Author Topic: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?  (Read 19117 times)

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metallicafan

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2013, 04:44:44 PM »
It varies by local I think. Where I live we can bring our own cake in and not be charged anything. If they don't want cake there they put it on a sign in the restaurant. We usually call and ask if we can bring it but never have been charged a fee. Especially if we are ordering meals as well.


This has been my experience as well.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2013, 06:42:05 PM »
The thread is titled 'bring your own food to a restaurant...' I know the topic is the cake, waiter, Dad's response, etc...I just want to mention that I was on a diet many years ago & took my own food to a restaurant when eating a lunch out with a large group. I tried to bow out as it was a nice restaurant, but everyone insisted that I go & take my diet-approved lunch to eat, so I did. I hope it wasn't too offensive. I haven't done it since.

m2kbug

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #47 on: December 25, 2013, 07:30:47 AM »
The thread is titled 'bring your own food to a restaurant...' I know the topic is the cake, waiter, Dad's response, etc...I just want to mention that I was on a diet many years ago & took my own food to a restaurant when eating a lunch out with a large group. I tried to bow out as it was a nice restaurant, but everyone insisted that I go & take my diet-approved lunch to eat, so I did. I hope it wasn't too offensive. I haven't done it since.

I think it's fine in certain circumstances, especially since you were with a large group who bought meals.  The restaurant could very well have said no, leaving you to either buy a meal, sit with nothing, or leave.  I don't think I would have been offended, especially if I was the one begging you to bring your own food.  I don't think it would be the best idea as a whole, though.  You could always meet up for dessert and coffee or something later.  Or you could call the restaurant in advance and ask.  I have seen people do this, especially the working lunch crowd, but overall, probably not the best idea to think you can bring your own food and expect the restaurant will be okay with it.

Anyone remember the salad dressing craze and people would bring their own dressing?  This was in the 80's, and I think perhaps fat free dressing made an appearance and maybe Weight Watchers was kicking off?  I can't remember the details, but I remember restaurants getting uptight about it and people being all sneaky with their bottles of dressing in their purses. :)

Aquamarine

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #48 on: December 25, 2013, 01:56:45 PM »
I find this to be rather sad that no one ever taught these young people what is appropriate and what is not when dining out, IMHO this is something they should know.  If you want to bring in your own cake, then you call ahead and find out the restaurants policy. If there is a plating fee you either pay it, go where is not such a fee or eat the cake in someone's home or a public park.

This did not involved specially medically necessary dietary needs, they just wanted to bring their own cake in.  Good for the restaurant in not allowing it.  I think allowing it would set a possibly unfortunate precedent.  Better the restaurant be in charge of what is served or not served within their establishment. I've seen some cakes that would be completely inappropriate to serve in a setting where other diners would see it.

None of my favorite restaurants would allow an outside cake to be brought in and served up table side by guests, trying to do so is something that is just not done in my circle.  You want a special cake then you have a special desert provided through or created by the restaurant' pastry chef or serve cake and coffee in your home.  In any event you call ahead and make plans with the restaurant as to what you want.
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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2013, 09:30:15 AM »
It's entirely possible that the teens simply didn't know.  I wouldn't have known at that age, either.  I would have been one of the gripers, too. 

Does anyone else want to congratulate the waiter for mentioning the fee BEFORE bringing out the plates and forks?  How many places would have simply complied, then tacked the fee onto the bill and shrugged when the kids screamed about it?   I give him credit for that.  He warned them ahead of time, and that's a good thing.
 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #50 on: December 31, 2013, 09:40:21 AM »
I only remember a few occasions in which someone I knew brought food to a restaurant, but that was because of severe food allergies where there just was NOTHING on the menu for someone in the party.

Such as going to a Chinese restaurant with another family.  There was a boy who just couldn't eat anything there so some plain chicken was cooked for him and taken with us, and the restaurant was okay with that.

But a cake? Only time I've known a venue to be okay with that is if it's one generally meant for kids parties, like Chuck E Cheese, a bowling alley or one of those places with inflatable play structures.
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baglady

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2014, 11:19:54 PM »
I find this to be rather sad that no one ever taught these young people what is appropriate and what is not when dining out, IMHO this is something they should know.  If you want to bring in your own cake, then you call ahead and find out the restaurants policy. If there is a plating fee you either pay it, go where is not such a fee or eat the cake in someone's home or a public park.

This did not involved specially medically necessary dietary needs, they just wanted to bring their own cake in.  Good for the restaurant in not allowing it.  I think allowing it would set a possibly unfortunate precedent.  Better the restaurant be in charge of what is served or not served within their establishment. I've seen some cakes that would be completely inappropriate to serve in a setting where other diners would see it.

None of my favorite restaurants would allow an outside cake to be brought in and served up table side by guests, trying to do so is something that is just not done in my circle.  You want a special cake then you have a special desert provided through or created by the restaurant' pastry chef or serve cake and coffee in your home.  In any event you call ahead and make plans with the restaurant as to what you want.

"Don't bring your own cake to a restaurant without calling first" is not one of those universal etiquette lessons that all young people should be expected to know, like "elbows off the table" and "chew with your mouth closed." It just isn't likely to come up that often; how many restaurant birthday parties does the average teenager throw? It would have been better if some parent or teacher had asked, "Have you asked the restaurant if it's OK to bring a cake in, and if there's any charge to do that?" but I can picture a bunch of 16-year-olds in a party-planning frenzy not going into that kind of detail with adults.

Not all restaurants have a pastry chef or a relationship with one. Those that do are free to enforce a "no outside cakes" rule. But most of the restaurants I've been in are thrilled to host parties -- they're money makers -- and if they aren't equipped to provide a cake, they're more than OK with one being brought in. Some charge a fee for cutting, plating, and the use of their plates and utensils; others don't.

As for "inappropriate" cakes, I know they exist, I've seen them, but I have never seen one out in public (i.e., the general dining area of a restaurant). Parties featuring that sort of cake tend to be held in a private room, if they're held in a restaurant at all. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for a restaurant to ban outside cakes -- such as health department regulations -- without getting into the possibility of a hypothetical genitalia-shaped cake that a hypothetical child might see.
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CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2014, 12:06:27 AM »
Long long ago I worked as a waitress at a high-end restaurant that was very popular on Prom night.  The kids were cute in their formal wear and tried hard to behave well so as to impress their dates (a few, of course, tried to order alcohol).  It was obvious, however, that most were uncomfortable being in charge in a nice restaurant, probably for the first time in their life.  There was just a lot they didnít know.

So, Iím tolerant of ignorance. Belligerence at not getting oneís way is another matter.

If parents are going to discuss restaurant etiquette with their kids, I prefer they talked about tipping rather than outside cakes.  The Prom kids tipped very poorly, if at all.  I suspect they knew they were supposed to tip, but just didnít see a good reason to give up their money.  On Prom nights, I worked for free.

I have no idea what the restaurantís policy was on customers bringing in outside food.  It never happened. 
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jedikaiti

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2014, 01:52:51 AM »
My experience with bringing your own food is this:

Valentine's day cookies to a pub that served food, but had very limited dessert options. Maybe ice cream. They were fine with it (I think someone called and asked beforehand, or inquired during the course of a previous visit), no additional plates were required, and no additional fee was charged.

Special occasion cake - at a celebratory dinner, a friend called and asked beforehand and asked about bringing a special cake, and the restaurant said no. No problem. The restaurant also served some very nice (although not cake) desserts. No problem, we had a wonderful time.

Of course, these were also in very different locations, so there may or may not have been health code differences.

I don't want to veer into legal territory, but FYI, I just asked my Chef, and he says the health department here does not really approve of outside food, but does not forbid it unless it's home-made -- so if the restaurant will allow it, it still has to be store or bakery made.

Restaurants may also be concerned with allergies - if they don't have any tree nuts in the restaurant, or if they specialize in vegan or gluten-free or whatever, they may not allow outside food at all in order to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination. Also, there may be insurance issues as well.
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buvezdevin

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2014, 09:47:37 AM »
Back in 2010, a famous cake book author (Berenbaum, "Cake Bible", etc.) had a kerfuffle in an upscale NY restaurant when she brought a slice of cake to share with friends with whom she lunched.  She blogged about it at the first link below.  The comments on her blog piece, both on her blog and on other sites include many passionate voices running a gamut of views.

Just referencing that matter to illustrate that age, sophistication and extensive dining experience does not make for uniformity of opinion on bringing food into a restaurant, and whether or not any "forkage" fee for same is reasonable.

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2010/03/a_bad_taste_in_the_mouth.html
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693956
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TXJess

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2014, 10:10:54 AM »
I have never heard of a fee like this. Maybe in my area it's not very common, or maybe my family has never gone to a restaurant as expensive as you are describing. If it wasn't for this thread, I probably would have been just as confused as the teens. I probably wouldn't have minded if somebody said it was okay, and normal (as long as it was nice, and not condescending). Sometimes my family will bring a cake. Most recently for my birthday last month, we brought a cake and the restaurant even let us keep it in the freezer (ice cream cake, I don't let the fact my birthday is in December deprive me of my favorite cake  :D). When we were ready for it they brought us plates and forks without us even asking.

lowspark

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2014, 10:37:56 AM »
First of all, not all restaurants charge this fee. Some do, but many don't. In fact, not all "BYOB" restaurants charge a corkage fee. I was just at one a few months ago where you were encouraged to bring your own wine but no corkage fee would be charged. It's just not universal.

Secondly, it's just not intuitive that they do. It's not something you're born knowing or something people would teach their kids unless the situation just happened to come up when the kids were there. I don't see this as something everyone should know and shame on them and their parents and teachers for not teaching them.

I remember the first time I heard of a corkage fee, y-e-a-r-s ago when I was going to go to BYOB restaurant. I was was like  :o Corkage fee!! I can pull out my own cork, thank you! (I didn't say this out loud, I just wondered about it out loud to my friends before we went.) It was explained to me that the fee was for the glasses which the waiter had to provide and which later had to be washed and well, just for the general service involved. Ok, I get it. But having never worked in a restaurant none of that would have occurred to me without someone educating me.

I agree that your dad was better off staying out of it. The last thing those teens would have wanted was for another adult to make them feel as if they were in the wrong. Most likely, they either reconciled it later themselves, or asked some other adult in their life (parent or whoever) about it and were set straight. The stranger (your dad) inserting himself into the fray would almost certainly be unwelcome.

Jones

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2014, 10:59:08 AM »
I have never heard of a fee like this. Maybe in my area it's not very common, or maybe my family has never gone to a restaurant as expensive as you are describing. If it wasn't for this thread, I probably would have been just as confused as the teens. I probably wouldn't have minded if somebody said it was okay, and normal (as long as it was nice, and not condescending). Sometimes my family will bring a cake. Most recently for my birthday last month, we brought a cake and the restaurant even let us keep it in the freezer (ice cream cake, I don't let the fact my birthday is in December deprive me of my favorite cake  :D). When we were ready for it they brought us plates and forks without us even asking.
So glad I'm not the only one; this post pretty much sums up my life experience so far.

Glad this thread warned me though because I will definitely call ahead on new restaurants now, should I want to bring cake.

Figgie

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2014, 12:07:07 PM »
Around here, desserts are not brought into restaurants.  I'm told that it is because it is against the health code.  Baby/toddler food is exempt and I'm not sure how they would handle allergies.  Friends with a variety of different food allergies/intolerances report that most restaurants around here are pretty good about handling their issues.

And I'm glad I read this thread.  :)  While I've heard of corkage charges, I'd never heard of plate charges.

msulinski

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Re: Bringing your own food to the restaurant? Really?
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2014, 01:47:04 PM »
First of all, not all restaurants charge this fee. Some do, but many don't. In fact, not all "BYOB" restaurants charge a corkage fee. I was just at one a few months ago where you were encouraged to bring your own wine but no corkage fee would be charged. It's just not universal.

Secondly, it's just not intuitive that they do. It's not something you're born knowing or something people would teach their kids unless the situation just happened to come up when the kids were there. I don't see this as something everyone should know and shame on them and their parents and teachers for not teaching them.

I remember the first time I heard of a corkage fee, y-e-a-r-s ago when I was going to go to BYOB restaurant. I was was like  :o Corkage fee!! I can pull out my own cork, thank you! (I didn't say this out loud, I just wondered about it out loud to my friends before we went.) It was explained to me that the fee was for the glasses which the waiter had to provide and which later had to be washed and well, just for the general service involved. Ok, I get it. But having never worked in a restaurant none of that would have occurred to me without someone educating me.

I agree that your dad was better off staying out of it. The last thing those teens would have wanted was for another adult to make them feel as if they were in the wrong. Most likely, they either reconciled it later themselves, or asked some other adult in their life (parent or whoever) about it and were set straight. The stranger (your dad) inserting himself into the fray would almost certainly be unwelcome.

I haven't seen many BYO places charge a corkage fee. I think the idea there is that, since they can't/won't get a liquor license, they still hope to attract a crowd for a nice dinner by allowing BYO. There are some places with a liquor license that will allow you to bring your own as well, but those will almost always charge a corkage fee, as they are losing out on the markup they get selling their own liquor.