17-year-old junior college student wants Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to stop ‘No studying’ policy

Such policy discriminates against students, student claims.

Joshua Lee | October 11, 2018 @ 03:40 am

You know the drill.

You walk into a cafe and find yourself surrounded by students occupying every available seat.

Should cafes in Singapore allow students to hog seats? Should cafes actively invite such students out?

Well, one student here certainly thinks it is okay for students to take up cafe seats.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf no studying policy

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a rare chain cafe in Singapore that has implemented the policy against students studying in their premises, as the thinking is that limited seats are for actual customers with a higher turnover rate.

It was a move made some years back, which can be traced to 2009.

However, as expected, this policy has not gone down well with students looking for cafe seats to hog study at.

Student angry

One 17-year-old junior college student was even dismayed enough by such a policy to speak out against it recently.

In a contribution to Stomp on Oct. 10, 2018, the student argued for the “no studying” policy to be scraped.

This was after the student saw a “no studying” sign displayed at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s outlet at Compass One on Friday, Oct. 5, and was triggered because it was “discriminatory against students, especially when the peak period for customers is on (even during the national exam period)”.

The policy was not actively enforced, though.

According to the student, there were many others who were there studying at the cafe outlet at Compass One that day.

Not wanting to just accept that cafes are legitimate businesses in the business of making money by serving as many people as possible in a given day, the student went further to suggest that the cafe remove their “No Studying” policy:

“A better solution would be to encourage The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf staff to remove ‘no studying’ signboards in all of its outlets, especially when there are not enough seats available for students there or at other food shops or restaurants.”

But the student apparently did not pass on this suggestion to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf staff directly, reasoning that many others have already provided the same feedback.

No studying policy revisited

This is not the first time the “no studying” policy has come under the spotlight.

In 2009, MyPaper highlighted how cafe customers were annoyed with the sheer number of students occupying limited cafe seating.

One complaint was that there were at least 60 students hogging spaces in an 84-seat Starbucks outlet.

Out of the then three biggest coffee chains, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has remained the only chain that does not allow studying.

Starbucks and Spinelli do not have such policies.

Petty backlash

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s policy has been unpopular and has led to responses such as this HungryGoWhere review:

As well as this particular angsty letter, supposedly by a student, attacking The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for their not-so-student-friendly service.

However, Singaporeans, by and large, have made their sentiments known regarding this studying in cafes phenomenon:

No sympathy for lady who complained S’pore Starbucks staff made her leave as she was studying

Top image of CBTL’s Compass One outlet via Google


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