Restaurant fines diners for not finishing plate in bid to stop waste

Food waste is a massive global problem, and an issue which this restaurant is 'fully' trying to combat...

A story caught my eye today about Swiss restaurant Patrizietta, who earlier this year started charging patrons 5 Francs for failing to clean their plates in a bid to stop food waste.

“I wanted to send a strong signal … It made me sick to see so much food being thrown out,” said Patrizietta’s chef Giovanni Tafuro.

The all-you-can-eat restaurant was experiencing an influx of customers with eyes too big for their stomachs, or buffet-pigs in other words, who loaded up on more than they could chew.

While the menu clearly states that patrons will be charged if they don’t eat up, Tafuro says the move is largely symbolic, and part of his mission to make people aware that food waste is a huge global problem.

I've never eaten in a place with such a rule in Australia, but in Brazil it's quite typical, as all-you-can-eat style restaurants are very common here. I've been to a Japanese restaurant over here who do sushi buffet style, where you pay a certain price and can order whatever you want, until you are full, but if you leave any sushi's on the plate, you are charged R$2 (AUD$1) per sushi.

I have found this to be a seriously effective model for getting Brazilian customers to not over order, and to stop when they are satisfied. I think it is a great rule, and should be introduced into all restaurants of this style.

I'm not sure how it would work in an al-a-carte or cafe style restaurant, where you normally order a single portioned meal to yourself. Perhaps it would encourage people not to fill up on bread!

What do you think of Patrizietta’s food waste fee? Do you think such a rule should be introduced in all kinds of restaurants? and do you know any local venues who have started doing this?

Let us know in the comments!

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