Strange as it sounds, customers visiting an eatery in Hanamkonda have to shell out a minimum of Rs 50 if they waste food, and conversely, if they make a neat job of the meal, a cash back incentive of Rs 10 awaits them.

Lingala Kedari, who runs the ‘Kedari Food Court’ at Adalath Centre in the town, introduced this ‘carrot and stick’ policy to check wastage at his ‘food court’, and also to inculcate the habit of not wasting food among people. Kedari introduced this novel initiative about two years ago, and his customers love it, getting a vegetarian or non-vegetarian meal at just Rs 60.

“I put up a big board making it clear that customers who waste food have to pay the fine, and I also announce this measure over a loudspeaker when they come for lunch which starts at 1 pm,” Kedari told #KhabarLive, adding that he had collected about Rs 12,000 through fines till now from those who wasted food.

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Though Kedari and his family members have been running the hotel since 2002, they introduced the fine system two years ago.

“We serve tasty food and quality rice with a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. I don’t like customers wasting even a slice of lemon,” Kedari said, adding that he had also put up several stickers that carry the message of fine inside the hotel. Kedari’s son Akash Raj says customers can have a meal with either chicken curry, egg curry, fish or liver as accompaniment.

Besides, as many as 15 vegetarian dishes are served at the hotel. “Till a couple of months ago, 300 to 400 customers used to come to our eatery every day, but the numbers have touched 800 now,” Kedari said adding that his wife Pushpalatha, elder son Prithviraj and younger son Akash Raj also work at the hotel that also offers catering services.

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“Officials from the judiciary and Police department also come to us and they pay donations in small amounts impressed by our efforts to check food wastage,” Kedari said. Kedari also made a significant contribution to the Statehood movement — feeding activists during the agitation for almost 11 years.

“TRS working president KT Rama Rao is fond of the fish curry prepared by my wife,” Kedari revealed.

Before venturing into the eatery business, Kedari used to sell pots for several years and also ran a ‘Mirchi Bandi’ for a couple of years.

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“By God’s grace, I am comfortable with the profits I make from the hotel and catering business. My aim is that people should not waste food. Some change in society on checking food wastage has to happen. People should learn to respect food. I don’t even serve food to those who come to our food court after consuming liquor,” he added.

Kundarapu Vidyasagar, a resident of Hasanparthy, says he comes to Kedari Food Court whenever he comes to Hanamkonda to have a tasty meal. “Everyone should appreciate Kedari for his efforts to check food wastage,” he added. #KhabarLive