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Debate rages over restaurant’s $13 per person ‘cakeage’ charge to bring birthday cake from home

You have to pay to have your cake and eat it too at this restaurant.

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(Photo by CCISUL via Shutterstock)

By Amy Reast via SWNS

A man has sparked debate online after sharing how a London restaurant asked him for £10 per person in 'cakeage' fees - to bring a birthday cake to share at a family meal.

Ivor Baddiel, 59, tweeted his shock on Sunday (April 3) after calling up a restaurant in the capital - and being told he would have to pay £10 ($13.o7) per person to bring a birthday cake.

The dad-of-two, from north London, was visiting the unnamed restaurant for his son's 18th birthday with 11 other family members.

He had hoped to bring his son's cake for the family to share following their three-course meal - but was "blown away" to learn it would cost him £120.

Ivor, a scriptwriter and author, tweeted: "I asked the restaurant I’m going to for a birthday lunch today if we could bring a cake with to be brought out at the end of the meal.

"They said yes, but they’d charge us cakeage (yes, cakeage) at £10 ($13.07) a head. What is this world we live in?"

Speaking today (6/4), Ivor explained further: "I was blown away by it. We had paid for a full meal so I expected them to be fine with a cake.

"Every other time I have asked for this at a different place, the restaurant has always been delighted to do it for us.

"A nominal charge of £10 or even £20 I could understand but £120 is far too much. I understand that times are tough for the hospitality industry and 'goodwill doesn't pay the bill'.

"But actually goodwill pays more in the long term - if it weren't for this, I would have gone away raving about the place and recommend to everyone.

"I probably wouldn't book there again - the rest of the meal was great, but this left a bit of a bad taste in your mouth."

His tweet has now been liked nearly 27,000 times and the internet appears to have been sliced by the concept of 'cakeage'.

Some people were horrified by the idea, with one person tweeting: "I work in marketing (...) and we want to encourage groups of diners for celebrations.

"Let them bring their cake. Upsell on coffees and liqueurs, and even if they don't have those they'll leave HAPPY. That's what hospitality is about."

Another said: "Personally, I'd have canceled the entire booking and found a restaurant that wanted your business.

"They truly don't care if you come back again or not...
They don't seem interested in making my meal enjoyable at all. Just a transaction."

A third added: "I’d have unbooked that booking right away. Wouldn’t go near them with a pile for a riverboat."

But others jumped to defend the restaurant, arguing if they wish to bring their own food instead of buying dessert, it is reasonable to pay for the privilege.

One said: "These places are there to sell food. Assume you’d want someone to cut and serve it as well? All free? A hospitality business is still a business."

A second said: "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 & ask them to serve it?"

A third said: "They have to serve it, provide crockery for it, collect plates and wash up. People won’t buy a dessert as they’re having cake.

"You are eating on their property, warmed by their heating. Restaurants and pubs are struggling. I think this is fine."

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