New research reveals Kiwis are keen for restaurant doggy bags

New research reveals Kiwis are keen for restaurant doggy bags

New research reveals that 87% of New Zealanders would like to be given the opportunity to take home their restaurant leftovers.

This data, from a recent survey by Otago University’s Dr Miranda Mirosa, was released in light of the media coverage surrounding Kapiti restaurant The Social’s ban on doggy bags.

Mirosa surveyed 1,375 New Zealanders, with 20% of respondents saying they have been refused at least once when asking to take their leftovers home.

“It is clear that Kiwis would like to be able to take their restaurant leftovers home in order to eat them later,” said Mirosa.

“However, this is not something that is actively offered by restaurants, with only 25% of people being offered the option to take it home when they still had food left at the end of their meals. Of those who were offered, 70% did take their leftovers with them.”

According to Paul Evans, spokesperson for the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, it is health and safety concerns that prevent restaurants from offering doggy bags and donating uneaten food to food rescue groups, resulting in food being unnecessarily wasted.

“We can understand the concern that some restaurants have, but generally these are based on unfounded fears rather than regulation. Letting people take home their leftovers is a simple way to reduce food waste,” said Evans.


What Do We Recommend?

Love Food Hate Waste recommends that any leftovers are refrigerated within two hours of cooking and are eaten within two days. If frozen immediately leftovers can last for up to two months.

Many restaurants around the country such as Lone Star, who provide doggy bags to their customer include this information on the container thus minimising food safety concerns.

The use of doggy bags has been successful internationally in reducing restaurant food waste.

A Scottish initiative to promote the use of doggy bags through their Good to Go campaign has found that participating restaurants have reduced their food waste by 40%.

Some restaurants said that offering customers a doggy bag had actually improved sales. Customers who weren’t sure if they could manage bigger portions ordered them anyway and took them home. Other restuarants found that by encouraging staff to offer diners the option of a doggy bag their staff became more aware of food waste in other aspects of the business.

France has recently passed a law where restaurants are now legally obliged to provide them if requested by diners, in a move to cut food wastage.

The social stigma attached in to asking for a doggy bag is being addressed by a name change to le Gourmet Bag. In Italy artists and designers have worked together to create a range of designer doggy bags.


(Image credit: Comieco)

“Love Your Leftovers” is the campaign theme for Love Food Hate Waste in November which will increase awareness of the best methods for storing leftovers.