly not cut out to be hanging out with a man of your caliber!

      • Kathy Johnson

        Some of us don’t drink coffee but are more than happy to meet my coffee drinking colleagues there!

  • Webster

    If I’m meeting a customer, I keep it to coffee, no food, and I buy. If meeting with a good friend, then I offer to buy. If meeting with an “acquaintance” who I suspect is going to give me a sales pitch, I let out a low, non-descript murmur that could appear as an offer to buy, then wait for the other guy to counter-offer. On this subject, however, I think you should write a blog, and something to your congressman, about the nature of the coffee line. There should be 2 lines: one for coffee, and one for those who need to order the complicated coffee concoctions (Frappuccino, etc.) It peeves me when someone (especially when it’s a man) steps up and orders something that takes 2 minutes to order and 5 minutes to make, and the coffeehouse isn’t properly equipped to handle this without a pause in the line. I know, small inconvenience as compared to other, real problems in the world so just chock this up under grumpy 53 year-old.

    • First World problems Dave – but I hear ya. I’ll get on the Congressman writing thing right away!

      • Ron Lilek

        Dave has a great point. Why should the good old coffee drinking public have to wait in line until the pampered elitists get their fancy, bourgeois drinks?

        • I look forward to visiting the first location of Ron’s Black Coffee ONLY! Fastest drive-thru ever!

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