Restaurant Doggy Bag Campaign Backed By Top Chefs

By Lindsey Last edited 79 months ago
Restaurant Doggy Bag Campaign Backed By Top Chefs

Eyes bigger than your stomach? A new campaign gives top chef endorsement to what we've always known - if your dinner's too good to waste then ask to take it home.

Whilst it's long been generally acceptable to doggy-bag dinner from the curry house - so often a takeaway option anyway - diners can feel embarrassed to ask for their Michelin starred leftovers to be bagged up and taken away from an elegant and upmarket establishment. But Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Anthony Worrall Thompson and co are on hand to persuade you it's better to be a 'lover than a leaver' - they want you to eat their food, whether sat at table in the restaurant or reheated for breakfast next morning.

The campaign launched in London this week with chain favourites like Ping Pong, Geronimo pubs (The Betjemen Arms, for instance) and Leon already signed up. The upscale D&D group, whose restaurants include Quaglinos, Launceston Place and the Orrery are in, as are groovy Wahaca, the Criterion Piccadilly, Cafe Spice Namaste, the Modern Pantry, Hoxton Apprentice and more.

It's a drive from the Sustainable Restaurant Association to cut restaurant waste. For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, "nearly half a kilo of food is wasted – through preparation, spoilage and what’s left behind on the plate". A special, campaign branded 100% recycled and biodegradeable 'doggy box' courtesy of London Bio Packaging has been produced for participating restaurants, and early eatery sign ups to the cause can get a batch for free.

But even if the place you choose to dine out in this weekend isn't yet signed up, if you like your food but can't finish it, don't be embarrassed to ask to take it away with you.

Last Updated 07 October 2011


It would help immensely if wait staff would ask when clearing the table whether the diners would like to take the leftovers with them--eliminates any awkwardness by saving the diner having to ask! It's common practice in the US, I worked as a waitress for years in NY, and it's actually considered rude if staff clears the plates without checking.


I've been doing this for ages.  The only down-side is the packaging.  You end up with the take-home container, and the problem of either binning it (not very green) or cleaning it and recycling it (not ideal).   But I have a solution - take your own container.   Some products, such as coffee and parmasan cheese, now come in resealable bags.  These are easy to wash (no corners), very strong, and fold down to nothing.  So I carry a few in my handbag.  And when the meal is over I fill my own take-away container.  Perfect.