Lot: how the all-you-can-eat restaurants in Cahors fight against food waste

the essential
The majority of all-you-can-eat restaurants now apply a fine of 5 euros if the customer’s plate is far from finished. In addition to that, establishments are also turning to anti-waste applications and organizing themselves in the kitchen to reduce waste. And their costs.

Gobble up, yes. Waste, no. At Fujin, an Asian restaurant that offers an all-you-can-eat buffet in Cahors, the instructions are clear: if you don’t finish your plate, you will have to charge 5 euros. It sounds like a Japanese proverb but the idea is above all to dissuade consumers. “Some people use common sense, but with others it’s much more complicated,” begins Paula, the establishment’s room manager. She continues: “Some people have abused the quantities to the point of making layers of food on their plates, so when we ask to pay an additional five euros at the end of the meal, they are not happy, do not understand, refuse, we have to parley for a while”. A fine of five euros and an additional two euros for a tray if the customer wants to take it home. But usually, when the threat rumbles, the plate empties as if by magic.

Since this rule, the restaurant has less waste than before. But all the same. Because the risk of all-you-can-eat restaurants is having your eyes bigger than your stomach. And often, Paula and her team end up with leftovers on their arms, between 3 and 4 kg which end up in the trash. A heartbreaker for waiters and cooks. “To avoid this, we also sometimes advise on quantities and discourage very large quantities, we take a look at the plates, at the end of the meal, when there is still a lot left on the plate, we ask : Was it not good?”, explains the manager. To reduce waste, Paula also plans to register the establishment on the Too good to go application where restaurateurs can serve unsold items of the day.

This Thursday noon, Florian and Marie-Hélène came to eat with their children. On the quantities, they are always reasonable. “I hate leaving food, we ask the children not to spoil it,” explains the customer from Lot. “To pay five euros because you don’t finish is quite normal, when you go shopping you don’t like to throw money out the window either”, adds Florian. At Crescendo, we have also found a way to avoid waste. The brand offers all-you-can-eat vegetables and certain dishes. “Customers leave with a doggy bag, we generally have little food waste,” notes Florian Benezech, the deputy manager. To limit even more, the team has found a trick: “We cook in rhythm during most of the service and then, from 9 p.m., we wait for the customer to ask us to cook on demand like that, we don’t cook for nothing”. A story of common sense.

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