French Workers Lose Appetite for Leisurely Lunch

Thousands of restaurants go pffft as French eat at their desks
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2008 3:44 AM CDT
Thousands of Paris cafes and restaurants are losing as the French change their traditional eating habits.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
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(Newser) – Thousands of cafes and restaurants in Paris are closing as French workers change their eating and spending habits and dine at their desks just like Americans. French office workers are skipping traditional long lunches in favor of takeaway baguettes. Those who do opt for restaurant meals skip aperitifs, hors d'oeuvres, even wine to save time and money in a tanking economy, reports the Guardian.

Some 3,000 bars and restaurants have gone bust in just three months. The number of restaurant customers has dropped 20% since the start of the year. "Lunch customers used to order a main course, dessert, coffee and wine," said a brasserie owner. "Now they're limiting themselves to a main course, tap water, and giving up the rest. It's the end of a tradition."