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Friday 30 July 2010 11.28am
Mr Mac and I went out to dinner at the Park Plaza hotel restaurant 'Joels' last night. We wouldn't normally eat in a hotel restaurant but Mr Mac is a bit of a foodie and there had been some good reviews of the chef who currently works there. We also live just round the corner so thought we'd give it a go. The food was very nice - better than I had expected. The portions were also much larger that I was expected so I couldn't finish my 25 steak. There was about two thirds of it left so I asked if they could wrap it up for me to take home. They refused, citing something about health and safety. I don't think a restaurant has ever refused this request before. So most of the 25 steak was thrown away, which seems a waste, especially as I liked it and would have eaten it later. I would have thought that as I'd paid for it that it was mine. Does anyone know whether customers have a right to insist on taking any uneaten food they've paid for away with them?
Friday 30 July 2010 12.52pm
Mac, have a look at this on the subject:

Sorry don't know how to create a link, you'll have to copy it into your browser bar.
Sunday 1 August 2010 9.52am
I'd have wrapped it in a napkin and stuck it in my bag. Refusing you a container is ridiculous, pretentious and wasteful.
Monday 2 August 2010 7.24am
you paid for own can do whatever you like with it. the H&S thing is nonsense
Monday 2 August 2010 8.12am
yes, I wish I had made more of a fuss. I would have wrapped it up in the napkin myself only they provided cloth napkins. Guess I should go armed with my own tupperware box next time (though I doubt there will be a next time)...
Monday 2 August 2010 9.50am
I remember going to Livebait on the Cut and my ex-girlfriend asked for a doggie bag - she was allowed to take it away, but on condition that she signed a 'release' which essentially said that if she poisoned herself it wasn't the restaurant's fault. Even that's a bit OTT, but to not let you take it away at all is ridiculous. I'd have sneaked it into my pocket...

Interestingly, in the US, where every portion at every restaurant is too big, taking away leftovers is absolutely standard - shame to waste good food
Monday 2 August 2010 7.03pm
not in SE1 i know but the brilliant (IMHO) Italian in Wapping, Il Bordello, has doggie-bags they are happy to provide diners. Btw their portions are big and it is a regular practice. the H&S thing is a total fantasy made up by people who just can't be bovvered
Monday 2 August 2010 7.11pm
Oh man - if that was me Mac, I would have been straight to the boys and grabbed a load of toilet paper to wrap MY steak in. And still made a huge fuss at a very loud voice.
Tuesday 3 August 2010 2.29pm
I'm going to write to them - I'll you know what they say!
Thursday 5 August 2010 3.32pm
I asked their PR company for comment, in case there was a story in it. They said:

"This request for a doggy bag is the first that we've encountered at the restaurant since it's still quite new (opened to the public in May) and we do not yet have a written policy in place regarding doggy bags.

The request was declined by the restaurant staff in order to avoid the possibility of someone becoming ill from eating the food later and any resulting liability to the restaurant.

Our restaurant team and hotel management is discussing the issue as we all agree that it a shame to waste the food, but at the same time wouldn't want someone to become ill from eating food that may not be suitable for consumption later on.

We've contacted a health and safety consultant to advise us and are looking into the possibility of providing suitable packaging for the left-over food and instructions for later consumption. I'm not sure when we'll have a final policy in place, but we certainly want to create not only a great meal for our guests, but a great memory of dining here, too. In the meantime, I'm going to try to respond to the guest on the SE1 site to let her know that we are carefully considering her complaint. "

So it sounds like just a "teething" issue. For now.
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