When I worked in Champs-sur-Marne (Paris) last week, I was impressed by the way most of my co-workers would jump into their cars at 12 o’clock, drive to a nice restaurant, have a leisurely two- or three-course meal and then return to work around 1.30.
I then realised it wasn’t just because they were really fond of good food, but also because it’s encouraged by a system called “Ticket Restaurant“.
Basically each employee can buy a number of tickets restaurant at half their nominal value (i.e., they pay €5 for a ticket worth €10), while the employer pays the other half; I believe the employer gets some sort of tax relief so that the actual cost is less than €5.
It’s really a win-win-win situation:
- The employee gets a relaxing lunchbreak and a square meal at a very decent price.
- The employer has satisfied employees and doesn’t need to provide a canteen.
- The wider economy can sustain many more jobs in the restaurant trade than if the system didn’t exist.
I have a feeling introducing a similar system in the UK could help kickstart the economy, as well as decreasing stress levels in industry.