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View Full Version : French Say 'Au Revoir' to Dining Out



megimoo
11-09-2008, 09:05 PM
Due to the financial squeeze, the French are opting to eat in rather than enjoy a meal at a local bistro or brasserie. The result? Thousands of restaurants have gone bankrupt in recent months.

Falling prey to the financial squeeze, in France the tradition of dining out is facing eradication. The problem began well before the current financial crisis, as almost 3,000 restaurants went bankrupt in the first three months of the year.

Tightening their purse strings, office workers have been opting to grab a sandwich during the day rather than enjoy a pricier bite to eat in a cafe or restaurant. The French have also started dining in for their evening meals more and the country's dining establishments are definitely noticing this change.

Going out for just a light bite

If restaurants continue to close, tourists will have to be satisfied with sightseeing aloneJean, who did not provide his last name, is the manager at a restaurant near Paris' famed Arc de Triumph. While he claims the restaurant still draws roughly the same number of patrons as it has in the past, he said he's noticed their hesitance to splash out cash on their meals.

"It's not that there are fewer people, but that the total amount from the bills is lower," he said. "They've stopped ordering all the extras: aperitifs, expensive wines, hors d'oeuvres."

The restaurant crisis in France has been a regular topic on the nation's radio airwaves, as restaurant revenue in the country have dropped by 20 percent to 30 percent. The industry has suffered the most number of bankruptcies after construction and estate agents.
Strict regulations also factors

Restaurants in France are no longer smoker-friendly

But while the worsening financial situation is viewed as a major factor in the declining business for restaurants, others point to the recently implemented ban on smoking in restaurants and other tough regulations for driving away business.

Bernard Cartier of the Hotel Industry Union claims that the government needs to step in and help dining establishments cope with the various restrictions they face.

"We're asking for an action plan for the whole of the profession," he said. "There's the question of spending power, the smoking ban which amplified the problem and then we also get demonized regularly about alcohol, noise, and so on."

With more and more restaurants closing their doors for good each day, surely the French would welcome such an interjection from the government. After all, says Cartier, "Restaurants are convivial, festive, social places, essential for society -- and it's vital that they remain so and survive."

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3772777,00.html

biccat
11-10-2008, 08:52 AM
But while the worsening financial situation is viewed as a major factor in the declining business for restaurants, others point to the recently implemented ban on smoking in restaurants and other tough regulations for driving away business.

Bernard Cartier of the Hotel Industry Union claims that the government needs to step in and help dining establishments cope with the various restrictions they face.

Why don't the people in France realize what's going on? They want a government solution to a problem created by the government.

No wonder they loved Obama so much. :rolleyes:

linda22003
11-10-2008, 08:55 AM
If you've ever seen the kitchens in Paris apartments, you'd know why they eat out. :o

Milly
11-10-2008, 12:45 PM
Maybe they should stop serving pork and adult beverages. Is their Muslim population big enough to make up the difference yet?

BadCat
11-10-2008, 01:29 PM
Restaurants around here are dropping like flies too.
Same reasons, smoking ban, the new "minimum wage" they are giving to HS dropouts working there, increased DUI checkpoints around all the ones that serve alcohol, and people are staying home and not spending money.

biccat
11-10-2008, 02:55 PM
Restaurants around here are dropping like flies too.
Same reasons, smoking ban, the new "minimum wage" they are giving to HS dropouts working there, increased DUI checkpoints around all the ones that serve alcohol, and people are staying home and not spending money.
The smoking ban here has done more to destroy the restaurant industry than anything. There was a slight boom just after the ban went into place as more restaurants became "family friendly," but now many of them are closing down.

Fortunately I haven't seen any DUI checkpoints for quite some time.

ralph wiggum
11-10-2008, 03:00 PM
The smoking ban here has done more to destroy the restaurant industry than anything. There was a slight boom just after the ban went into place as more restaurants became "family friendly," but now many of them are closing down.

Fortunately I haven't seen any DUI checkpoints for quite some time.

It's only going to get worse for the restaurant business over the winter, as it did in Illinois.

IIRC, they usually announce where the DUI checkpoints will be, if that makes any sense. When I was visiting a couple of years ago, the local radio stations were announcing the exact locations. :rolleyes:

Gingersnap
11-10-2008, 03:08 PM
I agree that the smoking ban and the wage thing has impacted a lot of places out here. It think that quite a few people who used to spend some ridiculous amount of money on exotic "starters" and highly suspect personality-driven venues are spending their money elsewhere right now.

I wonder if it's the start of a general trend in a number of areas? Food, fashion, art, and entertainment have become something of circle jerks for industry insiders over the past 10 or 15 years. They are playing to each other and more or less ignoring what the customers want. Maybe people will be voting with their pocketbooks a little more now.

BadCat
11-10-2008, 03:16 PM
I agree that the smoking ban and the wage thing has impacted a lot of places out here. It think that quite a few people who used to spend some ridiculous amount of money on exotic "starters" and highly suspect personality-driven venues are spending their money elsewhere right now.

I wonder if it's the start of a general trend in a number of areas? Food, fashion, art, and entertainment have become something of circle jerks for industry insiders over the past 10 or 15 years. They are playing to each other and more or less ignoring what the customers want. Maybe people will be voting with their pocketbooks a little more now.

I'll give a real life example of the effect of the new minimum wage.

I live fairly far from "town". An enterprising young gentlemen started a small restaurant up where I live, which was frequented by many in this "planned community" currently consisting of around 7000 "rooftops". They had dine in and take out and a full service bar. A medium pizza for instance, was always a bit pricey ($12 for 3 toppings). After the minimum wage law went into effect, he raised the price of the same pizza to almost $19.

I, and many others, simply will not pay $19 for a medium sized pizza with 3 toppings.

He shut down a month ago.