To help educate people who think BYO dessert is a restaurant diner’s God-given right, the pastry chef at the Nobu down in Perth, Australia, has penned what he no doubt believes is a helpful primer on cakeage fees, and why they’ve become a sad but necessary part of modern dining.
Samad Khan reasons with people who gripe “all the work has been done for you” by suggesting that they think of cutting the awful store-bought sheet cake they brought to a high-end sushi restaurant as “an actual SERVICE” that requires somebody or somebodies
in the kitchen to “properly present it, redecorate (if necessary), cut
it, plate it, run it, serve it, clean up after the job, and neatly
repackage it and return it to the customer.” If they insist on scoffing that it’s “just cutting a cake,” Khan has this to say:
Bullshit! I have to cut your cake perfectly, evenly (I use rulers!), divide up edible decorations to go on the plate, provide sides if asked for, carefully put it back without damaging what is usually a mangled cake TO BEGIN WITH (I’ve gotten cakes that look like they’ve been sat on I swear).
All of this is usually done on a bloody Saturday night when I’m hip deep in dessert orders and all the other servers are having kittens wondering why I’m not [plating] their desserts. It’s because I’m totally focused on doing the best that I can for YOUR cake, YOUR special occasion.
Anyway, Khan clarifies, it’s $25 for the whole cake, not per guest, so he’d like detractors to “please calm your fucking farm.” He adds this is what’s called the hospitality industry — “you want free cake cutting then go to your mumma’s house.” His point is that the fee isn’t meant as a disincentive to hauling in an outside cake (okay, not entirely), but just that if you’re already shelling out a few hundred bucks for Nobu’s famous omakase, then that $25 to save the entire table’s dignity is definitely “nominal.”