Of the 212 respondents, 77% (163) said they would not charge a fee for customers bringing celebratory cakes, for example for birthday’s, to their venue.
However, 8% (17) of those surveyed voted in favour of charging such a fee if it was below £10, 7% (15) said they would charge more than £10.
In addition, some 5% of operators stated they already charged ‘cakeage’ while 3% said they would only do so for big groups.
The topic proved to be divisive among operators, with some stating they thought asking customers to pay ‘cakeage’ could be misconstrued as “greedy” while others thought charging the same price as a dessert per head would be fair.
Owner of the Onslow Arms in Loxwood, West Sussex, Rob Barr said: “I'd much prefer to deliver a great experience and see repeat custom than charge a couple of pounds for a ‘cakeage’”.
Though the Blind Bull in Buxton, Derbyshire which is number 74 on the Top 50 Gastropubs list, said the venue does charge a ‘cakeage’ fee in “most cases.”
A representative for the pub said: “In most cases we would [charge a fee]. It would [usually] be the price of a dessert per head, approximately £9 per person.”
Editor of British Baker, Amy North, suggested pubs could “compromise” and “strike up” a relationship with a local bakery to offer a “win-win” situation.
She said: “This is a divisive topic as operators don’t want to be seen as greedy by charging a fee, but customers bringing in their own cakes likely means the pub loses out on dessert sales.
“Whether or not an operator charges a ‘cakeage’ fee will depend on the establishment, it’s relationship with the community, and whether it is worth the risk of customers potentially taking their business elsewhere.
“As a compromise, perhaps operators could strike up a relationship with a local bakery to offer a reasonably priced cake for occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. This could include a built-in ‘cakeage’ fee, providing a win-win for all parties.”