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With space already limited by safe distancing, stalls should not reserve tables at coffee shops

While dining at a coffee shop at Block 46 Owen Road in the Kallang/Whampoa estate recently, a sticker pasted on the table caught my eye.

With space already limited by safe distancing, stalls should not reserve tables at coffee shops
Eleanor Tan

While dining at a coffee shop at Block 46 Owen Road in the Kallang/Whampoa estate recently, a sticker pasted on the table caught my eye.

It stated that the table and chairs were reserved for the stall directly in front of it.

This made me wonder if such a practice is anti-competitive.

I recall the ruckus at the Newton Food Centre many years ago, when patrons were almost bullied into ordering from certain stalls.

They had unknowingly sat in areas unofficially marked as belonging to those stalls. Eventually, the authorities had to intervene.

While coffee shops are privately run, their purpose is to serve the masses. As such, patrons ought to be free to sit wherever they wish.

This would then be similar to hawker centres run by the National Environment Agency, where there are clear signs indicating that patrons are free to choose where to sit.

With seats in coffee shops already scarce because of safe-distancing precautions against Covid-19, such practices of reserving tables and seats for certain stalls should not be condoned.

Could the relevant government agency shed light on this matter, please?

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

coffee shop NEA safe distancing

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