Dine with your parents and pay less

Dine with your parents and pay less
Early intervention therapist Lee Wei Ling (centre), 23, with her mother, Madam Yvonne Lam (left), 48, and sister Wei Ping, 19, at Lola's Cafe in Kovan. She was given a 10 per cent discount on the bill.

Eat with your family at a cafe - and get 10 per cent off your bill.

More than 200 families have taken part in an initiative that aims to encourage young people to spend more time with their parents.

Those who dine at 16 participating cafes with their parents or grandparents, and post a photo of themselves on Instagram, can get the discount.

The Meals With My Parents initiative, which started on Jan 15 and lasts until next Tuesday, was started by four Nanyang Technological University undergraduates.

They polled 200 people aged 19 to 25 last year and about 60 per cent of them said they do not show love to their parents, though almost all the respondents said it was important to do so.

"We hope to trigger caregiving behaviour by encouraging youth to perform simple acts of care for their parents and grandparents, such as spending time together over a meal," said undergraduate Shermaine Tan, 22.

She carried out the survey with fellow students Kwek Zhen Yi and Jo-ann Quah, both 22, and Deborah Loh, 23.

The poll was part of their A Call to Care campaign, which includes other activities that young people can do with their parents.

Owners of the participating cafes told The Straits Times that they decided to be part of the initiative as they support the idea of promoting family bonding.

Ms Jasmin Loh, marketing manager of d'Good Cafe at Holland Village, said: "Even when everyone is at home, people are likely to be doing their own individual thing.

"Perhaps the only time we talk and connect with one another is during meals."

Ms Kimberley Yeo, owner of Mean Bean and Wicked Grind in Beach Road, agreed, saying: "People don't spend enough time with their parents and this initiative will push youth to make the effort to do so."

Another poll by non-profit group Families for Life last year found that about half of 872 respondents were dissatisfied with the amount of family time they had.

Four in 10 had up to six hours of quality family time a week.

Early intervention therapist Lee Wei Ling, 23, got the discount after she went to Lola's Cafe in Kovan last month with her mother and sister.

They try to have meals together at least once a week.

"As a working person, there is very limited time to sit down and talk with my parents," she said.

"Cafes like this weren't around when my mother was younger, so the discount is also a good incentive to take her around to try food in different environments!"


This article was first published on Feb 10, 2015.
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