Island restaurant cuts down buffets, too much food going to waste
'I did the math on it and it’s like $600 of waste per day'
A Summerside, P.E.I., restaurant is cutting down the amount of buffets it's offering because food is being wasted.
Michael Perry, who owns The Breakfast Spot, says a lot of customers have been leaving food on their plate — and it is affecting his bottom line.
"What we are finding is commodity prices change so frequently. And bacon, sausages, pork, stuff of that nature — the prices fluctuate week to week," he said.
"I don't like to see waste when there are a lot of people starving all over the world. And people are, you know, filling their plates with $30 worth of bacon per plate and not eating it."
So last weekend he did a test. He took the waste from all the tables and put it into one bag.
"It actually filled up half of a garbage bag," he said. "I did the math on it and it's like $600 of waste per day."
Until recently, the restaurant offered a buffet every weekend, but now it will be reserved for holiday weekends or by request for groups with 20 people or more.
Perry has gotten some backlash over the decision after he posted an update about the buffet service on Facebook, he said.
"Everybody voices their opinion on social media and they don't realize the damage it can do to a business, a family business," he said.
The business is faced with a "double-edged sword," Perry said.
"Ultimately all we want to do is put good in our customer's belly, but the public can not expect us to lose money in the process of doing that," he said.
"As a small business owner I don't think that I should have to consult with people about something that I am losing money with."
Perry thought of other alternatives like charging customers for food left on their plate, but said it would burden his staff.
"Now the customers are going to get into an altercation with the waitress and it makes it quite awkward for the waitress," he said, adding that he doesn't want to add monitoring waste to their duties.
Perry hopes those that do support the buffet come on the days he still decides to have it.
"Let's be mindful of the waste and then, you know what, maybe we can readdress it."
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with files from Stephanie Kelly