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Mar 11, 2010 01:51 PM

Rose Beranbaum Got Charged "Forkage Fee" for Bringing Her Own Dessert


Saw this article about Rose Beranbaum being charged the so-called forkage fee for bringing her own cake to eat in a restaurant and got somewhat confused.

Beranbaum explains what happened that day on her own blog: condemning the restaurant for its lack of hospitality. Apparently, she got a lot of support.

Personally, I have never even thought of bringing my own food into a restaurant. I've brought my own wine a few times, but that's only because the restaurant doesn't serve wine. Whenever corkage fee applies, I gladly pay. What I want to know is: is it common for people to bring in their own dessert and expect a restaurant to provide utensils at no charge?

Beranbaum gave the server her business card to let him know who she was and even offered a piece of cake to the pastry chef. I'm not saying that's wrong (even though I would never do that even if I were a food celeb), but is this type of thing routinely done? It seems kind of condescending to me.

  1. people will sometimes bring in a cake or other dessert when celebrating an occasion at a restaurant. it's typically cleared with the restaurant in advance, and most places will charge what's known as a "cake cutting fee" to recoup some of the cost of the lost dessert sale. i understand why some do it for a birthday or milestone celebration where there may be a personalized cake involved (or when the celebrant or honoree has allergies and the restaurant can't accommodate them). but i don't think it's appropriate to bring your own dessert for a random dinner. in fact, in this particular instance i have to side with the restaurant and say that it was extremely presumptuous of Ms. Berenbaum, and they had every right to charge her. i wasn't there, so whether or not the restaurant staff was as "haughty" about it as she claims in her blog remains unsure. perhaps the "forkage fee" was a bit high - had they ordered two desserts off the Breslin menu, the cost would have been about $18. still, i say the restaurant had every right to handle the matter the way they did.

      1. Since there's already an active thread on this subject, we're going to lock this one.