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Wed, Jun 17, 2009
my paper
Studying at cafes? No problem

By Daryll Nanayakara

THREE major coffee joints, which have 130 outlets islandwide between them, do not stop students from hogging seats while they hit the books.

After all, the students are also customers who have purchased food or drinks.

However, if the place gets crowded, the cafe staff will request them to give up their seats to other customers.

Of the three chains, only The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which runs 43 cafes here, has a corporate rule against students using its premises as a place of study.

Signs urging them not to study are placed on the tables, but the rule is not enforced unless there is a huge crowd.

As for Starbucks and Spinelli, they say they do not have strict rules against people studying at their cafes. The two chains run a combined total of 87 outlets.

While it is not new, the issue of students using cafe outlets to study resurfaced earlier this month, when a my paper reader lamented about students hogging seats at coffee joints.

Mr NicWaterson, 41, a fraud investigator from Australia, said he was with his wife when they saw "at least 60" students studying at Starbucks' 84-seat outlet at Kallang Leisure Park.

"It is incredibly annoying... All they do is buy one cup of drink and sit down in large numbers for hours just to chat and study," he told my paper.

When contacted, a Starbucks spokesman said the company's 64 outlets are "community-gathering" joints for customers to "connect, work, relax, meet or simply socialise".

She added: "We try our very best to accommodate the needs of every customer and, as far as possible, we encourage students to make way for other customers... during peak trading periods."


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