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Chef to diners: Clean your plate or be banned!

An Australian restaurateur, fed up with the waste left by diners, has ordered her customers to eat everything on their plates or pay a penalty and not return.
/ Source: Reuters

SYDNEY — An Australian restaurateur fed up with the waste left by diners has ordered her customers to eat everything on their plates or pay a penalty and be banned from her eatery.

Chef Yukako Ichikawa has introduced a 30 percent discount for diners who eat all the food they have ordered at Wafu, her 30-seat restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills, that describes itself as "guilty free Japanese cuisine."

"To contribute toward creating a sustainable future we request a little more of our guests than most other restaurants," she says in a list of her restaurant's policies that is pinned on the door.

This list includes finishing all dishes ordered. The chef and her staff also tell people who don't clear their plates to choose another restaurant next time.

"Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except lemon slices, gari (sushi ginger) and wasabi," says the menu.

"Please also note that vegetables and salad on the side are NOT decorations; they are part of the meal too."

Wafu's strict policy has been welcomed by some but criticized as overbearing by some reviewers. Ichikawa is undeterred.

"Wafu is not just a restaurant; it is an extension of Yukako's personal ethos toward nourishment and sustenance," says a statement on the restaurant's website.

"We are not only committed to serving meals that nurture and respect the body but are actively dedicated to the notion of waste prevention, and take seriously our responsibility toward the environment and sustainability for the future."