It looks like the practice of charging diners for bringing their own wine, also known as corkage fee, has given birth a new trend in Singapore and we hope it does not spread to Malaysia. According to Sin Chew, diners are charged as much as SG$25 (about RM75) if they bring their own cakes to restaurants.
It is learned that an Italian restaurant, Lino, charges customers SG$15 (about RM45) for cake-cutting fee; while Sabio by the Sea, a Spanish restaurant, charges from SG$25 (RM75) and it is permitted for special occasions or birthdays.
Wolfgang Steak House stated on their website that a SG$4 (RM12) would be charged for cake-and-plate fee but the site has since taken down the surcharge last week.
Shin Min Daily News conducted a simple street survey of 10 people, seven found the surcharge unacceptable while the remaining three said it is acceptable if it is lower than SG$10 (RM30).
A 23-year-old air stewardess said charging anything beyond SG$15 (RM45) is outrageous and related that she has never heard of such a practice.
She added that restaurants are usually more than happy to keep the cake she brought in the fridge for a birthday celebration, where the employees would even provide a lighter, plates, forks, and even play the birthday song or give a complimentary dessert.
“Unless the SG$15 includes that they will help to play the song, or write “Happy Birthday” on the plate,” the lady contended.
Meanwhile, a 70-year-old pensioner said the cake-cutting fee too far off the mark, after all, the customers have already dined in their restaurant. She said the move would cause prospective customers to opt for other restaurants.
In a 2016 article, The New York Times wrote that such a practice is called “cakeage fee” and argued that many restaurants do not like customers bringing their own cake as the restaurants. It is described as an “abomination” to those businesses who employ pastry chefs in the restaurants.
In many upscale Chinese restaurants or even Bah Kut Teh stores, they also charge customers a fee for bringing own tea leaves.
Some netizens pointed out that the cakeage fee is not unheard of, especially in places like Hong Kong, Canada and Europe, as restaurants there do practice the extra charge.
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