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.