The dangers of leaving food leftovers on your plate
: consumer behavior and food plate waste

  • Leonor do Vale Ferreira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The food plate has recently been identified as a major source of food waste. Simultaneously, concerns have been raised about the consequences of throwing food away unnecessarily. Wasteful behavior has been scientifically proven to have a negative impact on our future lives. Is it possible to waste less food? The purpose of this dissertation is to gain a better understanding of how customers feel about the food that remains on their plate after they have finished their meal when they order take-out to eat at home. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in the number of food orders received at home. As a result, it is critical that those who order and those who sell food work together to reduce food waste. According to the findings of this dissertation, organizing the Menu layout, displaying choices of portions from smallest to largest, plays an important role in persuading consumers to choose a smaller Menu. A second finding was that pride in wasting less food on the plate increases the intention to waste less food on the plate and reduce environmental impact. Finally, personal norms regarding plate waste and sustainability self-regulate consumers' intention to reduce what is left on their plate when they order extra food. The findings of this thesis show that there are ways to reduce the amount of food left on our plates.
Date of Award4 Feb 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAna Isabel de Almeida Costa (Supervisor)


  • Plate waste
  • Consumer behavior
  • Menu manipulation


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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