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Cake or break time for restaurant spongers!

Cake or break time for restaurant spongers!

Monday 20 April 2015

Cake or break time for restaurant spongers!

Monday 20 April 2015

Cake makers are concerned that Jersey restaurants are taking a slice of their profits by charging a “cakeage fee” of up to £2.50 per person.

Jersey Potteries experimented with a £2.50 “cakeage” charge per person - an idea that they seem to picked up from London restaurants - but have since decided to stop allowing customers to bring cakes into their restaurants althogether, unless they are for a wedding or civil partnership, and they know the supplier and its Environmental Health Food Safety rating in advance.

But that decision has got one local cake maker Ann of Bake Me A Cake riled up.

She says that it might be fair for a restaurant to charge a flat fee of around £10 to serve and plate a cake for a meal, and then to do the dishes afterwards, but that a “cakeage fee” of £2.50 is way too high.

Ann pointed out that for a party of 20 people, the fee would come to £50 - all for simply cutting, serving, and washing some dishes.

“I can understand that they do have to charge something,” she said.

“But it should really be a flat fee arrangement - £50 for a party of 20 is ridiculous.”

She added that the charge wasn’t about food safety - she said she had spent years qualifying by studying pastry courses, and that because of the kinds of ingredients used, people rarely got sick from eating cake.

The cakeage story has hit the national headlines in recent weeks - the Women’s Institute were outraged when the Royal Albert Hall told them it would charge £2,500 in cakeage fees, after two members slaved away for hours to make 5,000 slices of fruitcake for their annual conference.

In the end, the WI got around the charge after rearranging the event so the cake - all 5,000 slices of it - would be served and eaten outside the building.

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Posted by nigel pearce on
Would they expect to take in their starter course and have the restaurant serve it free? Should the establishment work for nothing? Have they costed how much it would cost the Royal Albert Hall to provide a free service for them?
Incidentally, the correct past tense of get is 'got' not 'gotten' which is an Americanisation of the English.
Posted by Jersey Pottery on
We have given our detailed responses to this issue on our Oyster Box facebook site but to address the issue above some cakes of course don't need to be refrigerated but as a large business with 200 staff we need to ensure we have clear and easy guidelines for all team members from senior chef to junior wait staff and we can't expect all of them to know which cakes for instance contain ingredients that need refrigerating and which don't. Not all cake makers have Food Safety ratings and whilst we are delighted to welcome wedding cakes where we have time to check food safety of supplier (such as Bake a Cake), we can't with every cake and birthday dinner reservation. Customers also arrive with a cake without pre-warning us. Customers are increasingly concerned about allergens and other ingredients and in large parties and places where people often mix and have fun at the end of a meal, it difficult to control who eats what. Its always a balance but as a business that adopts higher standards with respect to allergen control then is required by Jersey law ( we follow the UK law) we have implemented these procedures. We understand Cake Makers would like to sell cakes to customers who eat in our restaurants when they celebrate their birthdays, but for the several reasons we explain on our facebook site, we'd prefer to make the celebratory dish ourself. Most of our customers seem to agree, and would would encourage them to enjoy a wonderful cake made by cake makers in their own home.
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