Friday, November 13, 2009

Le Ticket Restaurant

One of the many social benefits of working for a large French company is le ticket restaurant, a pre-paid meal voucher you receive for every day you work. Now don't get too excited - it's not free by any means. However, the company does pay over half and in return they receive tax benefits. When looking at my bulletin de paie I notice that 3 euros are taken out of my paycheck for every day I work. This goes towards my booklet of vouchers. The amount of the voucher depends on the company and the location of where you work. Usually this would mean more money if you work on, let's say Avenue Montaigne in Paris. However when I was working in Levallois (Paris suburb) I had tickets worth 8,50€ and now that I'm on rue du Faubourg St. Honoré I only get 7,80€. (Now what's up with that?).

Although in concept I think these vouchers are a great idea, I often find myself either spending extra money on lunch or buying more food than I originally planned just to use the entire ticket (because the majority of places don't give change back). Where I work, there aren't many low-priced lunch options that will allow me to eat a good and healthy meal under 8 euros. It's either the local boulangerie where I find myself purchasing le menu (sandwich + drink + dessert) to get my full voucher value or a nearby café where I end up having to spend around 5 or so euros extra just to eat a salad.


In an effort to spend less money and eat more balanced meals, I've recently begun bringing my lunch to work. So what do I do when I've acquired 4 or more unused tickets? I take my husband out for dinner. Problem solved.

9 comments:

Jessica said...

That sounds like a great date night! And you may get less now but at least your view is awesome, Rue de Fauborg St. Honore is a great location!

sarah said...

What a great idea!

Emily said...

We have those in Germany too... you might want to check the website, some of our grocery stores accept them!

Emily Marie said...

Monoprix ( French version of Target) accepts them but only one at a time since you are supposed to be using it for lunch! And they don't give you change back if you spend less....

Kalee said...

What a great idea! Do they cover everything like wine?

Carlos Mal said...

Another advantage is that you can give them to beggars or other less fortunate people and you're sure they will have at least one decent meal for the day.

Emily Marie said...

Exactly. It's funny because beggars even ask for them!

Adam said...

One point - the value of the voucher has no connection with where you work (directly at least). The value is an agreement between managament and work councils about how much each side is willing to pay. They are an obligation for companies over a certainn size who do not provide a canteen. Lunchtime in France is serious!

Emily Marie said...

I just figured they had to take into account the location of your office, especially when you are working in a "ritzy" area where you can hardly find a sandwich for less than 7€. Dommage....