If the thread title is pertaining to restaurants, then discussing this in a food centre, kopitiam or hawker centre context is a bit off topic.
This takes time and is not a behavioral change that can be achieved in a short time.
Even among restaurants, there are more than one type.
• high end restaurants (fine dining)
• hotel restaurants
• mid size to large restaurants in other premises
• fast food "restaurants"
• very small food eatery that calls itself a restaurant
I don't think restaurant owners want customers to return the crockery/cutlery/etc:
• There will be too much traffic between the seats.
• An open bin area in the middle of the restaurant for return of crockery/cutlery/etc with half eaten food etc... is an open eye sore.
• How to explain the service charge to customers
• Fear of losing customers to other restaurants who do not practice this
• What if an untrained and clumsy customer drops the expensive crockery on the floor and smashes them?
• What if an untrained and clumsy customer drops the crockery/cutlery/half eaten food on to other seated customers on the way to the tray return bin?
• What if some customers do return and some don't? This is very likely.
• Restaurant wait staff become "spoiled" and refuse to clear any crockery/cutlery/etc insisting that is not their job spec.
• If the dinner is an elaborate multi-course meal for many diners, the number of crockery/cutlery/etc is a lot. It is not a simple case of one plate, fork and spoon.
Since it is a good example to start at the top, perhaps at the next Istana dinner or at a dinner where big guns attend or at company dinners attended by the CEO, top management and company staff - the relevant important people can clear their own crockery/cutlery afterwards. But if they say, don't be silly...they are different class altogether and surely you don't expect them to do this. They are not ordinary people. Well, maybe they are right.
Last edited by ricohflex; 21st May 2013 at 10:26 PM.
My point is: Why do these folks need these jobs? There is something wrong if a society purposely leaves certain jobs to the old folks so that they can earn a living - because the social / welfare / pension system is obviously a massive shortfall to give these old folks a decent living after a long time of hard work for family and company. Instead of developing smart solutions for fast return of tray and utensils what is maintained is a slow and labor-intensive solution, supporting a complacent and selfish mindset of the food court patrons. Secondly, don't you think that it would be actually betetr for these old folks to work in a fixed tray return station instead of pushing around carts heavily loaded? Again, have a look at IKEA ...
I don't want to use any 1st world / 3rd world terms here, but to me smart solutions serve other purposes than complacency and patching up of holes in a twisted income / pension system. And just the fact that old folks do these jobs does not make it a good thing that can be kept.
Blaming is pointless, although a large portion of the SG society has discovered this as their favourite past time, especially in the Internet. Blaming is pointless because that would suggest that there is or was a single source / person / decision from where the current situation originates. But there is no such thing as single source or cause. One can start with the design of CPF and its introduction, going over demographic changes, external influences and other factors to arrive at the current status. But what can be done is a) asking for tray return solutions; and b) using them; c) review the CPF and other systems to get these old folks a decent pension to live from.
very soon govt will ask you to wash the plates yourself
1) buy your own food with 10% service charge cause the hawker is doing you a service by cooking your food
2) rent your chair and table at a per 30min rate, higher rental for a nicer spot e.g. under a fan
3) bring your own utensils to the washing area
4) insert $1 coin to dispense water and soap for washing (additional $1 is required to dispense a sponge)
5) insert $1 coin to dry utensils in dryer machine
6) return the utensils to the particular stall at a $2 service charge because they help you to keep the utensils clean
Sigma 2470 & 70200 f2.8 | EM1 | Oly 1240 f2.8 | EM5 | Oly 1250 | Pana 45150 | Ricoh GRD IV
Ho ho ho, very nice campaign.
Wasn't there a food center where youth volunteers were deployed force customers to return their utensils? Whoever runs the cleaning service/food center managed to pass the clearing cost onto the taxpayers/volunteers/customers. Better yet, society should label those who do not return as selfish, inconsiderate, lazy, etc etc and attach some kind of social stigma there. That way we can all hide the fact that what we're seeing is the withdrawal symptom from over-reliance on foreign labor and pretend it's an issue of lack of courtesy and social grace.
Why not get school kids to patrol the food centres to force patrons to return their utensils?
Sg can turn this into a community service kind of thing.
School kids are required to fulfil a quota of community service hours anyway. MOE just need to up those hours so every weekend there will be one class deployed at each food centre. This activity instills discipline, kindness, consideration and leadership in the kids. After all, helping the 80 year old cleaning lady with her job can only be a good thing, right?
Also, the food centre operator or coffee shop owner can pocket an ever larger profit. Children spend their time doing meaningful work instead of taking drugs. A total win-win situation for all.
The perfect synergy resulting in higher privatised profits and hidden socialized costs.