Doggy bags are good to go


Doggy bags are good to go

Doggy bag

A recent scheme by the Scottish government proves doggy bags are hugely effective at cutting food waste in restaurants, and it seems that they may be as good for operators as they are for the environment.

The pilot scheme, named the "Good to Go" initiative, found that offering guests doggy bags at the end of a meal cut food waste by 40% per restaurant. More than 100 Scottish restaurants have signed up to the scheme, with another 100 approached to take part. It follows on the heels of a similar initiative in France which aims to cut food waste in half by 2025, by legally obligating restaurants to provide doggy bags.

The Scottish initiative was coupled with asking guests whether or not they really wanted side dishes- an idea that may unimpress many operators, having stressed the importance of upselling sides for years.

But rather than cutting into profits, "Good to Go" has the potential to be almost as beneficial to restaurants and pubs as it is to the environment. Reducing food waste makes as much sense financially as it does ecologically, and the doggy bag benefits don't end with savings.

When dining out, guests dislike food left on the plate. It creates the impression that they haven't got their money's worth, and have had to pay for what they can't enjoy. Being able to box up the remains in a doggy bag and taken them home to finish later on leaves guests satisfied that their experience with you has been good value for money.

And what you may lose in sides from encouraging guests to think twice about their order may be made up in desserts- typically higher value dishes. While guests may not be hungry enough immediately following their mains to order another course, the prospect of boxing up something sweet to enjoy later at their leisure may prompt them to order a dessert. Mentioning the possibility of a doggy bag when showing guests the dessert menu allows guests to choose to prolong their dining experience, but in their own home and in their own time... and without feeling like they've been upsold to or pressured to buy more than they want.

Back to Blog