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France’s industrial food revolution (A) 2015-167.1

4 September 2015



In 2013 France claimed the crown of the world’s most popular tourist destination, and over one third of Paris’s visitors alone cited fine dining as their top priority. 85 million visitors took the chance to sample a gastronomy that UNESCO declared as one of the world’s “intangible cultural treasures”. What qualified as an authentic dining experience, however, came into question when it became increasingly clear that huge numbers of restaurants were serving ready-made meals, prepared and supplied en masse by external food service corporations. Offering food that was sometimes indistinguishable from the work of a cordon bleu, and at much more affordable prices for both provider and consumer, such corporations were a tour de force in an ailing cultural industry. Highly trained chefs and politicians alike were aghast, and called for stricter rules on who could call their business a restaurant. Still others, however, wondered whether it might be time for France to review its food industry, moving away from a strict adherence to tradition, and catch up with the innovative cuisines of other major tourist hubs such as London, New York and Tokyo.

This case two-part case can be used to discuss complex regulation in a cultural industry. Part A can be used to set up the context of the political environment in France’s hospitality and tourist industries, demonstrating the paradox between increased demand in a tough economic climate, and the need for commercial integrity.

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  • Part B can be used to discuss how specific regulations may or may not be enforced, where compliance is mostly voluntary and difficult to monitor.
Authors: Marinella Padula
Published Date: 4 September 2015
Author Institution: ANZSOG
Featured Content Length: 1
Content Length: 7
Product Type: Part A, Primary resources