The Internet Cafe industry in US celebrated its 15th birthday recently, whereas in Malaysia it has probably been 13-14 years in existence. The number of cyber cafes around the world shows no sign of slowing down, and it will continue its growth in the following years.
I've read some articles about cyber cafe industry and one part of the article, which I read from internet-cafe-guide.com says:
"People want to be able to get online where they go, be it a park (with a laptop and a wireless access), a public library, or a cafe.
Industry cafés are still an emerging industry as there are very few established rules on how to start and run one. Therefore, every new cybercafe entrepreneur has the opportunity to create something unique within this dynamic industry. "
My personal opinion? I've got to say that complete agree with him. From my experience running a cyber cafe, a lot of people, especially visitors to your town especially those from urban areas highly depend on internet access to manage their works and contact.
However, not all cyber cafe customers are highly competent in using computers. Therefore, besides providing internet access service to them, there are several other services that you can provide to your customers such as printing services, a convenient store within your cyber cafe and providing personal computers (PC) or laptop repair and maintenance.
Ultimately, the best part of running an Open Source Cyber Cafe is that you can show off to your customers and to the public how FOSS can rely on it. One experience that I had was an encounter with a foreign customer who came my cyber cafe with his laptop infected with viruses and spywares. He asked me how I stop the virus from infecting his entire laptop. I asked him if he knows anything about Linux Operating System. He has, and he said it looks different from Windows XP although it is not too hard to use it. I then showed him one the workstation in my cybercafe which is installed with Ubuntu 8.10. I briefed him about Ubuntu and how Ubuntu can solve his virus problem. After seeing my demo, he grew interested in installing Ubuntu Linux on his laptop. He came to me the next day for installation. When it's done, I configured its 3G modem and showed it how easy it is to update its application in Ubuntu. Voila … here's one newcomer to FOSS and still a proud user at that.