Restaurant table with some drinks.

Your 2021 guide to restaurant vouchers in France

Find out how to use them, where they’re accepted, and more.

4 min read

One of the perks of working for a French company, restaurant vouchers help employees offset the cost of eating out. But which restaurants accept them, and how much are they worth? N26 has the answers to all this and more with this handy guide to using your restaurant vouchers in France.

What’s a restaurant voucher?

Restaurant vouchers are essentially coupons employers give their employees to subsidize dining out during your working hours. Companies generally offer them when they have no on-site meal facilities—like a company cafeteria—for their employees. In French, they’re known as tickets restaurant—or, originally, titres restaurant. Restaurant vouchers are issued regardless of the type of employment contract you have— permanent, temporary, part-time, apprenticeship, and so on. Restaurant vouchers can have different names depending on who issues them, including:

  • Ticket-restaurant
  • Chèque ApĂ©tiz
  • Pass Restaurant
  • Chèque dĂ©jeuner

They can also be issued in different formats, such as:

  • Checkbook-type paper booklets
  • A card
  • A mobile app

How do restaurant vouchers work?

To use your restaurant vouchers properly, there are a number of conditions you should be aware of:

  • Meal vouchers are generally only valid on work days. They must be used during the calendar year in which they’re issued, with a maximum extension of two months—meaning until the end of February of the following year. If you haven't used them by then, you can ask to exchange them for valid ones.
  • Employees can only receive one meal voucher per day worked—and only if their hours include a lunch break.
  • Restaurant vouchers can only be used within a limited geographical area—usually the location or dĂ©partement of your workplace and the surrounding areas. 

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How much are restaurant vouchers worth?

Companies are free to set the amount that they subsidize. However, for companies to benefit from an exemption from paying French social security contributions, they must finance 50-60% of the voucher amount—up to a limit of €5.55 in 2021. The rest is paid by the employee—usually via a salary deduction. In practice, for a voucher worth €11, your company finances between €5.50 and €6.60, and you pay the difference—i.e., between €5.50 and €4.40. In 2021, the total value of restaurant vouchers varied between around €9.25 and €11.10, depending on the percentage paid for by the company. 

Want to learn to spot your deductions easily? Check out our article on how to read your payslip.

Where to use restaurant vouchers

Wondering where you can purchase meals with your restaurant vouchers? Rest assured—many places accept them, such as:

  • Restaurants and fast food restaurants (for both eat-in and take-away)
  • Supermarkets, bakeries, and other food-service establishments where you buy prepared foods (like sandwiches, salads, and pre-cooked meals), or fresh fruits and vegetables

However, it’s important to check whether a business takes meal vouchers, as they’re under no obligation to do so.

Where to use your restaurant voucher card

While most companies offer restaurant vouchers in paper booklets, your company can also opt to give you a voucher card instead. In this case, the principle is the same, and you can use your card at all businesses that accept paper meal vouchers. 

Several companies issue restaurant voucher cards—such as Edenred, Apétiz (Natixis), Swile, etc. Note that the establishments accepted and options offered—like payment on meal delivery platforms—vary from card to card. To learn more about which cards are accepted where, visit this website.

How many restaurant vouchers can you use at the supermarket?

It’s perfectly fine to use restaurant vouchers at the supermarket, as long as you buy ready-to-consume products like those mentioned above. However, you likely won’t be able to use more than two meal vouchers at a time, up to a maximum value of €19.

In addition, each brand decides on which of its foods are eligible to be purchased with restaurant vouchers, and supermarkets aren’t required to accept them. 

If you’re looking to cut back on costs, using restaurant vouchers at the supermarket can help you reduce your spending. Want to save even more on your shopping? Discover our 12 tips on how to save money on groceries!

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