New signs adorning many restaurant windows in France have been designed to signify that the food there is “home-made.” Home-made, you say? I thought this was France! But it turns out that many restaurants in France reheat pre-made food on a regular basis. The Union of Hotel Skills and Industries suggests that around 85% of restaurants, in fact, serve frozen or vacuum-packed food on the sly. Now American restaurants most certainly do this, and the practice is likely even more widespread, but in a country whose food has been awarded World Heritage designation by UNESCO, 85% just won’t cut it.
It’s with this is mind that the new logo has been designed, to be placed next to specific menu items in order to signify that they are truly made from scratch. Usage of the logo, resembling a sauce pan with a roof on top, will become mandatory starting next January. Critics are divided on whether the law will help improve restaurant traffic by giving consumers a more informed experience, or whether it will wind up hurting the dining out economy. It’s a question of great importance in a country where 82% of citizens say that pre-processed food in restaurants is not okay, and 13.5% of foreign tourism money is spent of food.
Home-baked French Bread (photo: David Monniaux)