Either at work or at home there is a way! Put some “magic” in your restaurant or in your home kitchen and prevent food from reaching this sad destination: the rubbish bin and eventually the landfill.

As a customer or a consumer…

Do you remember an older article of ours around the topic of super market habits? Everyday simple habits that will make you a hero of rescuing food! They will also save you some money, enhance your cooking creativity and make sure you eat more properly (cooked, homemade food instead of last minute junk as it might often happen).

If the answer to any of the title questions is yes, then try something different and instead of going to any other restaurant go to an Instock restaurant! The Netherlands is not famous for the culinary experiences it can offer, since the local cuisine is not anything extraordinary (our apologies to our Dutch friends). So instead of ending up eating Italian, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, Japanese or whatever other country’s cuisine, try the surprising Instock cuisine. You can consider it local and it will definitely be something you probably haven’t tried before.

As an entrepreneur…

Would you be interested in the HoReCa industry? If you are already or would like to become active in it and are searching for something different, a competitive advantage which will set you far apart from the rest in the field we have an idea for you! What would you say about a restaurant of a food truck, which is “saving” food from ending up in the landfill and prepares the menu of the day with it?

Well, actually this is exactly what is happening in the case of a chain of restaurants in the Netherlands. They are called Instock and their story began a couple of years ago when their founders started working for Albert Heijn (one of the most extended supermarket networks in the country) and came up with the idea of setting up a pop-up restaurant in a busy area of Amsterdam as a way to tackle food waste in the company. Their supplies for the meals of each day would come mostly from food which otherwise Albert Heijn would throw away. Don’t get it wrong, this food has not gone bad and is not expired. They were focused on those cases that for example bananas are a bit black so people don’t buy them anymore, or peppers are not so perfect shaped, or meat expires the next day and it’s not going to be sold out, or one day old bread, or food with damaged packaging, etc etc. So the Instock team would organize themselves in going around every day to pick all the things that Albert Heijn stores would have otherwise thrown away, bring the food in the restaurant, have their chefs deciding the courses of the day and serve them! There is a catcher though: if you go there again and again hoping to eat what you tried one week ago… well… probably you won’t! The menu changes every day. The concept as described above was a success and the idea has now resulted in a network of 3 restaurants around the country, a food truck (cantine) and many more.
We visited the Amsterdam restaurant recently to experience the whole thing at first hand. We reserved last minute so when we arrived they actually didn’t have a table for us, since they hadn’t seen the reservation, so we ended up having dinner at the bar. The waiters and waitresses were very friendly. We ordered their home made beer and the four-courses menu. The portions were not very big, so if you are really hungry you may not feel super full, but if you are normal hungry it is perfect. All courses were surprisingly delicious and I am using the word surprisingly because I am not a big fun of some of the ingredients they had harvested that day (cowley flower and nuts) but still: I liked a lot everything I ate. The bill was 67euro for 2 beers, 2 four-courses menus and a side dish with crackers and olive oil since the bread was over (you can see the menu prices here). You might think of it as a bit pricey since there is no choice in what you eat (unless you are vegetarian or allergic to something, which the chef will take into consideration) and I would be inclined to agree with you but… every time I have been in a restaurant (not a burger place), I never pay less than 20-25 euro per person. And usually I never have 4 courses menu, it’s either 2 or 3. Therefore, if I make this analogy and combine it with the level of flavors I tasted, the ambience of the restaurant and the service, I think the price is decent.

Are there any initiatives regarding the minimizing of food waste in any of the cities you live or plan to visit? If so please let us know. We want to encourage and give power to these people to keep on doing what they’re doing and expand by informing as many people as possible about their activity.

ATTENTION: This article is not sponsored. Responses to your comments are not monitored by the Instock, they are monitored completely by the Habits Team and are taken into consideration for any modification necessary to this article.


Dora Kallipolitou
Find out more about the Habits team here

Last content update:

November 25, 2017