Nanjing restaurants move swiftly to cut food waste


Many catering companies in Nanjing City, capital of Jiangsu Province have launched new measures to reduce food waste.

Buffets are one of the largest sources of food waste. A restaurant serving buffet-type meals now charges a returnable deposit to encourage diners not to bite off more than they can chew, and the good performers can participate a lottery draw as an incentive.

The service is also provided with food waste reduction in mind, such as the tableware presentation. The cups are now directly prepared on the dining table, rather than at the juice area. This way also helps cut the water use to clean the cups.

Xiaochuniang Restaurant, which serves dishes of Huaiyang Cuisine, now offers portions of two sizes – a big one and a small one, so customers can choose according to their needs. The restaurant’s manager Wei Jifeng said this measure allows customers to try more but with less food waste. Meanwhile, people can also choose the set meal and will be kindly reminded to take away the leftovers.

Slogans advocating cutting waste is seen in an restaurant in Nanjing.

Xing Youzhi, a chef in Xiaochuniang Restaurant, said cooks also make better use of the ingredient offcuts without affecting the food quality and hospitality. Some snacks that may not appear perfect in appearance are given to customers free of charge or used as staff meals.

Nanjing Zhongshan Hotel, which offers buffets for business meetings and events, is also trying a new way to cope with the difficulty that the number of diners and the required food amount are always hard to predict. Gong Shengxiong, head chef of the hotel, said dishes are first served in a downsized manner, such as just enough for 70-80 percent of total diners, and then more portions will be added accordingly later.

On August 11, the Jiangsu Catering Industry Association and the Catering Committee of the Jiangsu Federation of Industry and Commerce joined with related organizations across the province to launch a campaign to combat food waste.