The Factory Cafe on Burnet Road goes laptop-free

In a unique move, Austin’s The Factory Cafe decided this week to ban customers from using laptops in the space.

Image via The Factory Cafe
Image via The Factory Cafe

The cafe, which calls itself a “creative sanctuary,” announced the decision on its social media channels on Tuesday with a graphic saying, “No laptops! Talk to each other” and the caption, “Starting tomorrow, Dec 7th [sic], we are going laptop-free! Make new friends, be inspired, find your muse.”

The Factory Cafe, which opened in the former Saladworks space on Burnet Road earlier this year, is one of Austin’s few coffee shops that doesn’t have a WiFi connection (Cuvee Coffee is another, and Radio Coffee and Beer turns its WiFi off at 5 p.m. when the happy hour crowd begins to show up).

The decision is an interesting one for a coffee shop in a city brimming with bloggers, freelancers, creatives and technology workers. U.S. News and World Report ranked Austin as the top metro area for working remotely, with 6.77 percent of the city’s nearly 1 million workers telecommuting at least half the time they are working. Austin is also home to four universities, a community college and various other institutes of higher education, with more than 70,000 total students who use spaces like Factory Cafe to study and work.

The cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and serves beer and wine, as well as a variety of decked-out waffles and snacks.

We’ve reached out to Factory Cafe for comment on their decision to go laptop-free.


‘Battalion’ says Texas A&M students drink more Starbucks than any other campus in America

America may run on Dunkin’, as the slogan goes, but according to an article in The Battalion, Texas A&M University runs on Starbucks.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, photo, Starbucks holiday cups appear on display at a store in New York. (AP Photo/Joseph Pisani)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, photo, Starbucks holiday cups appear on display at a store in New York. (AP Photo/Joseph Pisani)

A recent story in the school’s student newspaper examining the increased intake of campus caffeine consumption around finals week found that the university’s three Starbucks locations sell 119 gallons of coffee a day. That’s the equivalent of 1,270 cups of tall-sized (12 ounce) cups of coffee.

The Battalion even made an infographic out of their findings:

The Battalion.
The Battalion.

Assistant director of Chartwells dining services Ben Walters said that number places A&M’s Starbucks locations first in revenue among college campus spots in the country.

“At the Hullabaloo location we do about 700 transactions a day,” Walters told The Battalion. “At Starbucks Evans, they do close to 2,000 and the Corps store being close to 1,000.”

More: Starbucks: Schultz to step down as CEO, focus on innovation

And according to Walters, A&M students are consuming more and more caffeine as finals week draws near.

“We’re seeing more of, ‘I’ll have drip coffee with shots of espresso’ or, ‘Iced coffee with espresso in it.’ We’re constantly having people ask us how to get more caffeine,” he said.

More: Austin among top 10 ‘cities for coffee fanatics’

Recently, Texas A&M health researchers released an infographic that listed eight reasons to quit drinking coffee. Among the reasons were increased stress hormones, which may not help when you’re cramming for that biology final.

But, no matter how much coffee Texas A&M students drink, Austinites can rest assured that they still live in Texas’ most caffeinated city (at least, according to WalletHub).