France to make a stand against “non fait maison” food in restaurants

non fait maison

Plans to introduce a “non fait maison” label identifying dishes not made on site by restaurants have been announced by the French government in a bid to promote fresh produce and homemade, not industrially produced, cuisine.  

By 2025, the French government wants to implement the use of a new label that will alert diners to dishes that haven’t been made in a restaurant’s kitchen.  

Essentially, it’s a push back against industrially produced and readymade meals in favour of healthier and more seasonal produce.  

According to Alain Fontaine of the French Association of Master Restaurateurs (AFMR), of the 175,000 restaurants in France, only a mere 7,000 offer meals to customers that are prepared entirely in their own kitchens. 

A label promoting these “homemade” dishes was introduced back in 2014 – the “fait maison” sticker that regular patrons of French restaurants will be familiar with – but in comments to La Tribune Dimanche, the country’s Minister Delegate for SMEs and Trade, Olivia Grégoire, has argued that this system simply isn’t working the way it was meant to. 

In the interview published on 22nd October, she announced her plans to launch a reverse form of the “fait maison” label, which could be made law by 2025.


“It’s a good thing,” said Fontaine of the measure, who agrees that the old way was not working. “It was very confusing for professionals and confusing for clients.” 

The president of the AFMR has, however, recommended providing restaurants with clear and precise information on the conditions that will apply to the new label, and has suggested adding an asterisk to each item that is not “fait maison”, with a disclaimer at the top or bottom of the menu stating the situation.  

This, he has said, would be “less punishing and easier for restaurateurs to implement”.  

The government has admitted that there will be a need for control mechanisms to be put in place to ensure everyone follows the rules.  

Restaurant owners who do not disclose the truth about the origins of the food in their kitchens could face fines, and although the amounts are as yet undisclosed, they will be certainly stiff enough to dissuade breeches.  


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Photo source: Dan Gold, Unsplash