Students hogging seats at cafés

JC student's complaint about a 'No Studying' sign at Coffee Bean outlet sparks backlash.

Hannah Toh

Published: 12 October 2018, 11:31 PM

Students are a common sight at most major coffee joints.

You can find them hogging tables at popular establishments, such as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Starbucks, with their notes and laptops.

While there are signs that politely ask students to refrain from studying during peak hours, many do not take heed to the request.

What’s going on?

Such signs are a common sight in major coffee joints. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/HANNAH TOH

On Oct 10, a junior college student submitted a story to Stomp, under the username ChanRic, about a ‘No Studying’ sign he spotted at the The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlet at Compass One.

The student felt that the sign at the café was “discriminatory against students”.

In just a day, the article was shared over 600 times on Facebook. Most netizens applauded the management and criticised the student, calling him “entitled” and “inconsiderate”. Others tried to empathise with the student.


Youth.SG did a quick poll about the ‘No Studying’ sign backlash.

This is not the first time seat-hogging students in cafés surfaced in the news. On Jun 7, Stomp published an article about customers getting frustrated by students hogging seats at Starbucks outlets.

However, the recent Coffee Bean incident has left many netizens divided over the issue.

Some youths believe that students should not be allowed to study in cafes at all.

“Students should not be allowed to study at cafés as they tend to take up spaces for long periods of time,” said Amanda Xue, a 20-year-old business student.


Some believe that students who hog seats will cause an establishment to lose money.

Similarly, biomedical student Ho Jun Hean, 19, felt that having students studying in cafes might make other patrons feel wary about their surroundings.

He said: “Instead of being able to relax and laugh with your friends in the café, other patrons might feel pressured to keep their volume down to be considerate towards those who are studying.”

On the other hand, some youths felt that students should still be allowed to study in cafés during less crowded periods like non-peak hours.

Research assistant Ng Chen Kian felt that students could consider purchasing a reasonable amount of food and drinks if they are planning to stay longer.

Many students tend to stay in cafés with a single drink. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/HANNAH TOH

The 26-year-old added: “Cafés can still earn from people who study on their premises. However, if these people stay too long, the cafés may lose other potential customers.”

Clarie Sng pointed out that people who study in cafés are also customers and they usually buy a drink or some food.

The 18-year-old visual communication student said: “A customer should be allowed to stay on the premises until they’ve finished their food or drink.”

What’s your take? 

1. Should cafés allow students to study on their premises? Why?

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