How do you feel about buffets wasting food?

buffet - photo of buffet style eating
@CharRay7 (1549)
United States
December 16, 2008 1:17am CST
This evening my sis-in-law and I went out to eat at Hometown Buffet before she left town. We got in there about 7pm and they close at 8pm which was still enough time to eat and chat awhile. When we were about done, and it was 8pm, an employee came around and asked if we were done with the buffet, we told her we were. Evidently, everyone else was done also so the employees started cleaning out the buffet trays. They brought out this big trash can dumped all the food that was left out into these cans. Some of the food had only been out there for a short time and wasn’t even touched. I was amazed at how much food was thrown away! There are so many homeless and people that are on public aid and can’t afford food and yet they throw tons of this good food away every day. Now I know it’s not the restaurant’s fault because there is a law about saving food and reusing it if it has been put out for the public. But isn’t there some way to be able to send this food to the soup kitchen or give people this food? Any ideas? Happy MyLotting! Char
3 people like this
17 responses
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
When I eat in a buffet style restaurant also known as eat all you can, I'll make sure to get foods that I can handle. If I can still eat, that's the time I'll go back to get more foods that I can eat. For me I don't want to give my leftovers to the poor. I don't want them to eat my leftovers because I already touched or I have eaten those foods. It is better that we eat the exact amount we can and let the restaurant give those leftovers that are not touched by any customer to the poor. It is how we can save those food and feed those people who are in needs.
1 person likes this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
18 Dec 08
Hi there, I wasn't talking about the food we have left on our plates. At buffets, you know how you go up to the counters and they have these big trays of food that you retrieve your food from? Those are the trays of food that I was talking about the employees throwing out. Thanks for your response! Happy MyLotting! Char
• Philippines
19 Dec 08
Yeah, I know But, I just want to say that people might always think not to waste lot of foods in their plate. they should eat or get foods that they can only eat. But those foods must be feed to animals not to people. we must give them foods that are clean not our leftovers.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I agree with you Char. Unfortunately, there is also a law saying it cannot be given to the homeless as it might make them sick. I've always felt this to be the dumbest law on the books. My hubby used to be head of the IT department for a company that made frozen french fries. They threw their waste product in dumpsters out behind their building. The homeless would come & dive through the dumpster to get a few of the disposed of potatoes. They always called the law & had them arrested. I'm sorry, I just can't understand that line of thinking!!!
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I know and it just irks me about that law!!! Your right, the homeless just dig through the dumpsters at night anyway. Now is that healthy??? Thanks for your response! Happy MyLotting! Char
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12161)
• United States
21 Dec 08
THANK YOU for the BR!!!
@bellebads (741)
• Philippines
16 Dec 08
i think that if you have paid for the buffet, you can bring home whatever food is left in the tray. like what i did when i host a party in a restaurant and it's also a buffet style after everybody finished eating, i requested the waiter to wrap the remain food in individual plastic bag and give the food to my visitors, like a take out food. in that way nothing will be wasted.
1 person likes this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Thanks for your response! I think they have a sign there that says no food can be taken away from the premises. I guess they don't want us to load up for snacks later. Happy MyLotting! Char
@Theresaaiza (10466)
• Australia
16 Dec 08
I think this is the one which is eat-all-you-can type of buffet. You pay an amount per head and you fill your plate with what is virtually possible for you to consume and as a rule, you should never leave any scrap on your plate. Therefore, I think you also can't bring home anything. But if it's the food from a catering service, then the food left is all yours because you paid for the entire thing.
@Theresaaiza (10466)
• Australia
16 Dec 08
if i owned the restaurant, I would gather some very poor people and let them finish it all. Of course, this should be done in secret. And there should be eligible members for that. But i don't know how legal that could be. Or better yet, I could have them packed and given to the employees who will then decide whether to give those food to other less fortunate neighbors or friends.
1 person likes this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Thanks for your response! Some good ideas you have! I also thought maybe at 8:15pm after they close, they let people who can show proof they need the food (public aid, etc.) into the restaurant to finish the food. No new food would be put out and when it was gone, it was gone. I, like you, don't know the legality of that though. Happy MyLotting! Char
@Theresaaiza (10466)
• Australia
18 Dec 08
yes, and if the law doesn't prohibit that, then that's possible, right?
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I agree totally with you. It would certainly make sense to send the trays to homeless shelters, or other places where it could be eaten and appreciated. There is too much hunger in this world, especially with todays economy to be wasting things like that. Some of the restaurants in my area do send food to shelters. There are volunteers who go around to the various restaurants to pick up the food and deliver it. Other than local health laws that might prohibit giving unused food away, it may be primarily a logistics issue. You should speak to the restaurant manager to see if there is any interest, and perhaps local churches and shelters to see if pick up could be arranged.
1 person likes this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Thanks for your response! I know and it really bothered me tonight. I think I will call the manager tomorrow and see if we can figure out how we can send the food somewhere. I'd even be willing to transport it if I have to. There has got to be a way to let people benefit from this leftover food. Happy MyLotting! Char
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Good luck in your efforts! Not everyone has a home, sadly, but at least they shouldn't have to be hungry. Way too much food is wasted. Please let me know how you make out, ok?
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Hi char~Unfortunately, this is really a sad thing! It really is so horrible to watch isn't it? My boyfriend works in a college cafeteria and he tells me they do this with most of the food every night! They won't even let the workers take the food home! In fact one night he was trying to take some food home for dinner and his boss saw him and threatened to fire him! When I heard this I flipped out! He makes little enough money as it is, works like a dog and barely gets enough time to eat and isn't allowed to take food home! They rather throw good food into the trash can! It is disgusting! Not even the workers are allowed to take the food and they only make minimum wage and surely could use to take it home to their families! So whatever the stupid law is that they follow it must be the same one as the restaurants. So with all the hungry people that are homeless or in shelters all this good food is being thrown out untouched! I wanted an explanation but my boyfriend, of course wouldn't let me butt in!
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
17 Dec 08
Hi Opal, I know, there just should be a way to let the homeless be able to eat some of that food. Thanks for your response! Happy MyLotting! Char
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
Would you have eaten there, ever again, if you knew they saved the unused food from today and served it again tomorrow? No I can't believe you would have done! Cooked and raw foods get contaminated as they cool and bacteria can proliferate. Hot food cooled in a frig overnight can make you very sick. There are very strict rules in Canada where we just cleaned up a Listeria epidemic that killed 31 people. Cooked food can be deadly if its not properly handled. I commend the Hometown Buffet for discarding the uneaten food at the end of the day!
1 person likes this
@Theresaaiza (10466)
• Australia
18 Dec 08
For health reasons then maybe the law really is right. It's just sad that some people are so hungry yet some people are just throwing away stuff. If only there's a "healthier" way to save this food and give them to those who have nothing to eat. In my country, beggars dig in garbage cans looking for scrap foods from fastfood restaurants that the can-afford ones has just left-off. But I guess we are only up to hoping.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
I don't believe in waste but many of these buffets donate this food to soup kitchens here who serve it to the poor.
1 person likes this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
17 Dec 08
Thanks for your response! I checked with ours and they say they cannot do it because of state law. I just think that stinks. Happy MyLotting! Char
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
17 Dec 08
I agree totally about the food wastage - and I know there are health and hygiene rules which apply. Our local bakery donates all their unsold product to charity, and it's collected each day and taken away to feed hungry people. There is also an organisation in Sydney now which has come to agreement with some of the top restaurants to collect their unsold food as well. Food waste is wicked!
1 person likes this
• India
17 Dec 08
I have felt the same myself. A lot of food is wasted, not in homes, but in restaurants and after public functions. Nobody seems to care about it; and the same people responsible for it, talk about how people are starving in the world and how they must be helped. I feel that we human beings live stupidly and irrationally. Cheers and happy Mylotting
1 person likes this
• Singapore
17 Dec 08
You should take what's necessary of what's is needed for your own serving, some people might get more they can can but in the end they wasted the food and the tend to throw away. What a waste..........
@jep_toyo (1607)
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
that's sad... but i think people who loves buffet style restaurants should think also if they can eat everything they put in their plate. Whenever I eat to buffet style restaurants I only put enough food that i can eat then go back for seconds... Well there shouldnt be that much food thrown if people practice the same thing...
1 person likes this
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
17 Dec 08
its sad to think that people could waste food while millions around the world are in poverty, not even a single meal in a day..so many malnourished children.. its sad that that is how things work at times. But there are policies that the restaurants and fast food chains that they are following, they cannot just give away excess foods for their own safety...so it is up to them to really calculate how much food they have to produce in order to save, and for buffets...they don't have to throw it as well..maybe excess foods could be given to employees to the waiters...the cook..i bet they have families that would like to have it...
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
16 Dec 08
i feel very sad and angry whenever i see people or restaurant throwing away food... there are so many poor and hungry people out there... they can donate the food to them rather than throwing the food away... i agree with you entirely... or at least let the employees to take the food home... take care and have a nice day...
1 person likes this
@stinge (808)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I have read a comment aboout health laws in this discussion. That's probably true. I think it really depends on the resturant. Some of them do have their left over food delivered to the shelters. Maybe with a buffet it's differnt since the food is just sitting out int he open all the time. I would think that they would at least ask the people that are still there if they would like to take a few plates home. That would be pretty cool. But I gues if you have stuffed your face with all that crap, that might be the last thing on your mind.
1 person likes this
@stylioJ (403)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I agree with you. I think it's terrible to make that much food and then waste it. There are many people who need food. This used to happen when I was in catering. At the end of the night, we had to dump everything out...what was really strange to me was that we couldn't even take a plate home with us. We were allowed to eat the food there, but we weren't allowed to take home leftovers. What a waste!
1 person likes this
@ladynetz (968)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
You're so right. waste makes my heart ache. I asked once a worker at a restaurant why don;t they just give this food away to homeless or a shelter. I was told that they can not take the responsability that the food will spoil and people get sick.Because you never know how long the shelter or other "beneficiaries" will keep the food and in what conditions. Anyhow, I'm convinced that "where is a will, there's always a way" to do things. You just have to want. Who know what other reasons are behind this? We are not told everything.Too bad.
1 person likes this