Fine those who reserve tables

There has been so much debate over the practice of "choping" but going by anecdotal evidence, more people seem to be against it.

As I see it, the only way to stop the practice is to impose a fine of, say, $1,000 on people who reserve big tables when their group is small - for example, two people choping a table meant for five.

Tables should be shared, and no one should be allowed to claim the whole table for themselves.

Tissues, umbrellas, office tags or other objects cannot be used to reserve tables. There has to be a person physically there while the rest of the group buys their food.

Signs can be put up at hawker centres to warn customers. Cameras should also be installed to monitor the situation and as a deterrence.

Resorting to the use of fines many not be the best way to correct behaviour. Education is the better approach.

But trying to bring about change through education takes time. With fines, the effect will be immediate and choping will be history.

Wee Gim Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'Fine those who reserve tables'. Print Edition | Subscribe