Michael Jennings notes perceptively:
...I made the observation that cafes in Britain generally follow the Starbucks model and have only counter service. Generally I find this fine, but when I am working on my computer in a large cafe containing a substantial number of people, it is less so. My laptop is too valuable for me to leave it along on a table for even a short time while I go to the counter to get another cup of coffee. This is a circumstance when some table services would be a really good idea. It would reduce the nuisance factor for people like me, and it would also I think quite dramatically increase the amount of food and drink being sold to people using the WiFi service.
My comment at his blog:
There is an intermediate step: Counter-service for orders but with bussing of tables. The bus-staff could --- as a matter of informal practice --- be alert to customers like yourself (or those huddled in intense conversation) and offer to obtain refills etc etc for them.