“The government is sending a very bad signal to our profession”, believes Thierry Marx

By Le Figaro with AFP

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The starred chef asked this Thursday to be received by the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, to alert her to the dissatisfaction of restaurateurs following the government’s decision to extend the use of meal vouchers for food products in 2024.

The standoff continues. THE starred chef Thierry Marxpresident of the main employers’ union in the hotel and catering industry, Umih, asks this Thursday to be received “as soon as possible» by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, while Bercy is considering perpetuating the possibility of purchasing food products in the supermarket with meal vouchers.

With its about-face on the extension of the use of meal vouchers to food products, the Government is sending a very bad signal to our profession“, he laments. “In meal voucher, there is ”restaurant”. This title must remain a lunch aid for employees who do not have a company restaurant. It must not become a shopping cart voucher», continues the chef.

I ask to be received as soon as possible by the Prime Minister to express our incomprehension, our dissatisfaction and our wish for a rapid return to the situation preceding the 2022 law.», he adds.

The law introduced in 2022 the possibility of purchasing non-directly consumable food products (flour, pasta, rice, eggs, fish, meat, etc.) in supermarkets with meal vouchers, an exemption which was to end on December 31 2023.

Large retailers benefit, restaurateurs suffer

But faced with the outcry caused by the end of the system, Bercy announced its wish to extend it in 2024, or even make it permanent. “In 2023, there will be a shortfall of 200 million euros for our restaurateurs“, estimates the chef, recalling “that in 2023, m distribution saw its meal voucher market share increase by more than 6%” When “that of restaurants decreased by 3%“.

I can clearly hear the voices expressing themselves about the usefulness of this title, in times of inflation, for everyday shopping. Inflation concerns all French people. The rise in prices also impacts our restaurateurs», Indicates Thierry Marx, calling on the government to “design a food voucher or a food check to fight inflation and help the most disadvantaged“.

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