As a child, did your parents ever try to get you to finish everything on your plate by telling you how there are starving children in the world who aren’t lucky enough to have the luxury of a decent meal? As a kid, it probably just seemed like an unfair guilt-trip, but as adults hopefully we have all now realized the truth behind those words and the importance of not being wasteful.

A particular Swiss hotel has taken similar tactics to curb the wastefulness of its guests at the breakfast buffet, after shameful amounts of food have been left partially or wholly uneaten and then thrown away. But the hotel took it a step further by including shocking photos to help drive the message home.

After problems with wasteful guests piling their plates with food only to leave a majority of it behind, the four-star Monopol Hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland took action by placing signs at their buffet restaurant featuring photos of starving African children- some near death and being stalked by vultures, all of them nothing but skin and bones- next to a photo of a table of food allegedly left by certain guests.

i just can't today

The notice reads, “Good morning dear guests. For ethical and moral reasons, in Switzerland we do not throw away any food. Please put on your plate only, what you do eat. Thank you for your understanding.” The message is also written in Chinese.

Hotel manager Brigitte Heller has said she is not worried about offending foreign tourists. “Seeing how much food is thrown away on a daily basis hurts me on an ethical level,” she says. “I am trying to make a difference, I cannot change the whole world, but this is a start.”


So far, the signs have received mostly positive feedback, with many voicing their support for the hotel’s decision. But there are also some who feel the signs unfairly target Chinese tourists, as local Swiss newspaper Blick reported that in May Heller claimed that Chinese guests packed their plates full of food yet left much of it behind. However, Heller explained that the signs were meant only to remind guests not to waste food, and were not specifically aimed at Chinese diners. She also states that there has been a significant decrease of waste since the signs have posted.

Readers, what do you think? Do the signs unfairly target Chinese guests? Are the signs a positive way to curb waste, or are they too drastic?

Source: Mail Online, Shanghaiist
Images: Bastille Post via Shanghaiist