Would you bring your own wine to a restaurant?
A night out, particularly including a glass or two of wine, can be an expensive outing. But, depending on where you live, bringing your own wine – an increasingly popular trend at certain restaurants – can help ease the pain.
In Quebec, where licensing is less stringent, BYOW restaurants are common. Ontario restaurants must be licenced, however, and the few that view BYOW as an option will tell you the bottle must be from the LCBO. And now Manitoba has joined the list.
But do you really come out ahead if you bring your own grog? Not really, particularly if you tend to stick to medium-priced brands.
The corkage fee covers service (but not tips), wine glass breakage/rental and some of the lost revenue from not selling a wine off the restaurant's list, they argue. While corkage is unusual in Quebec establishments, many Ontario restaurants charge patrons as much as $18-20 per bottle.
And they're right to do so, argues consultant Rags Srinivasan. In fact, letting diners pack their own bottle is a loser’s game for eateries since the potential pickup in bargain-hunting business will be nothing compared to the drop in revenue, he maintains.
Are you more inclined to patronize restaurants that let you bring your own wine? Are they any where you live? What's a reasonable corkage fee to shoulder?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money