Customers bringing birthday cakes causing frustration for Belfast chef

A Belfast chef has revealed the impact customers bringing their own birthday cake to restaurants can have on a restaurant.

Niall Duffy, the head chef at Marcel on Belmont Road, told Belfast Live that he will be putting a new measure in place at his restaurant for customers wanting to bring their own cakes so that it is fairer for his business.

Speaking to Belfast Live, the chef said he will now be charging customers £2 a head when they bring in their own birthday cakes in order to cover the costs faced by his restaurant when they do so.

Read more: Belfast chef's journey from Co Down hotel to Michelin star restaurants

Niall said: "We have decided to introduce what we are calling a 'cakage charge' as a way of ensuring that we are able to cover costs when a group of customers bring in their own cake for a birthday celebration, similar to what restaurants with a bring your own bottle policy do.

"While I understand people wanting to celebrate a birthday in this way, I don't think customers quite understand the impact that this has on a restaurant, as we will have to store the cake in our fridge, which will then be served by our staff, who will then have to clear and clean the cutelry and plates after this. All while we are losing out desserts that we could be selling and a space for other customers.

"I know that this may not be popular for some but it is about looking after our business and ensuring that we are able to cover our costs and I believe that this is a very fair way in doing so.

"With restaurants struggling in this economy, with closures all over Belfast in recent months and ever narrowing profit margins we felt we’ve been left with no choice."

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