Scottish hotel bans mince pies

Willie Millar holds a plate of cakes while pushing away a plate of mince pies
Willie Millar, a chef de partie at the Glynhill Hotel & Spa in Renfrew, near Glasgow, will not serve mince pies this Christmas - Jeff Holmes JSHPIX/Shutterstock/Shutterstock

A Scottish hotel has banned mince pies to reduce the amount of food that is thrown away every year.

The Glynhill Hotel & Spa, in Renfrew, said the festive treat would not feature on its Christmas menu for the first time in 53 years to save costs and unnecessary waste.

Instead, the menu will focus on more popular desserts such as cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding, mixed fruit pavlova and banana splits.

Willie Millar, a chef de partie at the family-owned hotel, near Glasgow Airport, said guests did not appear to enjoy mince pies and described it as a “no-brainer” to ban them.

He said the hotel usually ordered around 5,000 mince pies every year to cater for Christmas parties and events but estimated that as much as 80 per cent ended up in bin bags “with, typically, only one or two taken off a plate of the 10 to 12 put on tables”.

According to estimates, more than 70 million mince pies are discarded across the UK every year.

‘A bit of a no-brainer to ban them’

“The tipping point behind this decision was last Christmas,” said Mr Millar. “Every year, we buy them, we serve them, then with a very few exceptions we bin them – which feels like an awful waste.

“Not very many people at all seem to like them, even less want them at the end of their meal, so it feels like a bit of a no-brainer to simply ban them this Christmas and focus on offering desserts and sweet treats which our customers do want.

“We think we might be the first venue in Scotland to remove mince pies from their Christmas menus, but it’s in line with customer feedback – and will also mean a reduction in wastage, which can only be a good thing.”

The decision prompted some social media users to complain, with one writing: “Get your kitchen to make their own! People don’t want to pay a premium for something we can buy in the shops.”

The 147-room hotel, which charges an average room rate of £85 per night, said on Tuesday that the reaction had been more positive than negative.

A Zero Waste Scotland spokesman said: “It makes absolute sense for hospitality businesses to target food waste – both for the planet and for their own bottom line, as wasting food means wasting money.

“It’s fantastic to see a venue thinking ahead this festive season and doing their bit to keep food waste out of the kitchen.”

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