Restaurant Says Clean Your Plate or Pay More

Julie Ryan Evans

Clean plate
Flickr photo by Annie Mole
If you miss the days of your mother nagging you to clean your plate, there's a restaurant in Australia you may want to check out. Diners at Wafu who don't finish their meals are charged 30 percent more than those who do AND asked not to return!

A sign on the door of the restaurant states:

"Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except lemon slices, gari (sushi ginger), and wasabi. Please also note that vegetables and salad on the side are NOT decorations; they are part of the meal too."

Chef Yukako Ichikawa's vision for the restaurant, which serves up "guilty free Japanese cuisine," is one that is free of waste and allergens. Food is gluten-free, vegan, organic, and "vegetarian-friendly."

"We are not only committed to serving meals that nurture and respect the body but are actively dedicated to the notion of waste prevention, and take seriously our responsibility toward the environment and sustainability for the future." 

I think it's a great concept. When I see the amount of food my own family leaves on a table at a restaurant sometimes (when we're not able to take home leftovers), I'm panged with guilt. Then as we exit I see piles of other discarded plates heaping with leftover food. It's embarrassing really that we live like this when so many people in the world can't eat at all.

On the other hand, there's the American obesity epidemic, so it's hard to imagine paying people to eat if they're not hungry. But Wafu does offer the option of allowing diners to bring their own takeaway containers for leftovers or to share meals.

While I'm not sure I'd be lining up to dine at such an establishment, I do appreciate their very thoughtful approach to food. We all should think more about it.

Would you eat at a restaurant that charged you more if you didn't finish your plate?  



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