Conference Waste

Many of you have concluded a conference and thought, ‘What a waste.’ But you probably weren’t referring to the of the 50 extra boxed lunches

Last week I was walking through a hotel conference center after lunch and was amazed by what I saw: About 50 excess boxed lunches.

It was nearly 2 p.m. and a hotel staffer had started stacking the boxes on a cart. I asked him what they do with these extras and he said they just throw them away.

Twice, he mentioned that I should help myself (which I did, taking one for the next day’s lunch), so he clearly knew the “orders” he was following were a bit ridiculous.

He also said that the hotel used to donate the food to a soup kitchen, “But some law was passed,” so now they don’t. Rrrrrrrrright. I think they have that backwards.

First, what a waste of food. Each box contained a the lunchbox contentssandwich, pasta salad, chips, cookie and an apple. The food was all packaged, so donation would have been easy–although you might hear some complaints that the sandwiches and pasta salad needed to be kept colder. But that’s an easy fix.

Sure, the food wasn’t that great. But that doesn’t explain all those untouched boxes. Either some freak storm kept a quarter of attendees from showing or the conference organizers planned for excess. It was a sunny day.

Sadly, that planned excess is standard in a hospitality industry where having displays that aren’t full at the end of a meal is deemed ‘inhospitable.’

Second, that’s a lot of packaging for one lunch. Why does the box need to be a foot tall?!

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