top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

French restaurant sells homemade dishes via vending machine

Four-to-six freshly-made dishes, including chocolate mousse, foie gras and andouillette, are on offer each day

A professional restaurant kitchen packages up food in takeaway boxes

The restaurant has been packaging its dishes up in takeaway boxes and selling them via vending machine Pic: Iskra Antova / Shutterstock

Forget crisps and chocolate bars, a vending machine in western France is now selling homemade restaurant food, including delicacies such as foie gras and andouillette.

The La Cour restaurant in Ruelle (Charente) has made some of its most traditional, homemade dishes available 24/7 via chilled vending machine after seeing a drop in customer numbers due to Covid.

Restaurant manager Martine Valladas told BFMTV: “It started from a very simple realisation. Because of the pandemic, we lost a lot of clientele: Between people home-working, those who were sick, those who were afraid of getting Covid, those who didn’t have a health pass [and now vaccine pass]…”

Ms Valladas has run the restaurant with her husband for 15 years, along with four staff. The machine cost €27,000, but the team considered it a good investment, given the health situation.

She said: “It’s been necessary to adapt to new consumer habits…Twice a day, we fill the machine with freshly-cooked dishes from our restaurant. Everything is homemade and we try to offer different dishes every day. 

“The vending machine has capacity for 40 units, and we are offering four to six different dishes per day.”

The dishes are packaged in aluminium foil with paper tops, like traditional takeaways. Prices range from €3.50 for a chocolate mousse, to €17 for traditional ris de veau (veal sweetbreads).

“We are also offering andouillettes, lamb, our daily dishes, and croque-monsieurs,” Ms Valladas said. She added that there has been “incredible enthusiasm” for the system among her customers.

She said: “People find it practical. It’s convenient, but people also know that they are going to be eating something healthy. It brings in new clients that we wouldn’t normally have had before, such as older people who don’t always want to cook…

“But not only them. We are seeing people from all walks of life, doctors, workers who are off to work…we were surprised to see that someone bought one at 4am!”

It comes as 85% of restaurateurs in France said that they had seen a drop in activity over the course of the health crisis, in a poll conducted on 4-5 January.

Related articles

Hotels, restaurants, cafes: France offers new aid for Covid losses

One in 10 bars and restaurants in France shut despite new Covid rules

French restaurant reveals secret of US tourist's 'best-ever potato'

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now