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Charging for cakes

How common is it that restaurants charge you for bringing your own birthday cake to a restaurant where you are eating? I have never done this before but know people who have. In London at St Johns they charge £7.40 per person if you have slice of your own cake. I can see both sides of the argument. Just wanted to see how people feel about it? And how common this practise is among restaurants.

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  1. Cakeage make just as much sense as corkage - the restaurant is losing out on selling desserts after all. I've never encountered it myself but then I've never considered taking cake to a restaurant. (I am in the UK).

    1. £7.40 per person?! That seems horrendously expensive to me.

      I don't think it's the same as corkage for wine. I mean, there are plenty of restaurants that don't sell cake-like puddings so they can't exactly say you are bringing something they can offer. Also, it's a birthday for gods sake. I am sure the party will spend enough extra on food and drink to make up for missed desserts, plus it's not like they are going to bring a cake everytime thy come!

      In the pub I used to work in, if people had a birthday cake we would keep it in the kitchen, put candles on it and bring it out at the end of the meal. No charge, we just liked to do it!

      1. There was some heated discussion of both the practice of bringing cake to a restaurant and the practice of a restaurant charging a 'forkage' fee in this thread:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693956

        Personally, I think a forkage fee is reasonable for the restaurant to ask. I also think that the customer should clear it with the restaurant ahead of time that it's OK to bring a cake. And I think that it's in bad taste to bring a cake to a restaurant if they are able to prepare a cake for you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cowboyardee

          I agree that you should ask in advance, and that if they can make a cake then it would be better to look into that. And I suppose a small fee wouldn't be completely unreasonable. But £7.40 per person? Isn't that a bit much?

          1. re: Muchlove

            It's definitely steep. My first guess would be that such a high fee is the restaurant's not-all-that-subtle way of saying that they aren't totally OK with people bringing their own cake - the type of thing I might expect from a place that doesn't want to turn away business but is also sort of pissed that you didn't ask if said restaurant's pastry chef could make the cake instead.

            OTOH, if the restaurant is NOT able to make a birthday cake and they still charge that much for 'forkage' - then, yeah, that price is pretty unreasonable.

        2. The fee is ridiculous in this case, but the practice of charging is not. This place is clearly trying to discourage people from bringing food in. It doesn't say much for their hospitality, though. I'd be happy to pay corkage, and even a plate/fork charge, but that much? Ridiculous.

          1. I would expect a fee, and I would be very surprised if they didn't have one. I would not be surprised at a $25 fee for a whole cake.