"Not everyone wants an XXL-sized portion on their plate," Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner said in a joint statement with Dehoga, the leading hotel and restaurant organisation. The two made a joint presentation in Berlin on how restaurants and consumers could reduce food waste, following a recent study showing Germans throw out 11 million tons of food a year.
Restaurants and workplace cafeterias should make it easier for diners to take home their leftovers, the minister said. The Dehoga has established a checklist for its members to help them reduce food waste.
Aigner's ministry and the group have also worked together on a website – “Too good for the Garbage” - to help consumers reduce their food rubbish.
The site even contains recipes, adorned with the smiling face of the consumer minister, for making the best of leftovers. There are also practical tips, such as how to keep bread fresh longer.
Noticeably missing from the presentation was a mention that smaller portions might also be a good idea to combat German obesity levels.
Dehoga spokesman Benedikt Wollbeck acknowledged that this could be the case, but said Aigner and his group wanted to concentrate on reducing food waste.
"It's hard for a government official to say you should eat less," he told The Local.
So far the restaurants are doing way better than households, Wollbeck said, with 17 percent of total food waste coming from restaurants compared to 61 percent from private households.
The Dehoga is Germany's largest gastronomic association with some 231,000 members, he said.