Baby-tax horror at restaurant

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A heated debate recently on Food24 featured a restaurant which charged “cakeage”, a chunk of cash added to the bill for allowing a customer to bring in their own cake. Ultimately, that was up to the discretion of the restaurant, but what if you found an item added to your bill for taking your baby?

A London restaurant added the not-so-baby-sized amount of three pounds (around R40) to new-mom Natasha Young’s bill after she brought her six-week-old infant along. The 22,000 foot restaurant added the “tax” as the baby was “taking up space”, according to the London Evening Standard.

The restaurant, Cosmo’s, also charged Ana Sheridan, the mom of another six-month-old baby, a fee, despite the baby only having sat on her mother’s lap.

The big clean-up
To be fair, Cosmo’s later issued an apology, saying that the fee is aimed at toddlers who do eat, although another restaurant critic claims the fee is justified, as babies leave a mess wherever they go, and someone has to clean up after them...

There are some restaurants locally which have, controversially, a no-child policy, and some which deliberately encourage parents to bring their broods with kid-friendly menus.

What do you think? Should restaurants charge customers for bringing their babies and prams, even if the baby isn’t ordering off the menu?

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