Give hawker centre 'chope' culture the chop

Packets of tissue paper being used to reserve a table at a hawker centre. Mr Ronald Lee says such a practice should be disallowed.
Packets of tissue paper being used to reserve a table at a hawker centre. Mr Ronald Lee says such a practice should be disallowed.ST FILE PHOTO

There is one issue which the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee should address - the use of packets of tissue paper to "chope", or reserve, hawker centre tables ($90m fund lined up to boost hawker trade; March 9).

This practice is common among the lunchtime office crowd. For instance, tables for five or six are reserved with tissue paper, depriving single customers of a seat.

It is also not uncommon for a group of diners to stay on at the table after eating, chatting, playing games on their mobile phones, surfing the Internet or returning calls, oblivious to others who are looking for a seat.

The Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee has to look into this reservation practice. It is not amusing when elderly customers are forced to carry trays of food and go around in circles looking for a seat.

I suggest that the committee put up signs stating that reserving seats is not allowed, and that customers are free to sit at any table.

Ronald Lee Yew Kee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2017, with the headline 'Give hawker centre 'chope' culture the chop'. Print Edition | Subscribe