• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French 'restaurants' set for ready meals ban

Dan MacGuill · 30 May 2013, 10:48

Published: 30 May 2013 10:48 GMT+02:00

A French syndicate of restaurant-owners and hoteliers are proposing to limit the label of ‘restaurant’ to only those establishments that use fresh produce to make their dishes themselves.

The ‘Syndicat national des hoteliers, restaurauteurs, cafetiers et traiteurs’ (National syndicate of hoteliers, restauraunt-owners, café-owners and traders, or Synhorcat) has support for their proposal from both ends of the political spectrum in France.

Centre-right opposition UMP deputy Daniel Fasquelle, with the backing of 30 of his party colleagues, has tabled a motion in the French National Assembly to bring the ‘fresh and home-made’ restriction into law by June.

Not wanting to be outdone by the opposition Socialist deputy Pascale Got has done the same.

According to Synhorcat, the reform is aimed at improving the information available to French diners, and increasing the level of public confidence in French eating establishments, after a recent poll said one in two French consumers don’t trust restaurants.

“When they walk into a restaurant, customers don’t know whether their meal was just reheated, or lovingly cooked up by a whole kitchen staff,” Synhorcat president Didier Chenet told TF1 television on Wednesday.

“With this [restaurant] label, now they will know,’ he added.

The new restrictions would force all French eating establishments to abandon frozen, pre-cooked and plastic-sealed ‘sous-vide’ ingredients, on pain of losing the right to officially call their establishment a ‘restaurant.’

According to a Synhorcat study published this week, 31 percent of French restaurant-owners admit to using such products and techniques.

Related story: Paris based renowned food writer and blogger David Lebovitz tells The Local what he thinks of French cuisine

As well as boosting consumer confidence and transparency, the architects of the plan foresee a major increase in employment at French restaurants.

“Restaurants that cook on-site, using fresh ingredients, would employ more staff than those who resort to prepared meals,” said Chenet.

Story continues below…

“This [plan] could create between 20,000 and 25,000 jobs throughout the whole profession,” he added.

As France’s once world-beating restaurants suffer a decline in clientele, to the benefit of fast-food outlets, this week’s proposal is only the latest in an ongoing movement to give back French cuisine its stellar global reputation.

In April, top chefs including Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon launched a new ‘quality restaurant’ label for establishments that prepare their own food and give diners a proper welcome.

Speaking during the launch of that campaign, world-famous Michelin-starred chef Ducasse declared: "We must not wait for things to get worse. We cannot continue to let media in the English-speaking world say 'France is not what it was' in terms of cuisine."

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
US issues travel alert for France ahead of Euro 2016
Photo: AFP

The US has warned its citizens that France is a potential terror target during Euro 2016.

France lets widow have child with dead husband's sperm
An illustration of intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Photo: Wellcome Images/Flickr

A French court has ruled that the semen of a dead man can be used for artificial insemination.

French rail strikes to hit around half of train services
Photo: AFP

A rolling strike by French rail workers will begin on Tuesday evening with estimates suggesting around half of the train services will be not be running.

IN PICTURES: Wild weather pummels France
Submerged cars in the flooded town of Bruay-la-Buissiere, near Lens, northern France. All photos: AFP

Heavy rains have left submerged cars and flooded villages across France, and even breached the banks on the Seine River.

Paris to build humanitarian camp to welcome migrants
A new unofficial migrant camp in the north of Paris. Photo: AFP

Paris will soon be home to an official migrant camp that meets UN standards.

Paris has wettest May since 1873 (but Brittany stays dry)
Photos: AFP

Have you noticed it's been raining a lot in Paris in May? In fact it's been chucking it down more than in any other month of May for 143 years.

Is this France's best tourist attraction yet (for adults)?
Photo: AFP

Everything you need to know about France's new attraction: the world's biggest wine theme park, or a "Disneyland for adults".

French economy hit by drop in consumer prices
Photo: AFP

France's consumer prices have fallen, leaving the country stuck in a deflationary spiral.

France to put €1 billion into improving teachers' pay
Photo: AFP

France's teachers are soon to take home a bit of extra cash each month.

What's on in France: Ten great things to do in June
Photo: AFP

From music to car racing to food glorious food there is plenty to keep everyone entertained in France in June.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
How you'll be affected by France's ongoing strikes
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
National
Violent storms in France: How to avoid being struck by lightning
National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
2,739
jobs available