SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The question about the limit of ‘acceptable behavior’ at coffee shops is sparking a massive public debate.
The controversy broke out after a man and a woman at a cafe in the southeastern port city of Busan took up an entire table for six people to engage in a three-hour ‘hair salon’ practice last month.
The coffee shop was out of seats at that time.
Students and businesspeople who enjoy studying or working in a coffee shop atmosphere have now become major customers at cafes.
There are moments of frustration, however, when some students take up large-sized desks for themselves, asking other customers to quiet down.
Some people leave their belongings behind to come back after lunch.
“They seem to believe that if they can read books or study at cafes, they can also engage in similar activities that are more like their hobbies,” said Lee Eun-hee, a consumer studies professor at Inha University.
Major cafe franchises either refuse to provide electricity or Wi-Fi or publicly ban customers from bringing in food.
When it comes to unexpected activities, however, the coffee shops are less prepared.
Some experts argue that public humiliation or stricter regulations aren’t enough to put a stop to such activities.
“Everybody goes to coffee shops simply because there isn’t enough free space outdoors,” said Yoo Hyun-joon, a professor of architecture at Hongik University.
“Installing an additional number of outdoor benches is the most economical way to resolve the issue.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)