Is It Okay to Eat a Stranger’s Restaurant Leftovers?


I can’t even believe that this is a thing BUT apparently there is a debate online whether it is cool to eat a stranger’s leftovers off a table at a restaurant? The big pros are free food and cutting down on food waste but the big cons are painstakingly obvious; it’s taboo and gross.

I didn’t even know that this subculture of “free-range moochers” existed. It’s a practice that involves a bit of risk. You never know if you’ll catch something or get caught and kicked out of a restaurant. An advice columnist for The Village Voice’s questioned, “Could I stand the embarrassment of being observed?’” For many, the answer absolutely not, but for a select few, there are worse things in life than getting caught eating that rainbow roll someone else paid for.

Still don’t believe me, Alex, a San Francisco native who works in finance shares in depth about why he does it with Deadspin. He’s been free-range mooching at restaurants for a decade.

The big pros: Free food, reduces food waste and it’s not as gross as, say, eating food out of a dumpster. The big cons: you have to be able deal with the “yuck” factor, it’s not socially acceptable and it could be embarrassing if people see you and you could get kicked out of the restaurant if they catch you.

So with all that being said, would you do some free-range mooching? And if the answer is yes, where do you’d draw the line, like soup or spaghetti?


[h/t ok whatever]