OK, so the title is a little clickbaity, but bear with me on this one - we're talking about doggy bags.
Last week I went for dinner with my whole family - very nice local gastro pub with great food and good portions. Celebrating a couple of birthdays, it was the perfect time to 'go to town' on the menu, forget about Slimming World and indulge. And indulge we did.
Olives to keep us ticking over until our starters arrive. Then bubble and squeak to start along with some Nachos shared with my partner - BIG portions and very delicious. certainly took the edge off my hunger.
About 15 mins later our mains arrived and BAM! the large starter hit my stomach and I felt instantly full. Would've been fine if I then didn't have a whopping goats cheese and butternut squash pappardelle to get through! My partner felt the same.
I tackled the pappardelle with great tenacity, but it beat me. Over three quarters of it left on the plate. My partner had most of her Halloumi and Roasted pepper salad left on the plate too. Sad times.
Now - here's the problem:
When the bill came we asked if we could take our meals home - for 3 main reasons:
1) It was delicious (like really, really delicious)
2) Food waste is a real, real problem - and it drives me mad
3) They cost us not an inconsiderable amount of money
The waitresses headed to the kitchen to find containers and returned a few minutes later explaining that they don't actually do any containers in which to take the food home in - never have. She offered me to take it home on the plate and return the plate (?!) or she could do her best to wrap it all up in tin-foil.
The main issue for me is that the restaurant had not even considered the fact people may want to take their food home, or even considered their own food waste. In 2015 we binned £13bn worth of food that could have been eaten. 4.4million tonnes of edible food - wasted.^
Supermarkets have started to do their bit for food waste (wonky veg is a good example) but restaurants MUST do more. It should be their default position to make you take the left overs home to eat.
It's as simple as:
"Here is your bill, I'll box this up for you to take home and enjoy later"
At that point you can decline (if you wish) or acknowledge the fact they are doing their bit to reduce food waste and enjoy your meal for a 2nd time the following day.
With over 8.4 million families in the UK struggling to put food on the table^^, we MUST do more combat food waste.
Start by asking for a doggy bag.
^Source: The Guardian
^^Source: The Independent