New York City restaurant Hayashi Ya Japanese Restaurant on the Upper West Side is an all-you-can eat restaurant. Customers can take all they want, but they better make sure they eat all they take. If they don’t, they get charged an additional price on top of the $26.95 it costs to eat there.

According to a story on, the restaurant's manager began charging extra for wasted food two years ago to keep costs down. It also helps keep food waste down.

It’s estimated that at least one fourth of all food gets wasted in the United States. That’s an outrageous statistic. It’s shocking. But it’s believable. Think about the last time you ate in a restaurant, how much was left on the plates at your table? Think about the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator. What did you end up throwing away? Think about last night’s dinner. What went down the garbage disposal that was left uneaten?

When food gets wasted, it has more of an environmental impact than just ending up in a landfill. All of the resources used to grow or raise the food have also been wasted. 25% of all water used on crops and 25% of food used to feed the animals goes to waste. All of the fuel and energy used to transport the food has also has gone to waste. We often don’t consider those things when throwing away food.

Hayashi Ya may just be on to something here. Hitting their customers in the wallet for taking more food than they can eat is not only helping the restaurant’s bottom line, it’s helping the environment.

Would you be willing to pay a fee for the food you leave uneaten at a restaurant? 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Restaurant charges customers for wasted food
Would you be willing to pay a fee for the uneaten food on your plate at a restaurant?