Dear Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, are students NOT CUSTOMERS?

By miffed student and Coffee Bean customer

Food for thought. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf establishment has always upheld a good reputation in the eyes of local consumers.

Compared to other competitors, coffee bean is not branded based on a "take away" culture. Hence, giving customers the comfort to consume their food and beverages in house.

HOWEVER, I think I speak for the large volumes of customers made up of students that are heavy and regular patrons. Yes, there is a common misconception that students are "hoggers", who purchase a single drink and sits for hours. This aside, lets ask every typical Singaporean quick to judge and scrutinize, are these students Coffee Bean's Customers as well? YES, a huge part of your market share comes from the sales of these same damn students that you treat with bias and disrespect.

Why is the cafe culture in Singapore being obsessively judged with such scrutiny and bias?

Take a situational example, Customer A purchases a single drink and sits for 5 hours. Customer Student B purchases 1 drink, 1 cake and sits for barely an hour. Who is being chased out? Or asked to move to a less comfortable seat to accommodate for another "customer"? You have your answer. Are seats allocated to specific customer profiles? If yes, please label seats accordingly then. Are students NOT CUSTOMERS?

Yes, there are students who may occupy seats for hours, but at during all this while, THEY SPEND LARGELY. (With the exception of the genuinely inconsiderate ones who hog seats by purchasing a single drink to consume for hours, screw them whether they are students or not) Regular customers will wisely know that not only "students" are hog-gers or single drink patrons. So Coffee Bean, could you please answer me?

Do you start chasing all customers that hog seats for a long time or just "STUDENTS" which is often the case in most of my observations? Simply, if one has a paper and pen in front of them, they are considered students? The main idea is that in a service oriented market, service staff should not label and categorize their customers according to STUDENTS and CUSTOMERS.

Why not, just ban studying in your cafe entirely if you treat "students" with such disrespect and not just "hoggers" as a whole. I have no issues if service staff simply remind their hogging customers that they have occupied the seats for too long a time during peak hours.

Please, for flying sakes, do not cheaply label only STUDENTS as hogging and inconsiderately ask them to move like they are bloody cattle sheep patronizing your premises without giving you business.

Service standards should not be compromised with such misjudgement. It does not mean that a student has less purchasing power, just because they are "studying".

Finally, how do you gauge and assess which customer should be asked to move in order to make way for "other customers". Please enlighten me and define your "other customers".


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