Sunday, May 22

What makes the people of Oslo stand in line on a bright morning? Free fish gratin.

When a gourmet restaurant offers free takeaway, people escape the home office.

The queue outside the restaurant Geita on St. Hanshaugen quickly became several hundred meters long.

“We hate food waste.”

This is how one started Facebook-post from the gourmet restaurant Geita on St. Hanshaugen in Oslo.

They said that they take care of all the cuts from fresh fish in the restaurant and use it in fish food. Often the dishes end up on staff food. But now they sat with more than they can eat themselves, and invited the neighborhood to pick up free fish gratin.

The time for collection was Wednesday between 12.00 and 16.00.

Many could return home with plenty of dinner for the whole family.

Already well before twelve, the queue stood several hundred meters down Geitmyrsveien. Photographer Finn Arne Johannessen, for example, had taken the trip from the home office at Adamstuen. He set out to return with dinner to the family of four.

When he read about the offer, he first thought it was a joke.

– I simply thought the tricked people, he says, and finds the bandage while the queue sneaks forward towards the restaurant entrance.

– But when I realized it was serious, I wanted to support a very good initiative. I also do not like food waste, he says.

Fill the bags

On Facebook, the restaurant encouraged people who wanted to feed the whole family to bring carrier bags. Several had followed the invitation, and come out happy with full bags.

At the back, more and more people are joining the queue – in itself a rare social event with a buzz of normal conditions.

Kari Loland admits that she had never dreamed that so many would line up. She herself had a great sense of the project against food waste – and takes the air trip as an extra bonus.

We move ever closer to the entrance, when a man in a black T-shirt comes out and stands on the stairs. It is entrepreneur and restaurant manager Axel Nordahl who has something to say.

– We are unfortunately empty, he shouts across the queue.

– But everyone should get food. Now we make pasta bolognese for those who want. It takes about 20 minutes.

Goat founder Axel Nordahl had not imagined that the offer of free fish gratin would lead to people migrating on St. Hanshaugen. He had to change the take-away menu for everyone to get.

The word spreads backwards in the queue. and most are left waiting for an alternative menu.

– We were not fully prepared for such great interest, the boss admits, after just over 250 portions went away in less than 20 minutes.

– But at least there was no wastage.

And Finn Arne Johannessen? He can surprise the family with gourmet pasta. Free.

We believe there was no complaint about the menu change.

Finn Arne Johannessen came for the fish gratin. But was very happy to end up with pasta bolognese from gourmet chef Axel Nordahl.

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