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Restaurant Fining Customers Who Don't Finish Their Meal

A Missouri restaurant is causing quite the stir with its new policy of charging customers for the food left on their plates.

"Please take what you want, and eat what you take," a sign at East Buffet reads.

The Chinese eatery will charge customers $2 for leaving less than half a plate of food, $3 for half a plate and $5 if for some reason you load up a plate and don't manage to move any of it.

"Due to rising food costs, there's an extra charge for wasted food at the discretion of management and staff."

It takes the fun out of loading up at a buffet a little bit, doesn't it?

Plenty of no-longer-potential-customers in the comments seem to think so.

"If you want to whine about food left on plates, don't have a buffet. The food is already paid for!" one comment said.

"Buffets are an opportunity to taste things you don’t normally eat. If you don’t like it, then you don’t eat it!!" said another.

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Backlash aside, charging for leftovers isn't an entirely new concept.

In Switzerland, customers with eyes bigger than their stomachs dining at Patrizietta restaurant in Losone were hit with a five-franc surcharge ($AUD7) in 2014.

Owner Giovanni Tafuro introduced the scheme at his buffet in order to send a message to customers about food wastage.

Roughly one-third of all food produced each year is lost or wasted -- costing the global economy about $940 billion.

According to OzHarvest Australians alone send over five million tonnes of food to landfill.

An Australian restauranter put her own spin on the concept in 2010 by introducing a 30 percent discount for customers who ate everything on their plates.

“To contribute toward creating a sustainable future we request a little more of our guests than most other restaurants,” Chef Yukako Ichikawa said in the policy list of her Sydney Japanese restaurant Wafu.

The Surry Hills restaurant is no longer in business.

Restaurants in the UK and New York City have also gained attention for dolling out wasted food fines.

Featured image: Koam TV and Fox14 Facebook