Should Restaurants Charge Customers a Fine for 'Food Wastage'?

Living 2012/05/18 18:00:00
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We'll admit it: Sometimes our eyes are a little bigger than our stomachs. But we don't expect to pay extra just because we're feeling a little full! The Kylin Buffet, a Chinese restaurant in England offering an all-you-can-eat buffet -- has posted a notice warning customers of a $32 for "food wastage" fine, The Daily Mail reports.

One mom was told she had to pay the fine after she, her 10-year-old son and 6-year-old niece left two onion rings, a piece of shrimp toast and a spring roll on their plates.

"After we had our starters, we went up for our main course. But a member of staff came over and asked if we weren’t going to eat the food on our plates, and said we would have to pay an extra $32 to cover food wastage costs," Beverley Clark told the Mail. "I was furious and said we were already paying $28 for three meals, but the staff kept checking if we had eaten the food. In the end I wrapped it up in a [napkin], and put it into my bag when they weren’t looking, so it looked like we had eaten it."

After Clark complained, the restaurant deducted about $5 from her bill. "In the end I didn’t have to pay the extra charge, but it felt as though they were trying to rip me off," she said.

Sam Fung, manager at the Kylin Buffet, is standing behind the policy. "I accept that my staff should not have spoken to the family about the food on their plates more than once. However, they left a lot of food from the buffet on their plates and we have to charge for wastage of food," Fung told the Mail.

Now, we don't know how it is in England these days, but in America, you're often given way more food that you could possibly eat. And we also have a growing obesity epidemic ... if anything, restaurants should pay you for NOT finishing your food!
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  • USAISME 2012/05/19 22:15:02
  • Mavii 2012/05/19 22:11:28
    Come on, at least don't charge THAT much!!!
  • TheTruth1313 2012/05/19 21:36:58
  • Rob Williams 2012/05/19 21:18:29
    Rob Williams
    I hate wasting food but this is too much especially the amounts mentioned in the article! I think that you're dicing with financial ruin when you open an all you can eat restaurant. My son in law is built like a piece of string with a few knots in but that boy can eat for England!
  • Seonag 2012/05/19 20:55:16
    Badly worded question --- YES but ONLY if it's a buffet. NO if it is a chef prepared plate. I've seen some people pile it on their plates and then end up eating only half of what they take. That IS A WASTE.
  • Melody 2012/05/19 20:42:23
    Food already costs an arm and a leg, and they're going to throw it out anyway.
  • Dickens 2012/05/19 19:53:17 (edited)
    ...only if the restaurant can be fined/disciplined for not knowing how much the patron wants...and good luck collecting a "food wasting" charge from the average person..
  • Jeremy Villa 2012/05/19 19:50:57
    Jeremy Villa
    I doubt if they'll actually do it though.doubtdoubt
  • SA 2012/05/19 19:35:12
    Let them take the excess food home. Most "all you can eat" places do not do that.
  • les_gvt SA 2012/05/20 07:31:01
    because that would be eating two meals- you should be paying for two meals- if customers know you will let them take excess off their plates home, they will pile the food on, knowing they can't eat it all.

    Only thing I let people take home off a buffet was bare bones (for the dogs), and would pour their drink into a paper cup for them- rest of the actual food stayed, unless they paid for carry out
  • SA les_gvt 2012/05/20 15:32:30
    In your experience you have seen that. Not in my experience.
  • les_gvt SA 2012/05/20 17:44:43
    so you worked in a restaraunt with a buffet 6 days a week for 6 hours a day?- and 3 more hours on Tue nite?

    Try running food cost, and making enough profit to stay in business by allowing people to take "excess" home, eventually, REALITY of keeping your doors open will hit you
  • SA les_gvt 2012/05/20 17:46:14
    Just MY opinion. ;-)
  • stevegtexas@aol.com 2012/05/19 19:28:34 (edited)
  • les_gvt stevegt... 2012/05/20 07:35:05
    doggie bags are intended for ordered meals, and you have extra. They are portion sized and at a set cost. Buffet is all you can eat while you are there. If you want to take some with you, - you pay for a carry out buffet.

    90% of all profit in a buffet comes from the drink. If a salad bar is included, and the customer drinks water, you are lucky to break even, so If you let people take doggie bags, either prices will go up, or the restaraunt closes down
  • stevegt... les_gvt 2012/05/20 19:54:39
  • les_gvt stevegt... 2012/05/20 20:39:03
    I spent 2 hrs going through "rush" hr traffic in D/FW fri- the one that posted this is in England

    and that was after sitting on I30 near Mt Pleasant while a Central wiggle wagon burned to the ground for almost 2 hrs
  • Sarah 2012/05/19 19:26:32
    What the hell????!!! We don't need the damn food cops coming after us.
  • stevegt... Sarah 2012/05/19 19:29:35
  • Sarah stevegt... 2012/05/20 20:25:08
    lol Exactly!!
  • Michael 2012/05/19 19:24:48
    In an "All you can eat" sushi place they did say that they charged for what was left on your plate, to discourage people taking too much. I don't like it. We don't go there any more. Vote with your feet.
  • EDWARD G 2012/05/19 19:11:35
  • Redneck 2012/05/19 19:10:40
    I"ve heard of that before. Some place would weigh the left overs and charge extra. it's bull crap. if you can't cook it cheap enough to accomodate a few gluttons, then you need to stop the buffet.
  • Tigger Too 2012/05/19 18:55:03
  • Adam 2012/05/19 18:51:18
    Do I get a credit for eating everything I take? No. I don't. I paid my money, I will eat what I please.
  • lorenab. 2012/05/19 18:44:09
    thats stupid, we pay for the food whether we waste it or not! i would not pay a food wastage fee!
  • S and S 2012/05/19 18:38:19
  • dekecds 2012/05/19 18:36:56
    dang, hit the wrong button.....YES! I hate the fact that so many people get a bunch of food and then waste it! If that's really what you want to do, then you might as well find someone unfortunate that can't afford to eat out, and just spit in their face. It's a gluttonous, I-don't-give-a-crap, attitude that allows people to live with themselves when they do that.
  • goblue1968 2012/05/19 18:24:19
    This one is pretty straightforward. The food wastage factor is built into the pricing structure of the restaurant's menu. The only situation where some logic may apply is for "all you can eat" buffet style formats, but even then, the seller knows that is part of the risk going in when he offers that as an option for his business.
  • dekecds goblue1968 2012/05/19 18:33:12
    sounds like it was an all you can eat buffet....It's called the Kylin Buffet....just saying....
  • goblue1968 dekecds 2012/05/20 16:00:55
    Yes, I saw that the example given was an all you can eat buffet, but this poll question seemed to be worded as a general question for any type of restaurant, so that was the way I answered the poll question.
  • hasher goblue1968 2012/05/21 23:28:54
    right and in most restaraunts you can take home what you dont eat in a doggie bag. the portions are sometimes so big it impossible to eat it all.
  • goblue1968 hasher 2012/05/23 01:01:32
    Exactly, which is what I usually end up doing (taking home my leftovers in a doggie bag).

    But this poll question was started over an incident which happened in England, and I have no idea whether the doggie bag option is even customarily offerred to British diners.
  • mae 2012/05/19 18:15:01
    Somebody should send a rugby team to Kylin Buffet, and really give Mr. Fung something to cry about...There will be NO food left in his All-You-Can-Eat buffet...serves him right.
  • hannah 2012/05/19 18:09:08
    obviously not. people dont have much money as it is so going out to a restaurant is a treat it wouldnt be fair to make them spend more just cause they wasted just a lil bit of food. thats just stupid
  • kent 2012/05/19 17:58:55
    What's next...they make me go to bed if i don't clean my plate? Some woman comes by the table to give a tongue lashing about starving children in India? They set it aside and I have to come back and finish eating it later or get nothing until I do? What if I put something on my plate because I thought it looked good , only to discover it tastes like crap?..am I obligated to eat that or pay the extra? Should my tip reflect how good a job the staff did of checking on my eating habits?

    How about this... cancel the buffet and serve pre determined portions based on what the average person would eat. Or keep your buffet plan, stop inspecting the customer's plate and shut up.
  • Margare... kent 2012/05/19 18:14:30
    Margaret Jacobson
    back in the 1950's I was told that there were staring children in China......AQfter dinner I put some leftover spinach in an envelope and labeled it to "China" and DRPOOED IT IN THE CORNER MAILBOX !!!
  • kent Margare... 2012/05/19 18:30:43
    In the 50's mom told us it was eastern Europeans, Chinese came about in the early 60's followed by Indian, and Pakistanis, by the early 70's I had George Harrison reminding me of the starvation in BanglaDesh, into the 80's Ron Reagan was informing the west that North Koreans were dying of starvation, and more recently U2's Bono has lectured me on the starvation in Somalia, Chad and Ethiopia. Like a good boy I cleaned my plate in respect of each of these events. My heart condition is partly attributed to bad eating habits learned because i had to clean my plate for every one of these famine areas and I want to know...........

    Will my grandkids be told NOT to clean their plates because fat grandpas are dying in Canada? Who will speak for us?!!!

    P.S. I like your mailbox plan!
  • HarleyCharley 2012/05/19 17:55:43
  • lucythetooth 2012/05/19 17:55:05
    There are a few women I work with that leave over half their meal on the plate when we go out to lunch. They don't even bother to have it boxed to take with them. It's such a waste. If they know they won't be able to eat the full portion, then they should ask for a half portion or order off the senior citizen menu.

    As far as a buffet is concerned, you don't have to pile the food on your plate all at once. Take a few things, eat that, then go back and get a few more things. Easy Peasy. It's extremely stupid to take food off the buffet just to leave it on your plate to be trashed ten minutes later. If you're not going to eat it, don't take it.

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