Why You Should Box Your Leftovers Yourself At A Restaurant

Unless you are eating at a fine dining establishment where you are served a single stalk of asparagus as your appetizer, most restaurant portions are anything but small. If you have ever ordered a massive bowl of pasta at Olive Garden or a Cheesecake Factory salad that could easily feed five people, you know the struggle. According to a USDA study, the average restaurant meal is at least 134 calories more than what you would eat at home (via WBUR).

That means that no matter how starved you were when you placed your order, you may be faced with the all-too-familiar problem of your eyes being bigger than your stomach. Thus, by the time you are stuffed to the brim, there's still a lot of food left on the plate. And who are you to let all that deliciousness (and money) go to waste?! Absolutely not. So you'll probably ask the server to box it up for you to take home. But, before you do, wait — it turns out you are better off boxing up your own doggy bag. Here's why.

You can pack the food more neatly and smartly

Servers are usually running around, trying to keep all of their tables satisfied. So, when you ask them to box your leftovers for you, chances are high they are not going to carefully package everything individually. Rather, they are more likely to simply toss your meal into a styrofoam container and call it a day. The result? You get home and find your bread is soggy from being drenched in spaghetti sauce or your salad is mixed in with your mashed potatoes. Yuck. Eat This, Not That says that, if you ask your server to bring you boxes — or better yet, bring your own reusable containers in advance — you can pack up your leftovers however you would like.

During an interview with She Finds, one restaurant patron agreed, saying, "I prefer boxing it myself only because I'm ridiculously picky and I don't like my bread to touch sauce — stuff like that." Open Table notes that if you do ask your server to box everything up for you, you may want to consider adding a little extra to their tip.