Using restaurant tickets without worrying about these two key points can be very expensive and drive up the price of the bill.

Between 1500 and 2000€. This is the budget, on average, that the French have planned to allocate to their summer holidays, for those who can take days away from home. An increasing budget, of which one of the main items of expenditure is food. But the latter should be reduced, according to various studies, due to rising prices. More than one in two holidaymakers intends to reduce their spending on restaurants and, more generally, on food, according to a CSA Research survey for Cofidis. This sector can even, depending on the means of payment used, be very expensive.

Many employees benefit from a book or restaurant ticket card through their company. A benefit provided by the company to help fund employee lunches. Every month, money is accumulated in the account and using this money away from your office can be tempting. But it’s mostly risky, at least in theory.

Indeed, the labor code regulates the use of meal vouchers, in time and space. Thus, using a restaurant ticket on Sundays or public holidays (throughout the year) is prohibited by law. During the summer holidays, it is therefore better to avoid paying by this means on July 9, 14, 16, 23, 30 and August 6, 13, 15, 20 or 27. If it is therefore advisable, given the law, to look carefully at the calendar before using your restaurant tickets, also park where you are.

Beyond the days of use, the labor code provides for provisions to limit their use geographically. In theory, “meal vouchers can only be used in the department of the place of work of the beneficiary employees and the neighboring departments”, unless the employer contraindicates for those who are regularly on the move. An employee working in Paris can therefore, according to the law, not use his restaurant tickets on vacation in the Hérault, any more than a worker from Lyon who has come to the Basque coast.

This legislative framework for restaurant vouchers is unknown but can, however, hurt the wallet in the event of an inspection. According to the law, not respecting these rules exposes you to a fine of up to 750€ (fourth class).

In reality, checks are almost non-existent and the use of restaurant tickets everywhere in France and at any time is common. Even if in 2018, the boss of an SME was reprimanded by the Labor Inspectorate after an employee used his titles on non-working days (weekend or public holiday)…