How many times have you been out to a restaurant, had eyes bigger than your belly, ordered far too much food and been unable to finish your plate? Many a time I should imagine. And where do those leftovers go? Straight into the bin. What a waste! While it is not common practice in Britain to ask for a doggy bag we really should start to follow in the footsteps of our Australian and American cousins. Brits need to just get over themselves, instead of being ashamed and thinking of it as tight or cheap to ask to take leftovers home, we should be proud to do so and in the words of my parents “Waste Not Want Not” and here are a few reasons why.
- Save the environment. Probably one of the most important reasons to do so by cutting food waste. A shocking one third of the food produced for human consumption is thrown away each year with restaurants accounting for 600,000 tons in the UK alone.
- Save money. By taking leftovers home you can make a meal you paid for go that bit further by having the leftovers for lunch or diner the next day. Make it up with some fresh sides and hey presto a ready made meal in an instant. And not only have you made that meal go further but you saved on a days meal too.
- Make the most of a special meal. Often when we dine out it is for a special occasion, so why not make that special meal last even longer by having the leftovers at home.
Restaurants should also encourage customers to take home leftovers by offering a doggy bag and mentioning that they cater for it in their menu. Not only might a customer order more if they think that they can take home what they can’t manage, but they reduce food waste disposal costs, leaving them with greater profit margins all round. It is also a great opportunity to advertise if customers are leaving the restaurant carrying cute little bags with the establishment’s name and logo on it.
So come on you Brits, get your noses out of the air and start making a difference!