Celebrating The Doggy Bag

Nikolay Kalinin celebrates the ‘Daily Mail’s’ campaign to encourage restaurant customers to take doggy bags home with them and joins those slamming Wetherspoons decision to refuse to participate.

Nikolay Kalinin celebrates the ‘Daily Mail’s’ campaign to encourage restaurant customers to take doggy bags home with them and joins those slamming Wetherspoons decision to refuse to participate

Food waste is a big problem in today’s society, not only because it’s damaging to the environment – a fifth of Britain’s gas emissions come from food waste – but also because it’s highly inconsiderate to waste food when an increasing number of Brits find themselves homeless and hungry.


Fortunately, the Daily Mail has set up a campaign to help tackle this issue called ‘War On Food Waste,’ which has been led by many prominent restaurants such as Pizza Express and Wagamama. The campaign’s mission is to normalise taking home leftovers as part of the eating out routine.


Despite 81% of the British public supporting restaurants offering bags for taking leftovers home as standard, an investigation conducted by The Mail on Sunday – which analysed more than 20 dining chains – concluded that the venues were failing to encourage people to take leftover food home.


One of the worst examples of such malpractice is Wetherspoons, which refuses to allow taking leftovers home at all. According to a spokesperson from the company, there “isn’t a demand from customers” for such an option, which, in my view, is absolute tosh.


They further added: “The only takeaway packaging is for pizza, though a customer would have to ask for this. Doggy bags are not appropriate for all pubs and restaurants as they create a large amount of packaging waste.”


In contrast, Ellie Besley-Gould of the somewhat ritzier steak chain Hawksmoor enthused about customers taking away what they don’t consume whilst dining out and remarked: “It’s brilliant that The Mail on Sunday is taking on food waste. For lots of people it is half the treat to know you’ve got a steak sandwich for lunch the next day. Many of our customers even come with actual dogs in mind – taking home bones for their canine friends.”


By contrast, in the US, such practices have been in place for years, with takeaway bags going back to the Second World War. In France meanwhile, it will be required from July 1st for all restaurants, cafes and bistros to supply bags for taking away leftovers if requested.


This campaign very much reminds me of Lotti Henley, an Austrian-born philanthropist who created Plan Zheroes, an organisation linking businesses with charity organisations in order to provide food for those in need, and who was the subject of a feature in The Steeple Times back in 2017.


It’s honestly great to see the Daily Mail, for once, contributing to a good cause instead of sharing misleading headlines such as Didsbury being a ‘no go’ area for white people, and I really hope that more restaurants join a scheme that everybody other than the ghastly windbag Tim Martin quite rightly supports.


One can always rely on the total twerp Tim Martin to go against any sensible campaign.
Richard Caring, owner of some London’s grandest dining spots, has encouraged takeaway for years. At 34 in Mayfair, he even went to the length of getting the artist Tracey Emin to design the box such food could be taken away in. Whilst the slapdash, plain stupid ‘Loose Women’ presenter Janet Street Porter remarked of takeaway boxes: “I look down slightly on people who [ask for one],” whilst the revered restaurateur Russell Norman suggested those that are embarrassed “just lie and say it’s for your dog.”
The ‘Daily Mail’ deserves credit for encouraging diners to takeaway food they haven’t eaten and restaurants really should encourage it. Including a note on menus mentioning such and the training of staff to mention takeaway of leftovers as perfectly feasible is something that will harm nobody and benefit everybody.
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