Eighty restaurants are already backing the SRA’s Too Good Too Waste campaign, which will see 25,000 biodegradable boxes dispatched to participating restaurants in London, including the Michelin-starred Quilon and chains including Wahaca and Leon.
Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, said: “Restaurant food waste is a huge problem. It’s costing the industry a fortune and so much of it is avoidable.
“Doggy boxes will raise consumer awareness but are only part of the solution. We’ll also be helping restaurants think of other ways to cut their waste.”
The SRA estimates that wasted food purchases, food waste collection and labour can cost a restaurant up to £20,000 a year. A recent survey showed 25 per cent of diners were too embarrassed to ask for boxes, with 24 per cent wrongly believing they were against health and safety policies.
Sriram Aylur, director at The Quilon, said: “The amount of food wasted in London restaurants is a scandal. As restaurateurs it’s in all our interests to do something about it. Too Good To Waste is a great idea because it will not only be good for the environment but also makes real business sense.”
Thomasina Miers, co-owner of Wahaca added: “I always ask for a doggy bag. As a chef I like people asking to take food home because it shows respect for where the food has come from. Gone is the day when we can take our food for granted. Wasting food is criminal.”
At the campaign launch, chefs Bruno Loubet, of Bistrot Bruno Loubet, and Anna Hansen, from the Modern Pantry, had a cook-off, demonstrating how food that often goes to waste in restaurants can be made into delicious meals, and served them up in the campaign’s specially designed doggy boxes sponsored by 3663 and One Water.
Restaurants can sign up to the campaign by going to www.toogood-towaste.co.uk.