A “corkage fee” (or “corkage") is often charged by restaurants when diners bring in their own bottles of wine. When someone brings food into a restaurant, that restaurant might charge a “forkage fee” (or “forkage")—a fee for using the restaurant’s forks and plates. The term “forkage” has seldom been used (few people bring food into a restaurant), but dates to at least 1998.
In March 2010, Rose Levy Berenbaum (author of The Cake Bible) visited The Breslin restaurant, at 16 West 29th Street in Manhattan. She had cake with her and asked the waiter for forks and plates. The waiter brought four forks and no plates; Berenbaum was charged a $25 “forkage fee.” She paid it, but wrote “cakeage fee” on the line for the tip. Berenbaum’s experience was retold on many food blogs, leading to discussions about “forkage.”
Google Groups: rec.arts.sf.fandom
From: Kevin Standlee
Subject: Re: Hotels in Baltimore
Well, you’re right about the original definition, but in the hospitality business the term “corkage” has been expanding to be a blanket term also encompassing “forkage” (a similar service charge on outside food).
As someone leading a Worldcon bid myself (and thus being involved in hotel negotiations), I’m not exactly thrilled about hotels’ increased aggressivness on expanding corkage/forkage charges. At this time, I don’t think SF2002 will be serving their Irish Coffees at Bucky.
Wine Spectator’s essentials of wine:
A guide to the basics
By Harvey Steiman
New York, NY: Wine Spectator Press
BYOB and corkage fees
What if you want to bring your own wine to a restaurant? In most states, you can bring your own bottle (BYOB). For opening it and letting you use their glasses, most restaurants will charge a corkage fee. (My friend Dan wishes that restaurants with great wine lists and lousy food would let him bring a box lunch and charge him “forkage”. But I digress.)
Daily Info, Oxford Venue Reviews
We’re new to Oxford and found the Summertown Wine Cafe from this website. What a wine list! They have some seriously interesting wines. Do a tasting at the bar (it’s not £2 anymore, but £5 for 12 wines is still a bargain and it’s free if you buy a couple of bottles, which we did). The staff are friendly and know their stuff. Then buy a bottle of your favourite - or two half-bottle carafes if you can’t agree (we couldn’t) - and sit down in the beautiful conservatory or garden. We got a take-away pizza from Mamma Mia (£2 “forkage"), which was perfect. And finished off with a sensational coffee. £35 for the best pizza, wine and coffee - better than anything we had in London. A great night out for 2, plus we walked home with four bottles of excellent wine. We’ll be back.
FanimeCon 2009 Forums
on: October 12, 2005, 07:45:36 PM
A Con Suite is a Convention Hospitality Suite. (Baycon, just down the road, has one, for example.)
It’s a room that’s open during the day (and sometimes evenings) where any member of the convention is welcome to drop by and get a between-meals snack.
What you find in a con suite varies from convention to convention, of course; usually there’s soft drinks, water, chips, perhaps some fresh vegetables, or M&M’s, or bread and peanut butter for sandwiches… It varies a lot.
Hosting a con suite requires a number of commitments from the convention; you guys are in the enviable position of being able to play one hotel off the other in your negoitations. (I’m so jealous.)
Usually a hotel won’t give you “corkage and forkage waiver” in function space, which means that at most conventions that have con suites they end up in a hotel room.
Real Baking with Rose Levy Berenbaum
A Bad Taste in the Mouth
Mar 11, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
We enjoyed the food and each other’s company but it all fell apart when we brought out a little box containing two small slices of chocolate cake leftover from the taping of the day before. Woody asked the wait person if it would be ok to bring out the cake and if he would bring plates and forks. After several reproachful comments from the 20 something year old, along the lines of: “this is a restaurant...” I explained that we were all pastry chefs and just wanted to do a little tasting of a cake that had just been filmed. I gave him my card and asked if he would like to offer one of the pieces of cake to the pastry chef. He revealed that she wasn’t there so I offered him a taste of the cake. “I don’t do that kind of thing.” was his haughty reply. He left with his nose in the air and his stride smacking of moral superiority as if to imply that the rest of us were moral misfits. I felt like I was back in the second grade! It was as though a storm cloud had eclipsed the joyful mood of our gathering. Oh! the wait person brought back four forks, pushing them onto the table, but no plates. We started to taste the cake, still set on its plastic wrap “plate,” when he returned with the information that he had reported us to the chef who said we’d have to pay a fee for the forks. I asked him if it was a “forkage fee” and he smiled and said “yes.” I suggested that he might have mentioned that before he brought out the forks.
The bill came and that fee for the use of four forks was a shocking $25.
I signed the charge card form and on the line designated for the tip I entered “cakeage fee.”
Breslin Charges $25 “Forkage Fee” to BYO Dessert
By John Del Signore in Food on March 11, 2010 5:29 PM
Here we are again with another story about a shocked diner who could not believe a restaurant would discourage her from bringing outside food. As usual, the “victim” has her own set of special reasons why she should have been indulged: Rose Levy Beranbaum is a baker/blogger/cookbook author, and she went to The Breslin for lunch after videotaping a cooking segment. So she’s in the industry, as they say, and even offered to share her cake with the hip restaurant’s pastry chef.
In the space on her credit card receipt set aside for gratuity, Beranbaum left her own fork you to the waiter, writing in “cakeage fee” instead of a dollar amount. Suck on that, servant following orders from your boss!
Village Voice (New York, NY)
Bad Food Jokes
Breslin Tees & Forkage Fees
By Chantal Martineau, Thursday, Mar. 11 2010 @ 3:50PM
For a less cheerful way to spend $25 at the restaurant, try bringing your own cake. The blog Real Baking With Rose Levy Beranbaum reports (via Diner’s Journal) that a group of friends was charged a whopping $25 “forkage fee” for the use of some begrudgingly distributed utensils for a cake they brought with them. Oh, fuck, indeed.