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New logo plan for ‘real’ restaurants

Chefs who prepare their own food will get title “maître restaurateur” to distance them from “boil-in-the-bag” eateries

“REAL” restaurants who prepare their own food are to get their own logo to separate them from the ones who use “boil-in-the-bag” frozen meals.

Tourism Minister Sylvia Pinel says she will introduce a "fait maison" logo for restaurants that can be used outside the restaurant or on menus and also plans to extend the present title of maître restaurateur for those who promote proper cooking.

She has opted for a compromise after opposing sections of the hotel and restaurant business suggested different ways of maintaining the reputation of the Unesco-recognised French dining out.

One group, Synhorcat, had suggested that the title “restaurant” only be used by those establishments which prepared their own food while the larger rival group Umih had suggested that they instead be given the title “artisan restaurateur”.

Umih said that Ms Pinel had not gone far enough and that its “artisan restaurateur” label would highlight the 20,000 such restaurants out of the 150,000 eateries in France.

UMP MP Daniel Fasquelle, who backed the Synhorcat move, said he would try to toughen up Ms Pinel’s bill when it came to the National Assembly.

He said the plan to restrict restaurant names had worked in bakeries where, since 1995, only those who made their own bread on-site could call themselves “boulangeries” - others were "dépôt de pain" or similar.
Photo: Starters being prepared by the chef of the Karé Magik restaurant, Boulogne-Billancourt © Atout France/Cédric Helsly

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