The phenomenal figures that reveal the French appetite for fast food

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
The phenomenal figures that reveal the French appetite for fast food
Photo: AFP

France's secret love for fast food is starting to show itself on the public's waistlines, with the country set to become home to 30 million obese and overweight people by 2030, according to a new report.


The French are known for their love of food, famous for having sit down lunches that last several courses and their sense of pride in the country's culinary traditions. 
But fast food is increasingly taking over France's tables, something which is believed to be down to the lack of time for a proper lunch and the arrival -- and popularity -- of online food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. 
These are the figures that reveal France's love of fast food: 
€54 billion
Fast food is on the rise in France, with the industry now accounting for a turnover of €54 billion, according to a study by Paris-based restaurant consultants Gira Conseil covered by Europe1 radio.
That's more than half of the total turnover of the €88 billion food service industry, meaning fast food accounts for more consumer spending than traditional restaurants. 
Scroll down to learn vocabulary related to this story
Flunch fast food restaurant in Lille. Photo: AFP
€4.8 billion
That's the staggering figure for the turnover for McDonald's in France in 2017. At €4.85 billion McDonald's has the biggest turnover in the whole of the restaurant industry.
To put that in context the turnover of the next biggest restaurant group in the industry - the Bertrand Group which owns Burger King, Au Bureau, Quick and Hippopotamus - was a measly €1.7 billion in 2017. 
And McDonald's turnover rose 4.1 percent on the previous year showing the French love for McDo is only deepening.
Indeed there are other figures to confirm this.
France is home to 1,440 McDo restaurants. That's compared to 1,249 in the UK.
It serves around 2 million meals each day to French people and around 450 million each year. That's a lot of Big Macs.
That's the number of minutes workers in France get for lunch, according to French corporate services company Edenred.
Now that the much spoken of two hour lunch is a thing of the past for the majority of French employees, most people are looking for something that can be prepared and eaten as quickly as possible. 
That's the number of fast food restaurants in France, with the number increasing rapidly due to a growing demand. 
The majority of these are burger joints and 2,100 belong to a chain, according to a study, which also detailed that the industry employs 180,000 staff in France. 
On average consumers spend €9 on a fast food meal, showing that the French are not entirely sacrificing quality in the name of convenience.
As a result, prices are not as low as we might normally associate with the fast food industry.
For example, while the French might spend an average of €9, a meal at Exki, one of the healthy fast food restaurants in France, is more likely to cost between €9 and €12, while a meal at organic burger restaurant Bioburger will set you back by around €12 to €17 and at another healthy fast food restaurant Cojean, you could even spend up to €20 euros.
Five French words to learn
la restauration rapide - fast food industry
la malbouffe - junk food/unhealthy eating
les additifs - food additives
transformé - processed
les plats preparés - ready meals


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also