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The reason many restaurants do not let guests bring leftovers

Miranda Reilly stated that he stealthily put leftover breads in his bag under the table to take home instead of asking for containers from staffs.

At a two-Michelin star restaurant in Mayfair, England, a group of customers including celebrities are enjoying premium food. Luisa Gottardo from Hertfordshire is also one of them. She finished the meal of Risotto (an Italian-style rice dish) with cheese and pears. Before leaving, Gottardo asked the restaurant to pack leftover foods and put them in a bag for her to bring back but it was refused. When she complained, the female customer received the answer that this was the rule.

Ian Hogan remembers taking his daughter for dinner at a high-class hotel in Hunter Valley, Australia. Father and son ordered pasta, but Hogan’s daughter did not finish it. Therefore, he asked to pack the food so he could bring it home, but the waiter refused. “We have to pay $ 400 for a night off here, and the pasta costs $ 12. She just ate one or two pieces. I asked to meet the manager and he himself refuses for letting me take the leftover food with me” he recalls. The male tourist think it is a waste of food.

Gottardo and Hogan are not rare guests who feel depressed and shy when being rejected. However, the two-star Michelin restaurant or the 5-star hotel is not the first place in the world to implement this rule.

“I think that many kitchens and restaurant managers will become enthusiastic when it comes to food problems beyond their control” said Russell Norman, head of restaurant chain Polpo. “If the chef is cooking something in a reputable restaurant, even with Michelin stars, I believe he wants guests to eat on the spot to be able to enjoy it in the best way.”

In addition to being afraid of customers eating food at the wrong time will lose their appetite, which possibly affects reputation, the restaurant also has another fear. That is the customer will suffer from food poisoning. “Everyone thinks rice dishes are harmless. But bacteria can grow quite quickly and cause food poisoning,” Norman said. Therefore, many restaurants do not agree to allow customers to bring leftover items, because they are afraid of not controlling food safety and hygiene issues. In addition to compensating hospital fees for customers, the restaurant also feared that this news would be spread, and the business would be facing difficult situations.

Gymkhana, another restaurant in Mayfair, UK has similar policies. The waiters there refused to let guests bring leftovers. However, there are still restaurants, like Norman’s, that takes the risk when they allow guests to take leftovers home.

Besides the policy of some restaurants, packing remaining foods for customers to take home depends on the views and habits of people in each country. Australians always consider themselves gourmets. So they are often reluctant to ask the waiter to pack leftovers to take home. In the US, many restaurants often ask to wrap food for guests to bring home even before you ask for it. However, in France this is not done regularly.

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