Shock new fee stinging diners
BOTTELAGE is the newest fee hitting diners when eating out.
Corkage and cakeage have been fees many customers are familiar with but now some eateries are charging customers for bringing smaller bottles including stubbies or ciders.
This starts from $2 per bottle at some restaurants, while wine bottles are being charged as much as $6 per person to open a bottle of wine.
But what can make it difficult for consumers is many pubs, restaurants and cafes fail to disclose these various fees on their websites, which means unsuspecting customers may get caught out.
Restaurant and Catering Association chief Juliana Payne defended her members' charges.
"A lot of them already have stock, wines, beers, cocktails, they have got it chilled and it costs them money to maintain those services," she said.
"It puts them in a spot if people then want to bring their own, it costs them extra money than to serve another bottle of wine that they could have provided themselves."
Ms Payne said it "seems crazy" for people to bring their own alcohol to eateries that are licensed or to bring a cake when desserts are already on the menu.
Consumer group Choice's communications director Erin Turner there is no federal law to advertise prices "which can often frustrate customers."
"If you want to make sure you don't get ripped off, it's best to check with the individual restaurant what their prices are and what their policy is on extra charges like corkage before you bring your bottle of wine," she said.
Other fees restaurants can hit customers with includes discretionary surcharges for larger-sized bookings if there's a group of 8 people or more dining together.
The surcharge can start from 10 per cent on top of the bill.
Public holiday surcharges are also common, often starting at an extra 10 per cent for staff penalty rates.