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Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

I hardly think this is original -- I've been thinking for a while now about the idea of using my own re-usable containers when we are out to any restaurant where there will likely be leftovers to take home. This is usually the case when out for big family dinners. I've never seen anyone doing this and I'm sure it wil get some attention but it just makes sense to me.

Last night we were out at this place and another couple of patrons, who were probably locals, were there to order take-out and I saw they had brought their own large plastic storage bins which the kitchen ladelled food into. The bring-your-own doggy-bag container thing is radical enough but as an extension, I'd also consider this for anytime I do take-out too then, seeing as we bring food (and styrofoam) home a lot. I see this as perhaps being more problematic as chefs use the styrofoam sizes for portion control?

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  1. I think this is a great concept and is starting to gain more of a "following." We don't go out much but I do try to bring my own containers when I can. Most receptly I had my husband go pick up some ice cream and he took our mugs into the store, they didn't have a problem with that. I say go for it and as often as you can!

    1. Its brilliant if the restaurant is OK with it. To that end, ask them first and also find out what size containers they use. If you bring food home a lot, I'm betting you frequent some places and it'd be worth having containers of about the right size (you can use them at home for other things in between, I'd guess).

      1. OMG. I was just thinking if this was a tacky thing to do when going out to lunch with friends a couple of days ago. I didn't take any with me and now wish I had had the guts to do it. It was a medium scale restaurant, but I'm a recycler from way back, and I think if I had done it discreetly, explained that it's a coming trend, that it can save the restaurant $, it would have been a positive thing. Thanks, neighborguy, for giving me a push in the right direction.

        1. It seems like a good idea, less waste and expense. I'd call ahead to make sure the restaurant is cool with it. Reminds me of when I was a kid, We'd take a bit soup pot on sunday mornings to get menudo to go.

          1. Huh. I was thinking there might be Board of Health regulations against this in some places, but if it works it works!

            2 Replies
            1. re: maryv

              I also would tend to think Bd of Health might regulate this.

              Not in restaurant's best interest to sell you food in reused containers.

              That said, who hasn't had a date to HoJo's clam strip night bring a baggie in her purse.

              1. re: maryv

                Yeah, I think that there probably has to be some Board of Health issues with bringing your own containers.