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Etiquette on bringing cake to restaurant [moved from Manhattan board]

We are planning on celebrating my husband's 50th birthday at Malatesta Trattoria in Manhattan. I'd like to get a decorated cake from Billy's Bakery and do the whole candle thing. What is the etiquette -- are restaurants cool with this? Any special tipping guidelines or whatnot? I'd appreciate input.

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  1. You'd have to ask the restaurant ahead of time, but you can't just show up with the cake.
    They will usually charge a plating fee, but it's worth it as they can bring the pieces out already plated and possibly with a little extra decoration like coulis swirls, probably they can provide the candles too.

    1. Should be fine, provided that you call ahead.

      1. lucky hubby, very nice

        jfood has never had a problem with bringing a b'day cake to a resto. as other have and will tell you call ahead to the resto and ask if its OK and whether they will cut and plate. you can also ask the charge as well.

        please remember that there should be an increase in the tip (not as a percentage of the plating charge but somethng above this amount) as the server et. al. are performing additional services. jfod rule of thumb on this is see what an average dessert is and give the percentage based on that amount.

        1. As other hounds mentioned, you definitely need to call ahead and tell them about the cake. Also, many restaurants charge the per plate fee which I found to be very expensive. I was charged $3 per plate and $5 per plate in the past, and since the cake was quite big (sliced into 12 pieces), I was charged an additional $36 to $60 just for cutting the cakes (and using their plates and cutlery in a sense). While it was probably standard practice and may be even cheap compared to other restaurants, I still found that very expensive considered that I paid for the cakes myself.

          well, I guess sometimes this is the kind of money you will have to spend when it comes to special occasions

          1 Reply
          1. re: kobetobiko

            a $3-$5 plating charge is probably a third of what you'd spend per person on dessert in the restaurant. if you consider the labor and resources, and the fact they're doing you a favor, i think it's appropriate.

            now when you ask to bring your own entree and have the kitchen plate it and maybe add some sauce, well.....

          2. Yes case by case. If you can have the cake delivered to them earlier in the day, they will make room for your request.Cake cutting fees are also case by case, expect a charge and I agree with jfood's suggestion, do tip seperately as a show of appreciation for helping you with the dessert. If you are going to have candles, give them early so there is no last minute application along with a long lighter, makes it all go faster.