A diner couldn’t believe his eyes after he was asked to fork out a “cakeage” fee for simply bringing a birthday cake to a restaurant.
Ivor Baddiel, from London, called the restaurant ahead of a birthday lunch to find out whether they could bring their own cake.
Much to his surprise, the man was told his table would be charged $17.40 [£10] per head in return for cutting and plating up the dessert.
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“I asked the restaurant I’m going to a birthday lunch today if we could bring a cake with to be brought out at the end of the meal,” he wrote on Twitter.
“They said yes, but they’d charge us cakeage (yes, cakeage) at £10 a head.
“What is this world we live in?”
His post has been “liked” more than 26,700 times with many divided over the cakeage fee.
“What a sad world it has become that you feel the need to justify this. Whatever happened to just doing a good deed for a party of people who, no doubt, have spent a considerable amount of cash already?” one wrote.
Another said: “Celebrated my son’s 30th birthday recently and took a cake to the restaurant, absolutely no issue and the staff got a great tip from us. Had there been cakeage we would have left earlier and eaten it at home.”
While one added: “I have no issue with a charge of some kind, similar to corkage, because of course it’s an eatery, but $17.40 per head is a lot.
“A flat fee of $35 would be fair, and ensure they don’t lose out, but depending on guest numbers, that’s an extra $120 to $175 on the meal.”
Meanwhile, many said they were happy to pay the cakeage fee.
“It’s really rude to take your own food to a restaurant. Would you take your own conditioning treatment to the hairdresser and ask them to apply it? Or home-brewed cider to the pub and ask them to serve it?” one woman wrote.
“Tell them it’s a birthday, order their dessert and I’m sure they’ll add a candle.”
Another said: “It’s simply because you’re taking up table time, service, washing up etc. They need to earn so much per person per hour of service.
One wrote: “So you want the staff to cut the cake, serve the cake with plates and cutlery, remove the dirty plates and cutlery, wash and dry the plates and cutlery, put them away and the owner to pay the staff all while losing dessert sales. Sounds very reasonable of you.”
While another added: “That’s fair. If you’re eating cake you don’t buy dessert, you make plates dirty that need washing… bringing your own food is a big hassle for restaurants, many don’t allow it at all.”