Thursday, November 09, 2006

'Didn't clean your plate? Here's your fine.'

For years, activists have blasted restaurants for serving unnecessarily large portions. Now some establishments in Montreal are reportedly turning the tables and fining guests who opt for more than they can eat. It’s their way of enlisting patrons in the cause of holding down food costs.

The Gazette, a Montreal daily, reported today that at least two local Japanese places tack a surcharge onto the tabs of guests who eat only the fish part of their sushi and leave the rice behind. Odaki justifies its $10 penalty fee as the difference between the restaurant’s $22 all-you-can-eat sushi deal and the $32 eat-till-you-burst sashimi offer. After all, the rice-skippers are presumably downing more fish, which is why the sashimi meal was priced higher in the first place.

Kanda Sushi Bar charges by the piece—in this case, not for the sushi patrons order, but for the pieces they leave behind. If guests opt for the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat deal and then fail to consume every item they choose, they’re hit with a $1-per-piece leftover charge. It doesn’t come as a surprise; the surcharge policy is spelled out on the menu in an apparent attempt to discourage food waste.

A vegetarian outlet, Spirite Lounge, similarly levies a surcharge if patrons fail to clean their plates. And in addition to the $2 penalty, they’re denied dessert, and may be turned away the next time they try to dine there. Its mission is raising awareness of world hunger and food waste. “I’ve got to tell you, this is without a doubt, hands down, the absolute strangest restaurant I’ve ever been in,” Shelley Macdonald wrote in her review of the place for

You can read about the Montreal restaurants’ anti-waste policies at

No comments:

Post a Comment