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Free hotel buffets, debated: is too much food wasted?


  • In 2021, 1.2 million tons of food was thrown away in Spain


  • A new study highlights the bad practices of tourists in hotels


  • Many people neglect energy conservation, the food crisis or climate change

each spanish throw it away 28 kilos of food per year. In 2021, 1.2 million tons of food was thrown away, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, which is finalizing judge against waste in bars and supermarkets. In accordance with this, fully discussion on climate change and possible energy saving measures which is already being applied, with a royal decree requiring that the temperature of refrigeration equipment cannot be set between 25 and 27 degrees and heating at more than 19 in public buildings, business organizations, cultural spaces, or stations and airports, the flight and hotel search engine Jetcost has published a survey which reveals that there are many tourists who care little about climate change, energy conservation or the food crisis.

Respondents were asked what they werewhat they did that might not be quite right and it would definitely annoy hoteliers and hotel workers, in a list of answers they were asked to choose the five they did the most, these are the most common answers:

Filling the plates to the top on the buffet and then don’t eat it all (81%).

– Do not remove the air conditioner of the room during the day (71%).

– Take food from the buffet even if it says it is prohibited (65%).

– throw towels on the floor should be changed daily (58%)

– Let go towel on the sunbed of the pool all day (56%).

Complete the buffet?

The mentality of the majority goes through to justify that “if we have paid for it, we consume all we can”, and if in the end we can no longer take more than what we have served, well. it is thrown into the trash that is already subscribed to it. The buffet in hotels is not without discussion. They are the ones who think so This way of serving food should disappear because too much inevitably ends up in the trash. “That everyone asks as often as they want and what they want most, but to fill the plates as if there is no tomorrow and then leave it on the table, it is not possible to continue to accept that,” says Verónica, who has just returned from her . holiday in a hotel in Cadiz.

“Seeing so much food and not knowing where to start seems overwhelming. If that possibility did not exist, surely much less would be wasted”. says Alejandro Cabello, a young man who, because of his job, knows what he’s talking about because he visits a lot of accommodations of this kind.

However, there are those who choose hotels and not other accommodation precisely because of this, because of the buffet. “This is the best thing about a holiday, to take it away would be a huge mistake for those of us who enjoy it.” says a 45-year-old man. Although he is in favor of this format, he considers it a real shame that, for example, food cannot be given to organizations like Cáritas because the Health Authority has banned it.

There is another side to this story: How long would it take to prepare breakfast for hundreds of people if the buffet didn’t exist? For many establishments with a capacity for more than a thousand people, the formula is to provide this service more conveniently and efficiently, explained several hotel sources.

“In the middle there will be virtues”, says another hotel user. In his opinion, neither let it disappear nor allow a buffet “very large with a variety of products, but something more restrained and with a cover letter for those who want to order things that are not on the tables,” he says.

An app to sell food

Some hotels seem to have already taken steps to curb food waste. The ILUNION chain, through the Too Good To Go program, offers app users the possibility of acquiring unexpected packages at a reduced price They include a wide selection of leftovers from the breakfast buffet.

These surprise packs are valued at €12 worth of products and can be purchased in the popular app for just €3.99, a savings of almost 70%. Maybe this is the way to give it another life to all the food that is not consumed so that it can be used and fulfill the conditions Sustainable development goals (SDG) of the United Nations, to comply with the provisions ODS 12.3which sets goals for halve food waste by 2030.


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