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Bring home box

Food leftover after a meal out? Participating restaurants in Belfast now provide a 'Bring-home-box' so you can take leftover food home.

Currently about one-third of waste from Belfast's restaurants comes from food that customers leave on their plates. With a 'Bring-home-box', you'll help cut down on waste going to landfill, save yourself money and reduce food waste costs.

So the next time you're out for a meal, ask for a 'Bring-home-box'.

The box is compostable, and can be recycled in your compost bin or food waste bin.

Participating restaurants

 Neill's Hill Brasserie, Ballyhackamore
 Ten Square
 Made in Belfast, City Hall
 Made in Belfast, Cathedral Quarter
 Folklore Restaurant
 Beatrice Kennedy, University Street
 Coffee Dock
 The Belfast Barge, Lanyon Quay
 Cafe Avanzo
 Mourne Seafood Bar, Bank Street
 Cafe Home
 Belfast Waterfront
 Belfast Cookery School, Castle Street
 Birdcage  Radisson Blu
 Zen  House of Zen
 Hakka Noodle
 Bourbon @ Queen's
 Red Panda
 Tony Roma's
 Claudine’s  Refresh Bar and Grill
 CoCo  Temple Restaurant
 Cafe Renoir
 Darcy's Restaurant
 The Square
 Scullery Restaurant
 Horatio Todds
 Cafe Belvedere
 Red Panda at the Odyssey  Niblik
 Dr B’s  East Belfast Mission
 Gingeroot  Wellington Park Hotel
 The Point  The Morning Star
 Spires  Spurs
 Flame  Malone House
 Bowden Park Coffee Co  Manns Deli
 Homemade by Manns  Ryan's Bar (Lisburn road)
 Malone House  Causeway Cafe 
 Nando's (Bedford Street)  

Information for customers

Remember to follow the food safety advice from the restaurant and on the Bring-home-box.

We've given restaurants advice on taking part in the scheme, but it's your responsibility to store and handle the food safely.

Food safety advice

  • Follow the advice given by the restaurant.
  • Refrigerate the food as soon as possible after leaving the restaurant.
  • Reheat until it is piping hot through the centre.
  • Consume within 24 hours.
  • Don't give the food to high risk groups on people with food allergies.

Information for restaurants

Why should I sign up to the Bring-home-box initiative?

The Sustainable Restaurant Association estimates up to 30 per cent of restaurant food waste comes from diner's plates. They also found that 53 per cent of customers would like to take leftovers home, and 30 per cent already do take food home. This scheme will make it easier to provide doggy bags, as well as making customers more comfortable asking to take leftovers home.

Benefits include:

  • Reducing waste disposal costs
  • Save money and increase profits
  • Improve customer service
  • Support the local environment

How do I sign up?

Contact Waste Management on 0800 032 8100 or email

What do I get when I sign up?

After you sign up you'll receive a welcome pack containing:

  • 100 Bring-home-boxes,
  • 100 food safety stickers,
  • 50 tent cards
  • 50 menu inserts
  • 50 business cards
  • a food business information booklet.

What advice should I give customers who ask for a Bring-home-box?

The containers we provide have clear instructions on how to store and reheat the leftover food.

Restaurant staff should also pass on the following advice to customers:

  1. Cool and refrigerate your Bring-home-box within two hours, keeping your fridge temperature below 5°C .
  2. Reheat the food until it is piping hot through to the centre (+75°C) and eat it straight away.
  3. Discard any remains of the reheated Bring-home-box. Do not reheat them again.
  4. Consume the food within 24 hours.
  5. If serving the food cold, serve it straight from the fridge.

Who's responsible for Bring-home-box food?

If the food has already been reheated, or if the food will have passed its use-by-date within 24 hours, it is likely to be unsafe to eat and you should carefully consider whether it is safe for the consumer to take away as leftovers.

Assuming the food is safe and a customer takes it away, it is up to the customer to make sure the food is handled, stored and reheated appropriately. However, you must ensure that you give the customer the right advice on how to do this.

Are there any risks?

When leftover food is removed from a restaurant, it is in the temperature danger zone (between 8°C and 63°C), where bacteria that cause food poisoning can grow. There may also be risks with food that has been transported or stored incorrectly.

To minimize the risk of food poisoning, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the food will be safe to consume after it has been handled, stored and reheated by the customer 24 hours later.
  2. If the food is suitable, transfer into a new, unused food-grade container such as the container we provide.
  3. Advise customers to store and handle the food hygienically.

It may also be helpful to document information such as date, time, food, customer details and advice given if queries arise later.

As part of the initiative, we'll educate consumers on their responsibilities when taking food home, including storage and reheating information. We will also inform consumers that once removed from the food business, the food becomes their responsibility. The Bring-home-boxes we provide include clear advice on handling leftovers.

What if I don't want to use Belfast City Council Bring-home-boxes?

You can still offer customers doggy bags to take leftovers away. However, you must ensure that the container you use is "food-grade" quality, and that you provide the customer with food safety information on consuming the food later.

Contact us
Waste management
0800 032 8100
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street