Restaurant Adds Surcharge For All-You-Can-Eat Customers Who Don’t Clear Plate

“All you can eat” isn’t an open invitation to waste food. That’s the message that one Swiss restaurant is trying to drive home to its lunch buffet customers by charging extra to diners who fail to clear their plates.

Sick of seeing people buffet customers fill up their plates with food only to leave it uneaten, the owner of the restaurant decided to add a surcharge of 5 Swiss francs ($5.62) for patrons who don’t finish everything on their dishes.

“I wanted to send a strong signal,” he explains, according to The Local. “It made me sick to see so much food being thrown out.”

The president of the regional federation of restaurateurs, supports the plan, saying, “It’s perfectly legal, and for me a good way of combating waste.”

As Eater.com points out, this isn’t the first restaurant to try this sort of surcharge. One restaurant in the U.K. tacks on £20 ($33.66) for buffet customers who don’t finish up.

Disputes over “all you can eat” deals are unfortunate but not uncommon.

In 2011, a man in L.A. sued a sushi restaurant for cutting him off because he wasn’t eating any of the rice in his “all you can eat” sushi dinner; just picking off the fish and eating it on its own. The restaurant pointed out that sushi is not sushi without the rice, and that this man was trying to get away with enjoying an “all you can eat” sashimi platter.

Then in 2012, a Wisconsin diner called the police to complain that, after eating 12 pieces of fish in a single sitting, he had been cut off from eating his fill at an “all you can eat” fish fry. And even though the restaurant gave him another eight pieces after that, he still came back two days later to protest in the parking lot.

That same year, a Pennsylvania man was sentenced to three months of house arrest after punching another buffet customer in the face over a dispute involving who took the last of the crab legs.

Perhaps we should add “The Buffet Abuser” to our list of Bad Consumers who ruin things for the rest of us?