Swiss Restaurant Charges Customers for Not Cleaning Plates

To reduce food waste, a restaurant has implemented an unfinished food fine

Wikimedia/Dorina Andress
A buffet restaurant in Switzerland has started charging customers for leaving food on their plates.

Customers whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs will have to pay up from now on, as one Swiss restaurant has implemented a fine for anybody who doesn’t clean their plate.

According to The Local, the Patrizietta all-you-can-eat buffet in Switzerland was fed up with customers taking more food than they could eat and then throwing the excess away. To cut back on food waste, they have started charging customers 5 francs, or about $5.65, for leaving food on one’s plate. Access to the unlimited lunch buffet costs 12 francs, or about $13.50.

“I wanted to send a strong signal,” said chef Giovanni Tafuro, who just took over the restaurant in April. “It made me sick to see so much food being thrown out.”

A charge for leaving too many leftovers is legal, and customers are notified on the menu that it could be applied. But Tafuro says the move is largely symbolic, and he mainly wanted to make people aware that food waste is a problem.

The area federation of restaurateurs supports the measure. 

“It’s perfectly legal, and for me a good way of combating waste, although I think the people of Ticino are generally good at knowing their limits,” said president Alessandro Pesce.


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9 Comments

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The customer bought the food, so isn't it theirs to do with what they want, including not eating it?

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ok no problem. But then the chef should pay a fine each time THEY throw away ANY food for ANY reason!!!

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ok no problem. But then the chef should pay a fine each time THEY throw away ANY food for ANY reason!!!

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Nice idea, but I don't think I would frequent a place that would add this charge. I hate to waste food, but I absolutely refuse to eat food that does not taste as good as is looks. I am an extremely picky eater. At a buffet, I try to get extremely tiny portions on my first round. That way, if I like something I can always go back and get a little more. I still end up leaving some food on the plate that did not pass my quality and/or taste standards. The purpose of a buffet is to sample different dishes, but you shouldn't pile your plate with more than you could ever eat.

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Nice idea, but I don't think I would frequent a place that would add this charge. I hate to waste food, but I absolutely refuse to eat food that does not taste as good as is looks. I am an extremely picky eater. At a buffet, I try to get extremely tiny portions on my first round. That way, if I like something I can always go back and get a little more. I still end up leaving some food on the plate that did not pass my quality and/or taste standards. The purpose of a buffet is to sample different dishes, but you shouldn't pile your plate with more than you could ever eat.

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Chef Tafuro, I think it would be okay if you charged a little more. The presentation is astounding.

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It's been pretty much the standard policy in alot of buffet restaurants in Singapore for almost a decade... not something to be proud of for sure, but just saying this policy isn't something groundbreaking or new.

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I am so appreciative that chef Giovanni Tafuro and Alessandro Pesce, are starting to charge for uneaten food going to waste. Its about time, I know it is better late than never, yes, there should be a charge for not finishing your plate. Thank you!!! GRAZIE, maybe it will spread around the world. YES!!!!

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I am so appreciative what chef Giovanni Tafuro and Alessandro Pesce
are doing with all that extra uneaten food going to waste. YES i agree to charge a fee for not eating everything. YES!!!!!! Thank you, maybe it will spread across the world. THANK YOU for doing this. Its about time, i know it is better late than never. YES!!!

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