There was an article that recently came out where a restaurant claims that they can’t keep their business open because of people bringing their own cake. A shit storm has followed on social media about whether or not it is right to bring any outside food to a restaurant. People on both sides have good points. Some say those with food allergies should be exempt. Others say diners don’t have the right to expect that they can have dessert even if there isn’t something on the menu they can eat. Others say people with food allergies don’t have the right to eat anywhere but their homes (Ignorant much?). Oh, and still more say dessert isn’t necessary, so just go without or eat something when you get home because that’s what they do.
I think it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous that people are wasting their time on this for a number of reasons.
In many non-American countries, they’re happy to have you bring your own cake to restaurants because it lets you enjoy your experience to the fullest at their establishment and ensures repeat business. That was said by a lady from Scotland in one Facebook exchange I participated in until people decided to tell me that I shouldn’t ever eat out at a restaurant. I’m not anaphylactic to anything, so why wouldn’t I? Most chain restaurants don’t care if you do as they don’t make their money on cake. Also, customers usually buy more things like coffee/tea or alcohol. Some restaurants charge a fee, just as they do with wine and it’s often more than a dessert would be, but they let you bring your own cake. Cakeage fees are most commonly around $2 a person, but can be as much as 5 British pounds per person. Many drop the fee if half of your dining party is ordering desserts from them. More on this topic here and here.
But there are better topics to debate such as:
- A large percentage of restaurants pay their staff as little as possible and expect tips to provide the money they need to survive instead of their wages. You probably have a friend who struggles to survive regularly. Have them over for a meal? Or hey, you could also join the fight for a $15 minimum wage.
- There are homeless people who don’t get to eat regularly. Think of ways to help them. Maybe volunteer at a shelter in your community. In the Ottawa area there is Shepherds of Good Hope, The Ottawa Mission, and Carling Family Shelter, to name a few.
- There are children who don’t get regular meals. Think of ways to ensure children aren’t starving in your community. And teens. Places like Ottawa Innercity Ministries help at risk youth. And Youth Services Bureau too.
- There are soldiers who died so you could sit around doing nothing productive for your country discussing the pros and cons of cake eating. There are soldiers alive now who can barely afford to live. You can help out at one of the homeless shelters and campaign for mental health funding as many veterans are homeless due to their struggles with PTSD. Instead of just tweeting about mental health for a day, get involved during the other 364 days of the year.
- There are aboriginal people who have had poor water conditions longer than those that Flint has been facing. The Wabano Centre is a place in Ottawa that aims to improve the lives of aboriginals, so you could donate to them. You can bombard the Prime Minister’s office with letters to help too. If you’re a plumber, you could do what the plumbers in Michigan are doing and gather your plumber buddies together to fix the plumbing systems on the reserves.
- There are people who are beaten regularly because of who they love. Many marriages might be overturned in the coming months. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them. Increase awareness that LGBTQ+ people are people and they deserve to live freely too.
- There are women who are now living in a country with a president who believes it’s open season on their vaginas. Stand up for your female friends whenever an asshole thinks it’s okay to touch her when she doesn’t want to be. Tell your friends to respect women. Help a friend get to the police or a woman’s shelter.
- There is a man in control of one of the most powerful nations in the world who might bring about a civil war or WWIII. Okay, this one might be overly alarmist, but still a better topic than cake in restaurants. Keep fighting for the right to live free of hate.
So how about you let other people have their cake and direct your energy to solving a real problem rather than spewing asinine bullshit like, “No one needs to eat dessert. It’s healthier not to eat it.” When you say shit like that, you are projecting your own lifestyle choices on someone else. You might enjoy not having dessert or are looking for some company while you diet, but their reality may be more like an inability to fully participate in an event.
Get off social media and find a real cause to fight for or do anything else really.
Like eat cake. Taste the spongy goodness and lick that icing like your life depends on it.