Chinese buffets ask you to avoid waste

A pair of scales with rice and coins - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / pisuIt must be a sign of the times, that Chinese buffets have started asking their customers not to waste food.

In case you are not familiar with the concept: Chinese restaurants in Germany offer you a buffet for a set price, from which you can eat as much or as little as you like.  The only thing you usually have to pay extra for are the drinks.

You might think of it as an “all-you-can-eat” type of offer.

Except that some customers take more than they can manage, meaning that food gets left on the plate and thrown away.

This is, of course, a waste and it must be something that is on the increase, as I have now seen two restaurants that have signs up about it.

The first one had a large sign over the buffet asking you politely not to take too much, but to come back as often as you liked.

The second one took a more draconian approach by way of a sign on the door, informing the patrons that they would be charged an extra 2 Euros per 100g of food left over.

Whilst I can understand the principle, I think this may be taking things a bit too far.  Perhaps a quiet word from the waiter might be better?  Or a polite sign at the buffet as in the first restaurant?  Although it is a shame that they even have to resort to such measures at all.

But considering the speed at which some Chinese restaurants clear the plates during the midday rush (resulting in the diners using multiple plates from the buffet), I can see discussions ensuing along the lines of “I was going to eat it, but you took the plate away before I could” to avoid paying the fine.

So whilst I would never myself consider intentionally putting too much food from the buffet onto my plate, I might invest in a pair of pocket scales.  Just in case.

 

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner
About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

Comments

  1. What happens if you help yourself to a dish and then find out it’s too salty/spicy/nasty to actually eat?

  2. Good question. I guess you tell the waiter that’s why you left it.

  3. I guess from the Asian viewpoint, piling food on your plate and then NOT eating it, this must seem rather annoying.
    Generally, one takes only small servings from the common plates served in China and Japan (where I have eaten many times).
    I could imagine some kids load up their plates with heaps of food, parents might not intervene either, and IMO “free food” gets treated with less respect anyway.
    Charging for left over food is a drastic measure, but I am sure the customer themselves are responsible for that.

  4. I have worked in buffet before and you will never know how much food some customers can waste! You may not doing this but others will. And unfortunately, some customers will never take it serious by just a quiet word ” not to take too much, but to come back as often as you liked.” unless they know they need to pay for it!

Speak Your Mind

*

Please click on ACCEPT to give us permission to set cookies [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details or to revoke permission.

Close