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Daily lunch voucher limit to stay at €38 to support French restaurants

Upper limits for using tickets restaurant rose from €19 to €38 in 2020 to help support the restaurant sector during the health crisis

The value of unused tickets restaurants has reached nearly €1.5billion since the start of the health crisis Pic: sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

The €38 upper limit for tickets restaurant introduced in 2020 will now stay in place until February 28, 2022, the Economy Ministry has said.

Tickets restaurant are subsidised vouchers given to employees to spend on food for lunch from supermarkets and restaurants. 

Previously the maximum daily value limit for using these vouchers was €19. In 2020, the Economy Ministry doubled this figure to €38 in an attempt to support the struggling restaurant industry during the Covid-19 health crisis.

However the €38 upper limit can only be used when paying bills in restaurants. Employees using vouchers to buy food from a supermarket still have an upper limit of €19.

These limits refer to the value of tickets that can be used when paying a bill.

How do tickets restaurant work?

Tickets restaurant come in the form of a paper voucher to be used in place of cash or a prepaid plastic card that can be swiped like a bank card.

Workplaces using the scheme issue one voucher for each full day worked and employers benefit from not having to pay social charges on the value of the tickets issued, within certain conditions.

Employers decide the daily value of vouchers for employees.

Employees can save them up and use as many of them as they wish at any one time within the value limits mentioned above. For example if an employee hands over four €8 tickets in payment of a €40 restaurant bill, there is just €8 left to pay by conventional means.

Unused tickets restaurants worth almost €1.5billion

One in four workers in France is eligible for tickets restaurants.

In a statement the Economy Ministry said that as a result of the health crisis, during which many people have worked from home, current stocks of unused tickets restaurant are worth “hundreds of millions of euros” more than normal.

To encourage people to spend their vouchers the deadline for using tickets restaurant from 2020 was extended to August 31, 2021; a date which remains unchanged. Tickets issued in 2021 can be used until February 28, 2022.

Authorisation was also given for tickets restaurants to be used at weekends and on bank holidays, which is not usually the case. This is now also to be continued until February 28, 2022.

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