Upset at the thought of having to eat his piping hot meal without utensils, one diner took to Facebook on Sunday (May 28) to complain about his experience.
In his post on Complaint Singapore Facebook page, diner Andy Ang said he ordered a meal of fries and chicken wings, and was refused utensils by the staff over at Heng Heng Western Food located in an Hougang coffee shop.
Ang posted that the staff told him that they "cannot allow customers to use utensils" if they only purchase fries and chicken wings.
Instead, they are provided paper towels or told to use their hands instead, he said.
"They mentioned in the past when they use paper plates, customer threw their utensils away. But now even when they manage to switch to ceramic plates, they are somehow still worried about that," he posted.
Ang said he even offered to wash the utensils after use, and assured the staff that he "won't be so stupid to throw it away".
However, his request was denied, he claimed.
In the comments thread, he said that he was stunned when his request was rejected, adding that this "business [is] run by a clown".
When approached, the manager of the stall then told him that they've been operating for 40 years, and they have not been providing utensils to those who order only fries and wings.
Ang maintained that wasn't the case in the past.
"Amazing service requiring their customer to make special requests to use utensils which they have available for western food" the customer added onto his Facebook post.
Comparing with prata stalls, Ang said: "All prata stores I have been to, allow customers the option to use utensils (prata is traditionally eaten using hands) but not this western food store, what a special place and experience."
After much negotiation, Ang said he was given a plastic fork.
He expressed his frustration to the manager on "how ridiculous it is" for him to have to go through such extent to get utensils.
The manager assured Ang that she'll bring up the matter with the owner but said they "seldom get complaints" about this policy of theirs.
'Customer kicked up a fuss': Stall
When contacted by AsiaOne, a staff over at Heng Heng Western Food said that this is not the first time Ang has caused a scene over there regarding utensils.
She said that Ang had been told repeatedly that only napkins and sauce are given to those who order finger food, but the diner apparently refused to accept their policy.
In the incident, she said their staff offered disposable cutlery to Ang, but he refused to use it.
"This is not the first time he has bought from us. He has been here three times before and has complained about this every time. But he still comes back knowing that we do not provide utensils," she said.
"We have told him to calm down before, and that this can be discussed nicely."
She explained that utensils are only provided to those who order rice and main dishes.
In an interview with AsiaOne, Ang said that it's untrue that he had gone to that stall on three different occasions and complained about their no-utensils policy on those three times.
This 20-plus year-old shared that he has been patronising that stall since he was in primary school, and that's the first time he has encountered this policy.
However, he said that he will be removing his Facebook post, adding that his only intention posting about his experience was to highlight their policy, and that he has decided not to escalate the matter.