The changing French food traditions
Let me start off by saying that I have nothing against delivery food. In fact, sometimes it has saved an evening’s meal after a busy workday. But something has changed in that last 13+ years I have lived in France. It used to be that the only thing that you could have delivered in Paris was pizza. When Dominos and Pizza Hut first hit the Hexagone, I am sure that the French were excited – in a way. And also disgusted at the same time, but since the arrival of these American giants, a lot has changed.
When I arrived in 2003, I didn’t even consider getting delivery. After all, part of the whole point of being in France was to experience good quality food in a lovely bistro. And frankly, after living in NYC, Parisian delivery options seemed a tad uninteresting. So it didn’t even occur to me to try. After a few years though, I jumped on board and started using Just Eat formerly under the name Just Eats (formerly Alloresto), in my mind, the first of its kind in France. After a long day at work, we were at times too lazy to either go out to eat or make dinner. We would hop online and order sushi, Indian, or even the occasional pizza. It was never spectacular.
The Wave of Change:
Then the food trucks came and one of them. Food truck pioneers, The Camion qui Fume, proposed delivering their delicious burgers to your doorstep. Where they delivered all depended on what district they were rolling around in on that particular day. Wow! It was good but can’t compare to the experience of sitting in a quaint French bistro.
Who’s Delivering Food in Paris?
Deliveroo – delivering throughout Paris on a bicycle (multi-lingual site), covering everything from boulangeries to brasseries with a few pizza and burger joints in between. You can even have ice-cream delivered! How in the world it remains frozen is beyond me.
Foodora – who contacted me to include them in a post but as I have not yet tried them what could I say exactly.
Uber Eats – who was only serving lunch in the beginning but now do evenings as well – noticed a lot of Indian, bagels & burgers and Southeast Asian restaurants. But I did spot a few restaurants that I know pretty well.
Pop Chef – Whose idea is to deliver good wholesome food to busy workers. They provide a way to say NO to fast food and ‘le mal bouffe’ (bad food) as the French say. Only serving lunch. It looks like they change the menu every day and have offers for companies. Promises delivery in 30 minutes.
Sushi Ba, a French-style sushi shop, now handles its own delivery.
Do you think that perhaps ordering from a restaurant via a delivery service would prompt you to go to that very restaurant when you are planning a night out? I’m thinking that it may very well be why some restaurants are agreeing to join in the trend because it makes sense. And really you can’t blame a small place with only 5 tables for trying to find ways to keep costs at a minimum and still earn some euros – it’s tough being a small business owner in France.
What do the Restaurant owners think of delivery?
While I have never gone to any restaurant that I first discovered via a delivery site. In the reverse, when I see places I HAVE been to now offering delivery via these services, I’m all upon it. So while change is tough in France, Paris is always at the forefront of what’s new and trendy. While this may very well be a phase it seems that it is one that is going to hang around for a while. Parisian entrepreneurs will always try to come up with the next angle. So you can think of this as setting up new traditions. Don’t judge!
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