Good to Go - Free Starter Packs Available
The Good to Go scheme run by Zero Waste Scotland, with the backing of the Scottish Government, has been launched to tackle ‘plate waste’ from restaurants and to change the culture around leftovers - making it normal to take food home after a meal.
Food waste is a major issue, which costs the Scottish hospitality industry an estimated £64 million a year. Research estimates that around 53,500 tonnes of food is wasted from Scottish restaurants each year, and that two-thirds of this could have been avoided. 34% of this good food is estimated to be ‘plate waste’ – food left over at the end of the meal. The Good to Go pilot showed that if restaurants across Scotland routinely offered doggy bags to customers, it could save the equivalent of 800,000 full meals going in the bin every year.
Providing take-home boxes, or ‘doggy bags’ is a simple way to reduce this waste, whilst also offering customers an enhanced service by enabling them to take uneaten food home to enjoy later. Research has shown that while customers overwhelmingly want to be offered ‘doggy bags’, two fifths (42%) are currently too embarrassed to ask for one.
The first 100 small and medium sized businesses to sign up to the scheme will receive a supply of 300 Good to Go containers, bags, promotional materials such as table-top ads, posters and window stickers, and guidance on how to take part.
Benefits to your business
The Good to Go pilot, which ran in 16 restaurants in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Irvine and East Kilbride during spring 2014, revealed clear benefits to the participating restaurants:
Less food waste
Plate waste was reduced by an average of 42% per participating restaurant. Around half of this reduction was due to diners taking food home, with further reductions achieved through other measures such as restaurants adjusting portion sizes, changing menu options and checking if customers actually wanted side dishes such as chips or vegetables – all as a result of taking part in the pilot.
Enhanced service to customers
Both those customers who took food home, and those who didn’t, were universal in saying that they welcomed the option to take leftover food home.
Some restaurants reported an increase in sales thanks to the Good to Go take-home service, as customers who weren’t quite sure if they could manage a three course meal felt more confident with the option of taking some of the food home with them.
Being part of national scheme
Feedback from restaurant staff showed that being part of a national initiative increased their confidence in offering customers a doggy bag and it was seen as a positive way to enhance the sustainability credentials of the business.
For more information you can read the full Good to Go pilot report and watch a short video about the scheme. http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/good-go-pilot-report-0