There aren\u2019t many cities that are as connected as San Francisco. The tech-savvy young people who make up an increasing share of this city\u2019s burgeoning population are seemingly never without their smartphones and laptops.\n\n\nAnd that can be a problem for caf\u00e9 owners like Chris Hillyard.\n\n Chris Hillyard \n\nChris Hillyard at Farley\u2019s East in Uptown Oakland.\n\n\n\n\u201cWe had people who would come in and sit with their laptops all day and just order a cup of coffee,\u201d says Hillyard, whose family has owned Farley\u2019s on San Francisco\u2019s sunny and gentrifying Potrero Hill for 28 years. \u201cWhen you\u2019re trying to keep a business profitable that\u2019s really a problem,\u201d\n\n\nFaced with too many tables that rarely turned over, Hillyard reluctantly made a change last year. He posted a sign inviting customers to \u201cTalk to your neighbor, play a board game, read a magazine, or write poetry.\u201d And more to the point, the sign said: \u201cAs part of the effort to make the caf\u00e9 more accessible for everyone, our new Wi-Fi policy is two hours of free access.\u201d\n\n\nImplementing the policy wasn\u2019t hard \u2013 he just changed a few settings in his commercial Wi-Fi account. Customers log onto a web page and if they exceed two hours the connection drops and they can\u2019t log in again for 12 hours.\n\n\nThere hasn\u2019t been a lot of pushback from customers. \u201cThere\u2019s a few people we don\u2019t see anymore, but mostly people understand,\u201d Hillyard says.\n\n\nA few miles away in the Mission District, ground zero in the city\u2019s gentrification wars, the managers of Caf\u00e9 St Jorge are a bit firmer in their approach to the problem. \u201cDo you like it here?\u201d a sign on the wall asks. \u201cSo do others. Please limit your table time to 60 minutes.\u201d\n\n\nThat sign has been there for some time, but even so there are days when the laptop contingent fills up nearly every table. \u201cIt\u2019s not just the money that bothers us,\u201d says Chris, the manager, who preferred not to give his last name. \u201cWe\u2019re a restaurant. We love it when a family comes in and has lunch and has a good time. We don\u2019t want to turn them away because every table is full with people using this as their workplace.\u201d\n\n\nOver in trendy Noe Valley, Jaime Guerrero, the owner of Martha and Brothers, is struggling with the same issue. Last year he noticed that the free Wi-Fi was slow and sometimes spotty, so he upgraded his hardware.\n\n\nSpeeds improved markedly, but that also kept customers sitting longer at the caf\u00e9\u2019s tables. So far, Guerrero has avoided limiting the Wi-Fi. \u201cI\u2019m kind of on the fence about it. But if it gets to the point that we don\u2019t have tables \u2026 ,\u201c he says, his voice trailing off.\n\n\nLots of people in this city work at home and need to get out of their apartments for at least part of the day. The free Wi-Fi is an obvious attraction, but the social setting and strong coffee in San Francisco's many\u00a0caf\u00e9s are probably just as important. Coffee house owners tend to be friendly, gregarious types, but in a historically low-margin business that depends on table turnover, cutting back on Wi-Fi is a survival strategy.\n\n\nIt\u2019s just another front in the ongoing war that is San Francisco these days.