Mar. 05 - Traditional French gastronomy is set for a shake-up as fast food sales leap ahead of table service restaurants for first time.John Russell reports.
The French are abandoning long lunches in the bistro for the convenience of fast food, according to statistics published by food consultancy Gira Conseil last week. "Le snacking" has overtaken sit-down meals for the first time, gaining 54 percent of the market share traditionally dominated by restaurants and cafes. General Director of Gira Conseil Bernard Boutboul said that the figures showed a historic turning point in French dining habits SOUNDBITE General Director of Gira Conseil Bernard Boutboul, saying (English): "Fast food has overtaken table service in France for the first time in terms of sales of meals outside the home. And that is truly historic because the restaurant industry in France is originally table service. The French like sitting at a table, there is a social link around the table, sharing, conviviality. For a few years fast food has been on the rise and table service has decreased, and for the first time the two have exchanged places and fast food has won." It's not all French fries, though -- with the variety of fast food on offer was a key factor in encouraging sales in the country. Still, it remains to be seen whether it remains to be seen whether the French will continue the current fast food trend.