DINERS in Inverness need no longer feel embarrassed to ask for a ‘doggy bag’ for the leftover food they’re not able to finish while dining out.
The Scottish Government’s ‘Good to Go’ scheme, run by Zero Waste Scotland, launched in Inverness and the Highlands on 20 January following a successful pilot scheme in 2014, which saw an average 42% reduction in food waste per restaurant.
Restaurateurs throughout the region are being urged to sign up to the initiative, which provides free boxes for leftovers. According to Zero Waste Scotland research, two-fifths of diners say they are too embarrassed to ask restaurant staff for a ‘doggy bag’, while three-quarters of those surveyed stated that they would welcome being offered the option.
Restaurant manager Matthew Bohdaniec runs The Mustard Seed restaurant in Inverness, which recently signed up to Good to Go. He said: “We’re very conscious of the significant environmental harm caused by food waste, which is why we do everything we can to minimise or recycle it. That’s why Good to Go is such a brilliant fit for The Mustard Seed – and no doubt most other restaurants – as it completely removes any uneasiness that customers have about asking to take their food leftovers away with them.
“Of course, in an ideal world, we would prepare only what’s required in the first place – but in the restaurant trade it can often be very difficult to predict differing appetites. As part of Good to Go, our staff will politely encourage diners to consider taking away any food they can’t manage to eat during their visit.”
“Good to Go will enable us, as responsible business owners, to help the environment, keep waste to a minimum and save money longer-term.”
Ylva Haglund, food waste campaigns manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The great thing about Good to Go is that we know that it delivers results. There’s really no reason for people to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about asking to take their leftovers away with them.
“Good to Go is designed to make the action of asking for a ‘doggy bag’ a regular restaurant request in Scotland – as regular as asking for the bill!” She added that of the 16 restaurants in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Irvine and East Kilbride that took part in the pilot, the average food waste figure fell by 42% as diners took home their leftovers – and 92% of those stated that they later ate the leftovers.