Have They Forgotten About Manners?

Here’s my sequel to an article I wrote about fast-food chains and student customers.

Have you ever been to a fast-food chain in front of, near, or within the vicinity of a university campus? If yes, then you would agree with me that often, these fast-food chains are swamped to the brim with students during lunch time and dinner time – normally around 11 in the morning to around 2 in the afternoon, and again at around 5:30 in the afternoon to about 7 in the evening.

Actually, this is good business – plenty of student customers.

But what if the students stay longer than necessary? This is a common sight in these fast-food chains: students studying; students in groups discussing assignments; students using their laptops and taking advantage of the free Wifi, etc.

And what if more than just stay very long, they also have the propensity to be very loud in their conversations?

I have been in these fast-food chains, and I tell you, things can get very nasty. I have seen managers desperately trying all means to “communicate” to these students that they are overstaying, like sending crew members to clean off tables even if the students are still seated, crew members asking the students if they will order again … things like these. But sadly, the students seem not to understand at all, or maybe they do, and they just don’t care.

I wonder if the students realize the consequences of their actions? For example, I’m curious if the students are conscious that the longer they stay inside the fast-food chains, the greater the loss for the business? The reason for this is simple: as potential customers see that the place is crowded with students (who are most often noisy), they leave and go somewhere else to dine or buy food. This is opportunity loss for the business.

Well, maybe its part of the calculated risk the fast-food chains took when they decided to put up their store within the “university belt”.  But that’s not my point here or why I wrote this piece. My hope is that the students will be more mindful of other people’s needs.  Let’s just say never mind the business, as it’s part of the risk they took when they chose the site or location. How to deal with the students is also the Manager’s challenge; and that’s beyond me.  My hope is that the students will be more sensitive to the needs of the other customers who want to eat and to enjoy what they are eating. In our dialect we call it “maayong pamatasan” – is this something that the younger generation now do not know anything about?

I remember one date I had with my hubby and our eldest daughter Myco a few days ago in Greenwich Divisoria. We were eating and then a group of 3 students came in and they took the table behind us. Then they started talking – errrr – were they? I don’t think the manner with which they exchanged words can be considered a normal conversation. Why? Because they were talking loudly, of course not to the point of shouting to each other but surely louder than normal, otherwise we would not hear every word they said. Well …

As for the other group of students last night … they were noisy because they were speaking loudly and laughing very loudly, unmindful that they were in a public place with plenty of people around. And my last thought? Maybe being loud was their way of calling attention to themselves … Tsk tsk tsk …

ps.

I wonder why a part of me is saying somehow, someone would be reacting to this article and say something like “if you want peace while eating, go somewhere else, not in fast-food chains near schools”. Well, if you’re thinking this, you have a point. I will certainly do that – avoid as much as I can crowded fast-food chains within the school district.  But here’s my last question on this topic: Is this just about me?

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3 thoughts on “Have They Forgotten About Manners?”

  1. This is one of our problems in the store on how to handle these students. It is okay to stay a little bit longer but when it comes to rush hours, even if they were done eating their lunch, they still don’t mind that many other people are waiting for them to stand just to have their lunch as well… Also, when they start to talk, they talk so loud that almost all the people inside would notice them, maybe because they get so excited to have chit chat or they don’t care at all if it annoys the other people.

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