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China Daily Website

Rewards for diners who leave nothing

Updated: 2013-01-29 07:29
By Zhao Lei ( China Daily)

Restaurants are also encouraged to develop online ordering services.

More than 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) worth of food, enough to feed nearly 200 million people for a year, is wasted in China annually, research by China Agricultural University has found.

After polling 2,700 diners in Chinese cities, the university concluded that at least 8 million metric tons of protein and 3 million tons of edible fat is thrown away each year.

Chen Junhai, marketing director for Wangshunge Delicacy, a Beijing restaurant chain, said: "I have worked in the catering industry for more than 20 years, and I have seen too much waste.

"People attending large banquets, such as wedding receptions, are more likely to waste food. We need to break this indecent habit."

Rewards for diners who leave nothing

Restaurants in Beijing have agreed to size down their food portions and offer discounts to customers who help save waste in a scheme launched by the city's authorities and catering guild. Some 749 restaurants operated by 10 catering enterprises in the capital will now serve half-portions, half-priced items and assorted dishes. The 10 catering enterprises include China Quanjude Group, xiabu xiabu, Bejing Bianyifang Roast Duck Group, Donglaishun Muslim Restaurant, XE Flavour and Han Na Shan Korean BBQ, pictured here on Jan 27, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

Restaurant owners said they have been striving to reduce food waste and raise public awareness.

Liang Di, general manager of Beijing Meizhou Hotel Management, said: "We have a tradition that servers suggest to customers that they not order more food than they really need.

"Actually, more diners will wrap up leftovers nowadays, and our restaurants use 10 million boxes a year."

Since the media focused on food waste and launched publicity campaigns, restaurants have seen a sharp decline in extravagant banquets and food waste.

The number of banquets held by government departments in Tianjin in the past month dropped nearly 30 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Xing Ji, head of the Tianjin Catering Trade Association.

Xing said the average cost of official banquets has also fallen by 50 percent.

In Haikou, a tourist city and capital of the southern island province of Hainan, restaurants said they are seeing huge losses from the cancellation of government banquets.

"Normally, official banquets account for 80 percent of our revenue at the end of each year, but the wave of cancellations has cast a big shadow on our business," an unnamed manager of a luxury restaurant in Haikou was quoted by People's Daily as saying.

Officials who misuse taxpayers' money on extravagant banquets now face a bigger risk of being exposed and punished.

Wang Qun, director of the finance bureau for Qiongzhong, a poverty-stricken county in Hainan, was suspended from his post and placed under investigation after allegations of misusing public funds in restaurants, a disciplinary watchdog said.

Investigators said Wang spent 15,000 yuan on three banquets for friends and colleagues in the past month.

"We have found other government departments in Hainan are also involved in the misuse of taxpayers' money on feasts and we will find who should be held accountable and punish them," said Luo Zhijun, deputy director of the provincial Party disciplinary inspection commission.



Beijing restaurants size down to save waste

Eateries think small to fight food waste

Scientist wants food waste criminalized

Half of food in the world ends up as waste

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