Most customers who want to bring bottles of wine with them to a restaurant are prepared to pay a corkage fee for the privilege, but several London restaurants have reportedly been charging similar “cakeage” fees to customers who bring in outside desserts.
According to The Telegraph, restaurants in London are charging up to £9, or about $14, per person for parties that want to bring birthday cakes with them instead of celebrating with the restaurant’s desserts. Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill at the Savoy hotel reportedly has the highest fee at £9 per person, while Gordon Ramsey’s Savoy Grill in the same hotel charges £5, or $7.68 per person. Ramsey’s London restaurants Maze and The Narrow also charge £5 per person as a “cakeage” fee.
Restaurants that serve cakes brought in by guests still have to have their employees cut and serve the cakes, and then clean up afterwards. Also, customers who bring dessert from outside are unlikely to want to buy things off the dessert menu.
Still, while “cakeage” fees appear to be a growing trend in London, they haven’t caught on everywhere yet. The restaurant at the Ritz hotel does not charge for outside cakes, and a staff member at the bar at Claridge’s said: “I don't see that being a problem ... as long as it's not a five-tier cake that has to be wheeled in on a horse."