Take-Home Traditions: Do French and German Diners Embrace the ‘Doggy Bag’ Concept?

When it comes to dining out, cultural norms can vary widely from one country to another. In the United States, it’s common for diners to request a “doggy bag” to take home any uneaten portions of their meal. But do French and German diners embrace this concept? Let’s delve into the dining traditions of these two European countries to find out.

The French Perspective

In France, the concept of the doggy bag has traditionally been met with resistance. French dining culture places a strong emphasis on enjoying meals in their entirety at the restaurant. This is partly due to the French’s respect for food and the art of cooking, and partly due to the smaller portion sizes typically served in French restaurants.

However, in recent years, there has been a shift in attitudes. In 2016, a law was passed in France aimed at reducing food waste, which encouraged restaurants to provide doggy bags for customers. While the uptake has been slow, it’s becoming more common to see French diners leaving restaurants with their leftovers in tow.

The German Perspective

Like the French, Germans have traditionally not been big on the doggy bag concept. Dining out in Germany is often seen as a special occasion, and meals are meant to be enjoyed in full at the restaurant. Additionally, the notion of asking for a doggy bag has been seen as a sign of stinginess.

However, attitudes are changing in Germany as well. A 2015 survey by the German Hotel and Restaurant Association found that 52% of Germans would be willing to take leftovers home from a restaurant. This shift in attitude is largely driven by a growing awareness of food waste and sustainability issues.


While the doggy bag concept is not as ingrained in French and German dining culture as it is in the United States, attitudes are changing. Driven by a growing awareness of food waste and sustainability, more and more French and German diners are embracing the idea of taking home their leftovers. However, it’s important to note that cultural norms can vary widely, and what is considered acceptable in one country may not be in another. When in doubt, it’s always best to follow the lead of the locals.

So, the next time you find yourself dining out in France or Germany and can’t finish your meal, don’t be afraid to ask for a doggy bag. You might just be part of a growing trend!