Restaurant Charges $15 if You Bring Your Own Cake Sparks Debate Among S’poreans

Image: rocharibeiro / Shutterstock.com

I‘m feeling under the weather.

My tummy ran this morning and it was like…

Okay TMI I know.

But actually I’m also feeling quite like the weather.

Rain-Shine-Rain-Drizzle-Shine-Drizzle-Rain

To be explicit, I’m undecided; very much a familiar characteristic of our Singapore weather.

And it has to do with this post by Dr Leslie Tay of the famed food-blogging website ieatishootipost.

The Post

Since it’s a Saturday and I know you aren’t likely to read an essay ala your secondary school days, here’s the TL;DR of it:

Dr Tay had celebrated a birthday at Peperoni Pizzeria along Frankel Road.

When the time came for cake-cutting (which they had bought in), he found out that there was a $15 charge imposed.

As Dr Tay and his friends had also celebrated a birthday there earlier in the year and was not charged, the dinner host did not clarify with the restaurant if there was a fee this time round.

Do you have a friend who’s always smiling? Watch this video and you’ll know why he or she is always so happy:

I mean, if you don’t know something, you won’t know what you don’t know right?

Image: www.askideas.com

Like basically everything in life

“Anti-celebratory”

Clearly befuddled by the situation, Dr Tay called this practice “anti-celebratory” and hoped that this was “not the new norm.”

Cakeage Fee

Being one of the pioneers in the food-blogging scene, his post naturally garnered significant attention; both from other media outlets and netizens.

In subsequent articles published by Stomp, Channel NewsAsia (CNA), AsiaOnethe concept known as “cakeage fee” has well and truly entered our public consciousness.

Image: stomp.straitstimes.com

In a nutshell, it is like the corkage fee of cakes, which is an extra charge if customers bring in and pop their own alcoholic beverage.

In other words, if beer can do it so cake we.

Why though?

Jokes aside, I’ve taken the liberty to share what David Marazzi, director of the Peperoni Group had, in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.

To sum it up, Mr Marazzi shared that a cakeage charge is similar to a corkage charge, and it goes to cover the manpower and logistical cost of “storing and chilling the cake, lighting up candles, presenting it, cutting it up into slices and serving it.”

He added too that “large birthday groups who bring in a cake tend not to order dessert, thus affecting the overall average check and turnover rate of the table.”

Which means lose business.

He then intimated that rising cost has taken its toll on the F&B industry and that a cakeage fee is indeed common in civilized places like Sydney and London, both of where labour costs are high as well.

Two Camps

Naturally, netizens were divided into two camps.

Some sided with Dr Tay and agreed that such a cakeage fee is uncalled for, while some others saw the justification behind such a fee.

After all, it’s a business, no?

Rain or Shine

I can see merits to both sides of the story.

Clearly, paying for something which hitherto has been free is a jolt to our senses and definitely more than a tad uncomfortable.

I too agree that being told to pay for something you have bought in personally seems counter-intuitive and puts a dampener on celebratory activities.

On the flip-side however, Mr Mazzari and the netizens who side with the notion of a cakeage fee have put forth justification which are logical and reasonable.

If services are rendered -even if the cake was bought in- shouldn’t we pay for them, like every other service in Singapore?

What more if the F&B industry is already facing headwinds with rising costs?

I’m pretty sure corkage fees went through the same initial opposition too right?

I think I know which camp I’m inching towards.

The clouds have cleared and I see rays beaming through the office windows. I hurry out of the office for I know that it will start to pour again before long.

But here’s a fact that you’ll be pleased to know: with this hoo-ha, chances are, other restaurants might just start to include cakeage fees.

Too bad.