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Swiss restaurant fines customers who don't finish food

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Swiss restaurant fines customers who don't finish food
Is fining people a good way to stop food waste? Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash

A restaurant in the Swiss canton of Aargau has started fining people for not finishing their food, although the motive isn't purely profiteering.

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“Casanova” Indian restaurant in the town of Baden, Aargau, charges a 'fine' of five francs — in addition to the bill — to customers who leave food on their plate.

The reason for doing so however is not a typical example of Swiss profiteering - and only applies to those who choose the all-you-can-eat buffet option. 

The owner, Salman Ghauri, grew up in India where a large part of the population doesn’t have enough to eat, said he wanted to remind people how good they have it.

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"Food is precious in India, we don't throw it away", Ghauri told Swiss media, encouraging the Swiss to avoid food waste. 

In his restaurant, he serves an all-you-can-eat buffet for 20 francs, but some people pile up more food onto their plates than they can consume, and uneaten food ends up in trash.

This is why Ghauri decided charge a ‘penalty’ of anyone who doesn’t finish the food — a concept he says most of his customers support.

Ghauri, who has lived in Switzerland for 20 years, said the fine might encourage people to think a little more about what they put on their plate. 

“Some people also leave their plate half full and go back to the buffet to try another dish.”

Ghauri said that while the Swiss learn as children to eat what is served on their plates "as adults we tend to leave that aside". 

"I find our concept good and I fully support it". 

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Anonymous 2022/07/02 13:12
I applaud this restaurant owner for what he is doing. I hate to see food wasted for all the reasons. Especially now with wars, Climate Crisis, inflation, all the economic suffering of actually most people in the world, wasting food seems morally and spiritually wrong. I also hate how some people behave at buffets, it is weird, and why I avoid them. I wish this guy good luck. And I also appreciate that The Local covered this story. Thank you!

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