Reserving seats at food centres can lead to disputes

I would like to thank Mr Ronald Lee (Give hawker centre 'chope' culture the chop; March 20) for suggesting that the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee look into the issue of patrons "choping", or reserving seats at our hawker centres.

Ms Davi Beschizza, Mr Ho Meng Hee and Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng also shared their experiences of ungracious acts they experienced .

I, too, hold the view that the reservation of seats is ungracious and inconsiderate behaviour.

One of the recommendations of the Hawker Centre 3.0 Committee, of which I am a member, was that our hawker centres continue to serve our diverse community, and that we promote graciousness and consideration to foster a more pleasant experience for all.

To this end, the committee certainly encourages patrons to keep the environment clean for their fellow diners and to practise communal sharing of tables.

Quarrels over the reservation of seats have often erupted at hawker centres and food courts.

Many restaurants do not accept reservations at their establishments.

I would suggest that managing agents and operators consider putting up signs to the effect that no reservation of seats is allowed.

That will certainly prevent quarrels over "choping" rights and, hopefully, will discourage "choping" as a practice.

The new hawker centre at Our Tampines Hub has introduced a set of "house rules", which includes messages like "Don't chope seats" and "Share the table".

These house rules are prominently featured in the Wall Art Mural as a visual reminder to patrons.

William Wan

General Secretary
Singapore Kindness Movement

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline Reserving seats at food centres can lead to disputes. Subscribe