Rub & Stub is a non-profit restaurant and part of the Danish Refugee Council. 

Kitchen concept

Rub & Stub is the first restaurant of its kind in Europe. Our purpose is to fight food waste. By using surplus goods from the food industry, we wish to reduce waste of food in Copenhagen.

Rub & Stub receives donated surplus food from farmers, food cooperatives, local food stores, bakeries, and Food Bank Copenhagen. In its first year and a half of existence, Rub & Stub has served around 3.5 tons of food which would otherwise have gone to waste.

The donated food is typically fruits and vegetables with the “wrong” size, shape, colour, etc., or simply just food so close to the “best before” date that producers or stores will not bother to put in on the shelves even though it is still edible.

Since not all types of food are donated, we also need to buy foodstuffs to put together a proper menu. After the first year, around 30 % of the food used in the menu was surplus food. In the longer term, through partnerships with manufacturers, supermarkets and other companies in the food business, we will try and catch more and more of the industry’s hidden waste and turn it into good restaurant experiences and economic surplus to benefit charity.
(If you are interested in a partnership, please write to

By food waste we do not mean “garbage” that is too old and thrown away. We catch surplus goods before they pile up in the corners. These are foodstuffs which shops cannot sell for various reasons due to the demands of consumer culture – such as those discarded for purely aesthetic reasons of standard shapes, or surplus seasonal produce. A “single banana” out of its bunch, curvy cucumbers, small leeks, lumpy potatoes or Christmas foods thrown away after New Year. It might be a case of simple lack of warehouse space, transport costing too much, or shops not willing to buy because of lack of time. But everything is completely safe and edible food.

Cooking with such suddenly surplus goods is a natural challenge to our kitchen, which has to be creative every day and come up with exciting and tasty recipes which use what we have and get.
Read more facts at the press page

Operations concept and organization

Rub & Stub is run and developed by volunteers. Volunteers are behind the bar and serve the food, and volunteers help cook it. To support their work and ensure a professional profile, we have hired a kitchen leader, a floor manager and project manager.

More than a hundred volunteers are engaged in running the eatery.

Smile at your waiter, and you’ll get a world of smiles back. We are proud to say that we have the most amazing and kind staff in Copenhagen!

Originally, Rub & Stub was part of the RETRO Association, which runs non-profit cafés in Copenhagen and invested in the startup of Rub & Stub. As Rub & Stub grew big very fast and has a very clear food waste focus, where RETRO is more about social/educational charity projects, it was decided to split the two projects.

As a result, Rub & Stub has been under the wings of the Danish Refugee Council since January 1, 2015.