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BYO and Corkage and Why You Have to Pay

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by Teshome Wasie (subscribe)
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Published August 24th 2012
Image created by Mick Stephens (Wikimedia Commons)on

Sometimes it is necessary to prepare your self well when you want to move in to another country. In the first few weeks in Australia, I was confused with some trade names sticked on restaurants. When looking for a restaurant, you may notice that some advertise that they are "BYO". What do these initials mean?


BYO stands for Bring Your Own and if your restaurant is BYO it means that you are allowed to bring your own bottle of wine rather than purchase from the restaurant's own wine list. In some cases it may include beer as well, but it best to check first. Many restaurants are licensed to serve alcohol, in which case you may choose whether to BYO or purchase from the restaurant's drinks menu.


Restaurants which do have a liquor license usually charge 'corkage' for those patrons who bring their own alcohol. Corkage is a fee covering use of the restaurant's glassware, for keeping the beverage cold and for the service of the wait staff. You cannot avoid corkage with a screw top bottle as you are paying for a service. Corkage charges vary. Some restaurants may charge a low fee and others a high fee, at their discretion. Some restaurants charge corkage per bottle and others charge per person dining at the table regardless of whether they drink the wine or not. This will depend entirely on the venue as there is no standard.
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