‘Criminal’: Woman rages over $10 fee

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An influencer said the rising costs could push her to celebrate special occasions at home instead. Picture: TikTok

An influener has taken to social media to vent her outrage after a Sydney restaurant charged her $10 per head to bring a birthday cake.

Former Big Brother contestant Jules Rangiheuea, who had travelled from Perth, said it was the third time she had been slapped with such a fee in the city.

“Bloody hell Sydney, since when did we start charging absolutely criminal prices to have cake at a restaurant?” she said in a video posted to TikTok.

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Jules Rangiheuea said she had been slapped with a $10 fee per head at Sydney restaurants. Picture: TikTok
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The influencer said the high cakeage fee was inappropriate given the cost-of-living crisis. Picture: TikTok

It is common practice for restaurants to charge customers for bringing in a cake, due to the labour of storing, cutting and serving the cake, as well as compensating the establishment for the lost revenue of not ordering a dessert.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the practice has come to be called “cakeage”, and is similar to the more well-known “corkage” fee.

Captioning her video with “in my Karen era”, the influencer said the “absolutely criminal prices” were inappropriate given the rising cost of living and the associated increasing prices of dining out.

“I feel like this is a new thing too because it only just happened to me at the start of September,” Ms Rangiheuea said of that $5 per head fee.

In her TikTok, posted online in early October, she said the cakeage fee had since doubled in cost.

Birthday cake with gold banner
The fee paid to a restaurant to store and serve a cake brought in by a customer is known as ‘cakeage’. Picture: Supplied

“This is the third restaurant that I’m going to tonight that has said it will be a $10 charge per person to eat the cake that we have bought,” she said.

“I know people are going to say, ‘Oh, the fridge sizing’ and everything, but have fridges changed since six months ago?

“I’m so confused, especially (with) the cost of living, like people are only going out now to celebrate and a lot of celebrations include cake.”

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Commenters on the video said the cakeage fee had ‘been around for years’. Picture: Instagram
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Ms Rangiheuea suggested restaurant costs had not increased enough to justify the high charge. Picture: Instagram

Ms Rangiheuea implied she would no longer dine out for special occasions given the cost and would opt instead to eat a “Domino’s value range pizza with a cake at home”.

One person in the comments section said she had been to a pub in Penrith that wanted to charge a $30 fee for patrons to bring in their own cake.

Another, who identified as a cafe owner, said he sympathised with the restaurants.

“I have a cafe, costs are going up like crazy, I am starting to charge for things I wouldn’t have in the past so I don’t have to put my menu up as much,” he said.

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Ms Rangiheuea said the rising costs could push her to celebrate special occasions at home instead. Picture: Instagram

Others said the fee covered a wide range of factors that impacted restaurants when someone brings in their own cake, and the fee was nothing new.

“Cakeage is actually pretty standard, it’s not only serving, storage etc but it’s loss of revenue for you bringing in your own – same as corkage,” they said.

“It’s the fridge sizing – it’s the cutting – the serving – the washing of plates and cutlery,” said another.

“$10 is excessive but I do understand a charge.”

Other Aussies urged customers to support the hospitality sector during the cost-of-living crisis, with workers and owners also doing it tough.

“Consider the hospo community, one of the most heavily impacted industries,” one person said.

“Alternative option – buy desserts at the restaurants you go to.”