Is It Okay to Stay and Work/Study for Long Hours in a Coffee Shop?
Nov 14, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Nov 14, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
This topic recently sparked a heated debate online after a Tiktok video of Scottish vlogger Dale Philip went viral. Pinoys’ opinions are quite divided on this particular coffee shop culture, with some disagreeing with what he said and others siding with the vlogger.
In the Scottish vlogger’s Tiktok video, he was walking right outside a coffee shop, seeing it full of people with laptops, books, and notebooks out, all of whom appear to be working or studying. He said he wanted to order but wasn’t able to do so due to the “big queue” and the lack of seats available.
“I was thinking about getting a Matcha Frappucino in there but a big queue. Yeah, I would hate to have a business where people just come and use it as their personal office, use your WiFi, your electricity, buy like one coffee.”
Addressing the people inside the coffee shop, he said in the video: “Just sit in your house, just sit in your condo, in your hotel room, and do your work. Why do you need to be sitting in somebody’s coffee shop with people disturbing you and coming in and out?”
@dalephilipvlogs Laptop Loitering Digital Nomads at Starbucks 🇵🇭 I visited SM City Mall in Baguio, Philippines. I was considering getting a Matcha Latte from Starbucks but when I saw it was full of laptop loitering digital nomads, I changed my mind. #Baguio #Philippines #Travel #TravelVlog #SoloTravel #BudgetTravel ♬ original sound – Dale Philip
According to Dale, the coffee shop is a Starbucks branch in SM City Baguio.
The video was originally posted last week, November 5, but went viral after X (formerly Twitter) user maroontito shared a clip on the platform. It has since garnered over 1.5 million views on Tiktok and 8.5 million views on X (formerly Twitter).
Some are defending the people who stay in cafes for long periods of time, while others say that the vlogger may have a point.
User maroontito pointed out how the vlogger didn’t bother protecting the identities and privacies of the people of whom he took videos.
The audacity of white people to make a living off of Filipinos while simultaenously criticizing our own culture and social norms. Didn’t even bother blurring their faces. Nakakainit ng dugo. pic.twitter.com/DhXT6yvbVl
— Ralph 🤓 (@maroontito) November 12, 2023
Others chimed in how this type of cafe culture is also being observed in other countries, not just the Philippines. Apparently, even in Scotland, where Dale is from. “As a Scottish person, it’s not different. Idk what he’s complaining about, students do it every where, whether it’s a campus coffee store or not,” one netizen wrote.
As a person who lives in Canada/been to America, Japan, and Europe, they/we all pretty much do the same thing. many office workers and students are doing this during their lunch breaks/after school. I just think that this guy is uncultured to café culture..
— cee cee (@divatuck) November 12, 2023
As a Scottish person, it’s not different. Idk what he’s complaining about, students do it every where, whether it’s a campus coffee store or not 😂 Hell, when I was a student, my friends & I PREFERRED coffee stores to the campus library hahaha
— Jo (@InMediasRes_1) November 12, 2023
Another Scottish user even claimed that the vlogger is probably only doing this for the engagement. “He’s only published this for the reaction he’s getting. Don’t give it to him.”
This guy is Scottish, and as a fellow Scot, I can tell tou we do this in Scotland too.
He’s only published this for the reaction he’s getting. Don’t give it to him.
— xctbl (@xctbl) November 12, 2023
Another netizen pointed out that this is probably part of the coffee shop’s business model, which also charges a premium to compensate for long stays like these. “Coffee shop culture is different everywhere,” the netizen wrote. “I know other shops that don’t allow laptops and that’s okay too.”
Coffee shop culture is different everywhere. Coffee shops know that people will do this so they charge a premium naman since it’s part of their business model. I know other shops that don’t allow laptops and that’s okay too 🤷♀️
— Gabby 🌸💕 (@gabbydario) November 12, 2023
Meanwhile, some netizens believe that Dale actually has a point, stating that some cafe-goers are abusing the system.
“Hindi naman bawal pero dapat maging sensitive man lang sa iba,” one said, while another pointed out, “Culture and social norms are not exempted from criticisms.”
I agree naman with him. Maraming customers ang gustong gumamit ng table pero paano kung dun na sila tumatambay ng ilang oras. Tapos isang drink lang ang inorder. Hindi naman bawal pero dapat maging sensitive man lang sa iba.
— Ronnie Tuason (@RonnieTuason) November 12, 2023
This is an L take. It’s high time you also call out people’s lack of courtesy. Hindi porket hindi pinagbabawal Pwede ng abusihin. Fr andami ngsstay s coffee shops all day tapos pag napagod iiwan ung gamit lalabas. Culture and social norms are not exempted from criticisms.
— Matches Malone (@jearachi) November 12, 2023
may point din naman sya actually! kairita din kasi mag starbucks tapos puno ang tables gawa ng mga naglalaptop nakikicharge or what ever!
— ograndeotario (@ograndeotario9) November 12, 2023
1hr is ok understandable if you stay but 5hrs or till the shop close maybe its kakapalan na ng mukha COFFEE lang binili mo hindi space or table
— Mark Rivers (@KramaArevir) November 12, 2023
An alleged former Starbucks barista even shared an anecdote of how a customer brought not just their laptop, but also their printer. Ooof.
Starbucks promotes itself as the “third place”, a place beyond the home and the office where people go and stay.
The same goes for their Philippines branches.“Third place is between home and work right? That’s where you come up with the third place, so we wanna be the third place,” Starbucks Philippines Noey Lopez told the media in 2022. “If we can be the first place, then even better. We don’t really mind.”
This echoes the sentiment of Starbucks as a whole: “We strive to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers. We do not have any time limits for being in our stores, and continue to focus on making the Third Place experience for every Starbucks customer.”
What do you think of this debate? Tell us in the comments.
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