Pay up if you don’t want a drink: Malaysia’s coffeeshops to charge for not ordering drinks

Coffeeshop owners, who usually only sell drinks, earn their income through rental from food stall owners and selling drinks.


A sign like this is now commonplace in Penang where surcharges are imposed on patrons that buy their meals in coffee shops. The trend though, hasn’t caught on yet in other parts of the country with restaurants in no hurry to levy corkage.

August 19, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – Coffee shop owner Micah Ooi, 37, often does not mind when patrons occupy a table without ordering any drinks.

But it soon became a habit. Customers would come in and order food from the hawker stalls, but not cough up a single sen for a drink.

Frustrated, Ooi decided to put up a sign telling those who don’t order drinks that they must pay a 50sen fee per person.

“Sometimes, up to five customers would sit at a table without ordering any drinks.

“Most of these customers were tourists and I felt they should order something at the very least,” he said.

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