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Gloria Jean's CEO Explains Why Studying Is Banned At West Coast Plaza Outlet On Weekends

Gloria Jean’s CEO Says Some Table Hoggers May Study At Outlet For Up To 12 Hours

In local cafés, it’s common to see students mugging as they catch up with their coursework.

But this sight is becoming less common in Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ West Coast Plaza outlet, which banned studying on weekends and public holidays.

While this might be a mystifying decision to some, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has explained why.

Table-hogging situation had gotten worse lately

In an interview with Shin Min Daily News, Gloria Jean’s CEO Kevin Khoo, 39, outlined the background behind this move.

Since the West Coast Plaza outlet opened in January 2021, there’s been a steady stream of table-hoggers, he said.

However, the situation had gotten worse lately.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

People studying can take up half of Gloria Jean’s tables

At times, almost half the tables in the outlet would be taken up by people studying, Mr Khoo said. That amounts to about 20 tables.

Some of these table hoggers would frequently stay up to 12 hours.

Often, a pair of students would take up a table meant for four to six people with their laptops, bags and other stuff, he added.

Many times, a duo would order a S$6 drink between them, then just get continuous cups of free water and end up staying for eight hours.

They would also make use of many power sockets to charge their devices.

Table hogging seriously affects café’s profits: CEO

Needless to say, such behaviour seriously affects the café’s profits, Mr Khoo said.

This is in comparison with other customers who may order a drink each and share a cake.

They would spend at least S$12 and stay for just one hour.

Each table taken up by people who are studying makes S$90 less income a day, he estimated.

That means if 20 or more tables are taken up by such customers, the outlet would lose out on S$2,000 a day.

This would make the business unsustainable, he maintained.

Doesn’t want to add extra burden on staff

Some have suggested the chain take other measures to prevent table-hogging rather than an outright ban.

For example, they could implement a time limit for customers or a minimum spending limit.

However, Mr Khoo said these measures would place an extra burden on his staff, adding,

Besides, no measure can please everyone, he frankly admitted.

Since the studying ban took effect about one month ago, the situation has improved, he said.

In the last two weeks, there have been no complaints from customers about not being able to find seats, and most students have been understanding over the ban, he added.

Gloria Jean’s banned studying from 22 Sep

In case you missed it, Gloria Jean’s studying ban was announced via a Facebook post on 22 Sep.

They cited the “inconsiderate actions” of a few that forced the “inevitable” implementation of the ban.

Source: Gloria Jean’s Coffees Singapore on Facebook

Some people have even left their belongings unattended at tables for hours without making any purchases while returning with outside food and drinks, they said.

Such table hogging has also caused other guests to complain.

However, studying is still “most welcomed” on weekdays, the post read.

In an update two weeks later, Gloria Jean’s stood firm on the policy, saying in a comment that the majority were cooperative. The uncooperative minority would be asked to leave and “classified as persona non grata”.

Source: Gloria Jean’s Coffees Singapore on Facebook

They would also disregard “self-entitled reviews”, they added.

Also read: S’poreans Studying In Cold Storage On A Sunday Is Proof That We’re Study Level: Asian

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Featured image adapted from Eatbook.

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