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Snooth User: rolifingers

CORKING ( Oops corkage ) FEES

Posted by rolifingers, Apr 7, 2013.

I recently visited a nice Indian restaurant in NYC which has always been a BYOB. On this occasion  I brought with me a nice bottle of wine, something from the Southern Rhone. I tell the server that I brought my own wine, and he replies " There is a corkage fee if you want to have that", I respond with" I have brought my own wine here before and I was never charged a corkage fee". He tells me that the restaurant had recently obtained their liquor license so if I want to have my own wine I will be charged a corkage fee.

I explained that I had just been on their website prior to my arrival and that matter was not mentioned on the restaurants website. I .hoped that he would waive the fee but he did not. I told the sever that maybe the restaurant should post that new info on their website and he said that they would.

I visited that restaurants website weeks later and still no new info on the new corkage fee rule.

I believe the correct thing for a restaurant to do is not charge the corkage fee on this occasion and explain the new restaurant rules to the customer.

But that's just me.

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Replies

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Reply by amour, Apr 8, 2013.

I agree with you.

New information, changes in particular, must be effectively brought to the attention of the customer,

or prospective customer, on a timely basis.

In the absence of effective notice, compensation or waiving is the answer; it is expected , at any rate.

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Reply by outthere, Apr 8, 2013.

Now that the restaurant has the ability to make money selling wine they should collect it for opening your wine. It's only fair. Personally it seems a bit silly to complain about a minor difference between new policy and the website but that's just me. Now that they have wine on site perhaps you can find one that suits you? Here in California corkage is charged just about everywhere and is generally around $20/btl but ranges from $0 - $35. It's the premium you pay to enjoy your own wine. 

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Reply by pikeman, Apr 8, 2013.

I fault the owner for not making a timely update to their public information. And the fact that they still have not reflects disrespect for Customers.

NYC is too big a place to put up with this. I'd eat somewhere else.

Pete

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Reply by Michael C Butler, Apr 8, 2013.

They really should update their website and advertise the corking fees, especially because of how competitive NY restaurants have to be to attract its tech savvy citizens.

However, not really a valid reason to waive the fee! Many restaurants charge a corking fee even if they do not carry a liquor license.

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Reply by amour, Apr 8, 2013.

The issue is not whether a Corkage Fee should or should not be charged.

(A CORKAGE FEE IS QUITE VALID)

CORKAGE FEE is the norm all over the world.

No one would dare complain; you pay for the pleasure of having the exact precise wine you want to pair with the food at the restaurant, or whatever is your objective.

The point at issue is that, without effective notice, you are slapped with an additional unexpected charge; that is not right at all.

The fact that nothing has been done to up-date the information on the website is also unacceptable.

Anyway, enough said! Goodbye!

If I like the restaurant, I would always return, and of course, I WOULD WILLINGLY PAY WHATEVER CORKAGE IS CHARGED!

Do we really need Judge Judy here???!!!!!!!!!! Just take it from amour!!!!

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Reply by EMark, Apr 8, 2013.

The restaurant is entitled to change its policy.  The fact that the change in policy was not (and has still not been) reflected on their web site is unfortunate but not compelling.

I agree with your last sentence, Rolifingers, that there should be flexibility in the implementation of a new policy such as this.  It is entirely understandable that the server may not have had the authority to waive the charge.  If a manager had been summoned (or, even better, the owner), he/she might have had more discretion in showing flexibility in the name of customer service.

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Reply by rolifingers, Apr 8, 2013.

Thanks EMARK & to you as well AMOUR, you know where I'm coming from.

The matter is, I'm a repeat customer, and they are advertised on they're website as a BYOB and all of a sudden it's " well there's a corkage fee". Well they obtained a liqour license I GET IT. Post the new info on the restaurant website. And being that I'm giving you my business the corkage fee could have been waived that one time.

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Reply by EMark, Apr 8, 2013.

Well, Rolifingers, I am moving even more over to your viewpoint on this.  In your original posting it was not clear that that they were soliciting BYOB customers on their web site.  I can cut them some slack if the policy change was made and they "didn't have time" to update the web site.  However, it is more than disappointing that, weeks later, the site has still not been updated.

I am sure that what they are doing is not unlawful, and I doubt that it is even unethical.  It sure seems less than honest, though.

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Reply by outthere, Apr 8, 2013.

I just don't get the fuss. But then again I don't live in NYC. Must make a difference.

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Reply by amour, Apr 8, 2013.

ROLIFINGERS, as per your above post, one hour ago, you are correct; in my opinion as well as in any jurisdiction, north, south, east, west!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 9, 2013.

Here's my take, FWIW.  They aren't required to waive the fee or to change the website to reflect the change.  However, if you were a semi-regular customer and had been coming there at least in par t because they did not charge corkage in the past, as a matter of good sense, the restaurant should have waived the fee.  Nothing that you have a right to feel particularly angry about, but their flexibility will give you good reason to go back beyond the fact that in the past you could bring your own wine.  In essence, they need to market themselves to you on the basis of something other than their no corkage status now that things have changed.  If there was any risk of you being offended, and there was even with the most reasonable client, good sense would dictate that they waive it this one time.  If you like the restaurant for reasons other than the BYOB, you probably would put it behind you, but why would they risk this?

I had dinner this weekend at a restaurant where we go about twice a year, but we often take out-of- town luminaries or large groups.  We often spend $800 to over a $1000 on a visit there--these are groups of 8-12 and drink wine. Saturday I ordered the wines and mentioned to the sommelier that one of the bottles just never seemed to run out.  She realized that someone had opened two of that wine, and we had one more wine lined up.  So she comped the second bottle of one wine, and promptly brought over the last wine of the evening.  She and the owners also sent a few complimentary plates.  The restaurateur is incredibly successful--we are lucky they make a table for us, but that's because my wife supported them at the start and they treat her like family.  Does the couple thousand that we spend there a year make a huge difference?  No, but they do this for regulars, and they give excellent service at all times, even to a neophyte.  And that's why they are successful. 

Would waiving the corkage have paid off for your place in the long run?  Of course, between your good press and your return business.  And it would have cost them almost nothing.  Should you be mad?  Probably not, but there are places that would have handled this differently. 

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Reply by rolifingers, Apr 9, 2013.

@FOXALL, first of all thank you for your input. The reason I love this particular restaurant is the incredible Indian food, not it's BYOB policy ( though that was a great thing ). It is a quaint little restaurant and it's a great place to take a date for some great food and conversation.. For me, first and foremost it"s the great food.

I am not at all angered by the incident and continue to frequent there. All I asked for was that the new policy be made clear on their website. I didn't ask for the corkage fee to be waived, I just thought that maybe on this one occasion he would do so as a courtesy.

Thanks again.

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Reply by amour, Apr 9, 2013.

Indian food...OH LA LA!!!!! 

What wines have you had with Indian food?

What would be a great wine with a vegetable samosa, for example?

With korma chicken?

With chicken vindaloo?

Shall we start a thread on this?

YES!

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Reply by rolifingers, Apr 9, 2013.

@AMOUR: Chicken vindaloo, definitely a cool refreshing white wine. LOL!!!!! That is one delicious but SPICY dish!

I drink a Pinot Grigio when I eat there if the dish is really spicy or I'm sure a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling,Viognier or a Gewurtztraminer would do great.

 

If I have the Curry Chicken & Basmati Rice I'll have something like a Southern Rhone blend. The Curry Chicken is very rich and saucy but not spicy so I can enjoy a red wine with it.

 

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Reply by GregT, Apr 9, 2013.

Rolli - it's quite common unfortunately. Since it takes a long time to get a liquor license, a lot of restaurants allow BYO, then when they get the license, they change the policy. Everyone understands the issue, but I think your server shoudl have asked the manager or someone else and maybe they'd have let you slide. I had a place in the neighborhood we'd go to all the time - same story. He said he'd let us keep coming with our own wine as we had become friends over the several years it took them to get their license, but when a few people went there w/out me somehow the staff that night didn't know anything about it and when they got the owner, he told them that since they hadn't been there for a long time, that policy was no longer in effect. He's still in business and packed, but I don't go there. Many stories like that.

Clumsy service IMO.

BTW - it's corkage, not corking. Although I'd pay them fifty cents to put the cork back in my bottle!!

Sorry for your mishap. Sucks.

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Reply by rolifingers, Apr 9, 2013.

@GREGT: It wasn't a bad experience, I just wish that restaurants start learning that sometimes a kind gesture towards a customer no matter how small goes a loooong way.

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Reply by amour, Apr 10, 2013.

Thanks...I love your suggestions ROLIFINGERS!

 

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Reply by rolifingers, Apr 10, 2013.

@AMOUR: You have great taste in food.

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Reply by amour, Apr 10, 2013.

And wine and men too!!!!! At least I had in my day, as regards men!!!!!

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Reply by Chris Carpita, Apr 10, 2013.

Fantastic commentary, especially from Amour at the end!   I just wanted to add that for some restaurant owners it's actually easier for them to obtain that liquor license than to update their website; they're likely dealing with a provider/contractor who's gonna ding them $50-150 for an update to the site, so for some things they're like "F*** it, just leave the website how it is".    Anyway they should have let the bottle slide that time, and let you know for your next visit.   

Worse situation is when you bring a bottle, and it turns out they got the license and don't even allow for corkage!   This happened to me at an NYC cuban restaurant and I schlepped the bottle in my bag for nothing.

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