Pay-By-Weight System

What is Food Waste? 

The United Nations Environmental Programme defines food waste as " food that completes the food supply chain up to a final product, of good quality and fit for consumption, but still doesn't get consumed because it is discarded, whether or not after it is left to spoil or expire. " 



To help prevent food waste, we've launched a pay-by-weight system in our dining halls at locations such as Mom's Kitchen, Nosh + Nourish, and Nature's Best in the UC's Chef's Hall. This pay-by-weight system allows customers to determine how much of each menu item they would like to purchase.

This system differs from set portion sizing and standardized menus, as it gives more control to the customers to choose what items they would like to have included in their meal and how much of that item they want to purchase, as the meal is based on weight, unlike pre-set meals. For example, you could mix and match various sides instead of having to select a protein/main and a side item.  

How Pay-By-Weight Works: 

  • Pick a plate, #iamreusable container, or compostable takeout container when in the dining hall and fill it with the items of your choice. 
  • To determine the price, the cashier will then weigh the container or plate on a scale. 


Tips and Tricks for the Pay-By-Weight System

  • Use an #iamreusable container if you're unsure if you'll finish your entire meal, as the container can be a great way to transport any leftovers home to be eaten at a later time.
  • The pay-by-weight system is excellent if you want to try a few things out before filling up your container, so you can always take a smaller portion and then if you're interested in more, you go back for another portion. 

Food Waste Prevention Resources 

Recipes for Preventing Food Waste
Love Food Hate Waste Canada
Food Waste Prevention Tips
Stop Food Waste - Resources