There seems to be some confusion of late as to whether it's appropriate to bring your own birthday cake to a restaurant. Some think it's rude and annoying; others think customers should be able to celebrate their birthdays however they want -- and if that means an outside cake, then so be it.
I think it's a perfectly acceptable practice as long as you follow these five rules of bring your own birthday cake etiquette.
1. If you want to BYOBC (bring your own birthday cake), definitely choose a restaurant that employs a world-famous pastry chef who works really hard on a world-famous dessert menu. Of course your sheet cake will be immensely tastier than any gourmet dessert she/he could prepare.
2. If you are planning on bringing a birthday cake to a restaurant, never ever call ahead to ask the staff if they will permit this. Restaurants love surprises, so you should simply show up the night of, hand your cake to the host, and demand it be served -- with candles! -- at the end of the meal.
3. If you call ahead and ask a restaurant if it's okay to bring a birthday cake and they say "no," assume it's because they're a bunch of a-holes (and not because the health code prohibits bringing in outside food).
4. If you call ahead and ask a restaurant if it's okay to bring a birthday cake and they say "yes," immediately demand they store your giant cake in their tiny refrigerator.
5. If a restaurant allows you to bring in a birthday cake but charges you a plating fee (typically $1-$5 a slice), get super pissed off about it. Throw stuff even. Who cares if the restaurant is taking the time to refrigerate, present -- with candles! -- slice, and plate your outside cake? You shouldn't have to pay extra for this customary service.
Have you ever brought a birthday cake to a restaurant?
Image via mccready/Flickr