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Some F&B eateries in S’pore are charging S$15 for cake-cutting on premises, S’poreans split

Mandy How | December 10, 2018 @ 03:45 pm

A corkage fee — where diners pay to drink their own wine in a restaurant — is common enough, since F&B businesses do make a significant portion of revenue through alcohol sales.

When it comes to a cake-cutting fee, however, customers are less understanding, and the practice is also less well-known.

“Very sad if every restaurant will start doing this”

Singaporean food blogger Leslie Tay who runs ieatishootipost, posted about his experience with a restaurant that charges S$15 for diners to cut a birthday cake within their premises:

In case you can’t see the text:

So surprised that the pizza restaurant we just had dinner at just told us that they charge $15 if we wish to cut our birthday cake! Since when did this “anti-celebratory” practice start? I really hope this is not the new norm.
What do you all think? Should restaurants start charging if you wish to cut you cake at their premises after spending $XXX at the restaurant? Very sad if every restaurant will start doing this. It’s quite a Singaporean thing to hear people singing Happy Birthday and cutting a cake after a dinner to celebrate someone’s birthday.

Postscript:
I was a guest at the celebration, so I only found out about the $15 charge when it was time to cut the cake. My hosts did not ask at the time of the reservation because we did cut a birthday cake there earlier in the year. They were informed when they handed the cake to the restaurant. Apparently, they started to imposed it in Sep. In the end, we took the cake home to cut, because the birthday girl just did not feel it’s worth $15 to cut a 600g cake. It did burst the bubble on an otherwise joyous occasion. I hope other restaurants can see the marketing opportunity in this and go the other direction and signal that they welcome birthday parties by even offering a free cake! After all, isn’t a restaurant’s real mission to create a positive dining experience for the customer? Isn’t that the reason why we chose to return to the same restaurant for another birthday celebration?

Calling it an “anti-celebratory” practice, Tay wrote that the group eventually brought the cake home instead of having it in the restaurant.

The avid foodie also argued that it is a restaurant’s mission to “creative a positive dining experience”, and that the charges “burst the bubble on an otherwise joyous occasion”.

Some outraged

As it is, many Facebook users were outraged by the charge:

The same post on Instagram also saw many questioning the practice.

View this post on Instagram

So surprised that the pizza restaurant we just had dinner at just told us that they charge $15 if we wish to cut our birthday cake! Since when did this “anti-celebratory” practice start? I really hope this is not the new norm. What do you all think? Should restaurants start charging if you wish to cut you cake at their premises after spending $XXX at the restaurant? Very sad if every restaurant will start doing this. It’s quite a Singaporean thing to hear people singing Happy Birthday and cutting a cake after a dinner to celebrate someone’s birthday. Postscript: I was a guest at the celebration, so I only found out about the $15 charge when it was time to cut the cake. My hosts did not ask at the time of the reservation because we did cut a birthday cake there earlier in the year. They were informed when they handed the cake to the restaurant. Apparently, they started to imposed it in Sep. In the end, we took the cake home to cut, because the birthday girl just did not feel it’s worth $15 to cut a 600g cake. It did burst the bubble on an otherwise joyous occasion. I hope other restaurants can see the marketing opportunity in this and go the other direction and signal that they welcome birthday parties by even offering a free cake! After all, isn’t a restaurant’s real mission to create a positive dining experience for the customer? Isn’t that the reason why we chose to return to the same restaurant for another birthday celebration?

A post shared by Ieatishootipost (@ieatishootipost) on

Another called it a profit-driven practice:

Fair enough

On the other hand, some users think that it is fair enough:

Affects turnover rate

But perhaps the best way of understanding the fee, also known as “cakeage”, is to consider the restaurant’s turnover rate:

As well as the resources it takes to portion out the cake, as explained by a user who has worked in the F&B industry for more than 15 years:

“Standard practice”

However, it seems like a cakeage fee is actually a thing, although it is not as common as a corkage fee:

Another Instagram user has been through the same experience, except the cakeage was at least twice as much:

Oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Top image from Leslie Tay/Facebook

About Mandy How

Mandy is a pantry rat. She eats everything in the pantry (except other people's food).

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