AeroWesty
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French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:24 am

Now this is an idea I could really get behind. One of my biggest gripes about the trend towards restaurants serving food prepared offsite is that, as the article below states, "everybody ends up eating the same mass-produced food with the same homogenized tastes."

I've long avoided the Olive Gardens and Applebee's of the world because I know going into it that the food is trucked in and reheated to order. I've even stopped going to a place I liked for breakfast nearby when their pancakes started tasting too much like that commercial flavor-enhancer you can even buy in home kitchen-sized bottles now.

So what are the French up to? There's a proposal from their restaurant union to restrict the title "restaurant" to establishments where food is cooked from scratch. A government minister has proposed a logo on menus for dishes which are "home made".

French restaurants acknowledge serving factory-frozen food

Quote:
PARIS — It is the warmest memory of many a vacation in France: the little Paris restaurant where a white-aproned waiter served a dish glorified on the menu as something homey like blanquette de veau grand-mere, topped off with a still-tepid creme brulee that was just the right mix of crackly and creamy.

The trouble with this picture, it turns out, is that in 21st-century France, chances are high that both the stew and the dessert were assembled and cooked on a production line in a distant suburban factory, that they were quick-frozen and trucked to the restaurant, that they were then microwaved for unsuspecting diners who thought they were sampling traditional French cuisine.

In a survey conducted for the National Union of Hotel, Restaurant and Cafe Operators, a third of French restaurants acknowledged serving such factory-frozen products to clients. Restaurant owners estimated that the real number is substantially higher, as many chefs were embarrassed to admit the short cuts that, in effect, hoodwink their customers.

Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:47 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

Absolutely!
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:05 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

Of course, and because I can't have dairy or wheat, it's useful to be somewhere where that can be catered for. I don't usually eat out that much anyway for this reason.

I was impressed at the Novotel airport hotel in Birmingham (UK) where the restaurant staff were happy to prepare something for my particular requirements.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:15 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
There's a proposal from their restaurant union to restrict the title "restaurant" to establishments where food is cooked from scratch.

Ahh, I wondered where it had come from...

When you can't compete on merit, then push for legislation that denigrates the competition.

And what do they propose as "from scratch"? Do you have to prepare each serving of bernaise sauce individually or can you preprepare a vat beforehand? What about a packaged base for a sauce?
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:34 am

This my pet hate in the UK. I love traditional pub food, but as most pubs are part of a chain now, seems that almost everywhere I go its ding food.
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AeroWesty
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:51 am

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
When you can't compete on merit, then push for legislation that denigrates the competition.

Reading the article it's a job-related deal for the union, since you don't need a chef to unwrap a frozen tray and zap it in the microwave.

With more interest in the provenance of what people eat, it seems like a natural progression to have more of an interest in how it's prepared as well, as restaurant food factories have proliferated. Even Gordon Ramsay has food shipped in for some of his London restaurants:

Gordon Ramsay restaurants found to be using pre-prepared meals

Quote:
It is not hard to guess what Gordon Ramsay said yesterday when he fell victim to a sting by the Sun newspaper, which caught his London gastro-pubs out using pre-prepared meals including boil-in-a-bag coq au vin at mark-ups of 500%. Whatever he said, it probably had an F in it.

The television chef found himself having to defend the practice by which meals are prepared at a kitchen operated by one of his companies in south London and transported in refrigerated vans to his Foxtrot Oscar restaurant and three pubs he runs in Limehouse, Maida Vale and Chiswick.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:51 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
I've long avoided the Olive Gardens and Applebee's of the world because I know going into it that the food is trucked in and reheated to order.

The Olive Gardens and Applebees are not necessarily the targets here. Those restaurants may have standardized menus and prices (which is the attractiveness of such restaurants to consumers - wherever you are you know what you are going to get - but they could be using fresh ingredients.

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

Any Gordon Ramsey fans here? This is his pet peeve as well - private, independent restaurants who buy in frozen food from someplace and call it homemade. Considering that the vast majority of restaurants in France are independent, this is the bigger issue in France.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:09 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
I've long avoided the Olive Gardens and Applebee's of the world because I know going into it that the food is trucked in and reheated to order. I've even stopped going to a place I liked for breakfast nearby when their pancakes started tasting too much like that commercial flavor-enhancer you can even buy in home kitchen-sized bottles now.

Thus demonstrating that the market mechanism needs no molestation by politicians.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

I do. I'm not saying I will never eat in a restaurant chain that serves pre-prepared food (indeed I have). But if I do eat there, then I want to know that it is the kind of food they serve, if only to know what I pay for. It's a quality vs. price thing, and that would prevent some independent or semi-independent restaurateurs from overcharging for factory made food.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:27 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):

Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

So do I, I just don't believe legislation is needed when you can simply ask the question yourself of the staff in the restaurant and then make the decision.

This is nothing more than a union grab.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:36 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

My parents used to be in the restaurant business. My mothers restaurants where at factories and typically they would have one kitchen server multiple restaurants on that factory and occasionally next door. Would that be considered a restaurant now?

I also think it is very difficult to draw the line of what constitutes cooked at site. Is it OK if you boil ready made pasta or do you need to make it fresh? What if you buy mayo, mustard, ketchup, chocolate, etc? Can you buy curry or do you need to blend it yourself?

Then comes the issue of reheated. I expect many of you will have problems accepting it but it comes down to the process used. They looked at it very closely at my mothers restaurants at one time. Part of the process was to have chefs blind test and they could not tell when you use the right process.

In the end they didn't implement it because they decided local service was important but it had nothing to do with food quality.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:46 pm

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 6):
Any Gordon Ramsey fans here?

Read above.  
Quoting francoflier (Reply 8):
It's a quality vs. price thing, and that would prevent some independent or semi-independent restaurateurs from overcharging for factory made food.

Indeed. Why pay the same price for what is ding food in one establishment, but costlier made from scratch at another?

Quoting moo (Reply 9):
you can simply ask the question yourself of the staff in the restaurant and then make the decision.

Remember the Kitchen Nightmares segment where the Amy of Amy's Baking Company lied to Gordon Ramsay about whether her desserts were made on site or brought in?

Quoting cmf (Reply 10):
I also think it is very difficult to draw the line of what constitutes cooked at site. Is it OK if you boil ready made pasta or do you need to make it fresh? What if you buy mayo, mustard, ketchup, chocolate, etc?

It's not difficult at all. A dish labeled 'fresh pasta' would be freshly made at the restaurant pasta. Mayo, ketchup, etc. are ingredients, not finished dishes.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:00 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 11):
Remember the Kitchen Nightmares segment where the Amy of Amy's Baking Company lied to Gordon Ramsay about whether her desserts were made on site or brought in?

Which is out and out fraud, already illegal. You don't need new legislation to solve that issue, just apply existing law.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:11 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 12):
You don't need new legislation to solve that issue, just apply existing law.

I and others would prefer the restaurant be up front and list on the menu what is made in-house and what is brought in, rather than have to have the server stand there going over every option on the menu. But I also understand the viewpoint of people who view anything from a union or the government as inherently bad.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:20 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):
I and others would prefer the restaurant be up front and list on the menu what is made in-house and what is brought in, rather than have to have the server stand there going over every option on the menu.

If that's the case then restaurants will do that voluntarily on their menu.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:20 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 11):
It's not difficult at all. A dish labeled 'fresh pasta' would be freshly made at the restaurant pasta. Mayo, ketchup, etc. are ingredients, not finished dishes.

So as long as you don't use fresh on the menu you can just heat it up?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 11):
Mayo, ketchup, etc. are ingredients, not finished dishes.

I have never seen a restaurant type of reheat where you don't plate after heating it up so everything reheated is just ingredients in the finished product. what if they reheat the meat and vegetable but make the sauce from scratch?
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:25 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):
I and others would prefer the restaurant be up front and list on the menu what is made in-house and what is brought in, rather than have to have the server stand there going over every option on the menu.

There's a whole load of things that could similarly be required to be disclosed - are they using organic or not, GMO or not, fair trade or standard market, responsibly farmed produce, local produce etc etc etc.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):
But I also understand the viewpoint of people who view anything from a union or the government as inherently bad.

Now that's putting words in my mouth just to cheapen my opinion to others, and I don't appreciate that.

I don't see everything government or union is bad, but my view is that there is something inherently wrong in a union suggesting legislation because they are finding it hard to compete in the market.

Why can't those restaurants wanting to trade on the basis of onsite produced food play on that in their advertising? Why can't they make it a plus point for their customers?

You don't need legislation for this, that's just using the law as a bullying tactic.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:26 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 15):
I have never seen a restaurant type of reheat where you don't plate after heating it up so everything reheated is just ingredients in the finished product. what if they reheat the meat and vegetable but make the sauce from scratch?

There's way way overthinking and then there's not. The proposal is to identify dishes which are made outside in a factory, frozen, and warmed up by a non-chef, against those which aren't. Simple.
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AeroWesty
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:39 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 16):
Now that's putting words in my mouth just to cheapen my opinion to others, and I don't appreciate that.

One also has to take responsibility for the impression they give out. If you don't want people to feel that you view everything originating from a union as inherently bad, then you could also answer with posts which don't center around phrases such as:

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Ahh, I wondered where it had come from
Quoting moo (Reply 9):
This is nothing more than a union grab.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:22 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 17):
The proposal is to identify dishes which are made outside in a factory, frozen, and warmed up by a non-chef, against those which aren't. Simple.

What does it matter if it is a chef or whatever you want to call it reheating it? I think you don't realize how much stuff is bought even in the best restaurants. More importantly you're missing that reheating has made leaps and bounds progress over what people typically think of reheating. You use tightly controlled steam owens, certainly not microwaves. In many ways the reheated food is better than the locally made as it is much more consistent. Not to mention all those things happening in kitchens that you don't want to know about and are so much more common in small kitchens.

I appreciate the idea behind this but reality is that it isn't a usable measurement. Let customers decide based on if they like the food or not.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:45 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
One also has to take responsibility for the impression they give out. If you don't want people to feel that you view everything originating from a union as inherently bad, then you could also answer with posts which don't center around phrases such as:

That doesn't entitle you to put words in my mouth or extend my comments beyond that which I have already put them - this is a union grab, whether you like unions or not, it's them using legislation to protect their position and members at the detriment of non-members. How can you not call that a union grab?

Why aren't the unions putting their members dues to work by running advertising campaigns to highlight the issue and raise public awareness? Why aren't the unions suggest that their members push their onsite produced meals as a quality point above local competitors which ship the meals in?

Why do the unions want a law to be passed?
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:53 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 19):
What does it matter if it is a chef or whatever you want to call it reheating it?

It isn't so much whether it's a chef doing the reheating or not, the issue is whether people want to pay 'from scratch' pricing for meals which are largely prepared offsite, then either frozen or chilled, and held for reheating on order. Obviously, it's much cheaper to have someone without culinary training to reheat, than a chef to prepare food to order from perishable ingredients.

Quoting cmf (Reply 19):
More importantly you're missing that reheating has made leaps and bounds progress over what people typically think of reheating. You use tightly controlled steam owens, certainly not microwaves.

I'm not a restaurant professional, I used the wording which the Washington Post used in the article I linked.

Quoting cmf (Reply 19):
In many ways the reheated food is better than the locally made as it is much more consistent.

I thought about this aspect while reading the article. As I indicated in my opening post, one of the things which makes going out to restaurants less appealing to me is to have the same cookie-cutter style food available from one place to the next. The lower and mid-range of restaurant choices are becoming more and more dominated by these 'consistent food' establishments. How long has Sizzler offered Malibu Chicken? 25 years?

I seek out independent establishments as much as possible, but even then, walking into somewhere new, how is a diner to know what is trucked in and what isn't?

Quoting moo (Reply 20):
That doesn't entitle you to put words in my mouth

Everyone has the entitlement to comment on the impression left by those who post. No one forced you to write what you wrote. Take responsibility for how you framed your views instead of trying to run away from them. If your words were misunderstood, that gives you the opportunity to express them differently.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:11 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
Everyone has the entitlement to comment on the impression left by those who post

You are entitled to comment, you are not entitled to put words in my mouth. If you can't tell the difference, then perhaps you should refrain altogether.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
Take responsibility for how you framed your views instead of trying to run away from them. If your words were misunderstood, that gives you the opportunity to express them differently.

I take full responsibility for what I post - I've not edited or removed my post, and I've kept my username against it.

What I don't take responsibility for is other people paraphrasing me or extending my comments beyond that which I have explicitly said in my own posts.

Yu weren't misunderstanding my words, you were deliberately using them to attack my position without answering my actual comments. That's called an ad hominem.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
I seek out independent establishments as much as possible, but even then, walking into somewhere new, how is a diner to know what is trucked in and what isn't?

You *ask*, or is that so hard these days? "Does this contain garlic? Is it prepared from scratch on these premises? Does it contain locally sourced produce?"
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:27 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 22):
Yu weren't misunderstanding my words, you were deliberately using them to attack my position without answering my actual comments. That's called an ad hominem.


Not everything in life is all about you. What you're missing is that you weren't the only one who was tilting their comments in a way which came across as anti-union/anti-government, which is very common on this board. You've re-expressed your views so that they're more clear. Great, move on.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:45 pm

If a restaurant has to prepare everything from "scratch" it has at least one Michelin star or the ambition to get one. Prices for a menue start at 100€ with open end and there are a small number even in a country like Fraqnce.

Even high price restaurants without that ambition cannot afford to do everythoing from scratch. The magic word is "convenience" and that starts from basic sauces to peeled and pre cooked potatoes and many more things. At today#s wages most restaurants cannot afford to do such things on the premises.

The real mix does it and a look at the prices will tell the educated guest what he can expect.

Not to call places like "Applebee's" or McDonalds a restaurant is perfectly OK. That goes for chain "restaurants" like Maredo as wlel, they are better McDonalds.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:59 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 23):
Not everything in life is all about you. What you're missing is that you weren't the only one who was tilting their comments in a way which came across as anti-union/anti-government, which is very common on this board. You've re-expressed your views so that they're more clear. Great, move on.

Forgive me for thinking that by quoting you and only me you intended the reply to be for me...  
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:01 pm

Ah, unions. . . when it becomes obvious they are uncompetitive and their existence threatened, they seek the law to attack the competition! Cowards.


"In response, the government minister responsible for artisanship, commerce and tourism, Sylvia Pinel, introduced an amendment to a consumer protection law that would allow restaurants that prepare their food on the premises to affix a logo to their menus saying “house-made.”"

Really? Those places that cook in-house can do this without a government agency creating a stupid logo.


"The logo, which is yet to be designed, will allow restaurants to “better inform consumers and promote quality in the restaurant business,” Pinel said in a statement."

How on earth does cooking food in house necessarily mean it is of better quality? Food or business? Surely this bureaucrat doesn't equate better quality to "sucking up to the cook's union", or does she??
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:21 pm

From some time I've been avoiding restaurants with a 15 pages menu, there is no way in hell, even with 5 chefs, that they can cook all those things on order. There are two opposite trends in France, more and more fast food joints, and small restaurants, where nothing is made there and indeed there is no chef at the helm, and more "mom and pop" and upscale restaurants that take great care to pick ingredients and cook, if they can't get this fish or that piece of meat that day, then they don't offer it, simple as that.

So whoever is behind the legislation, it has support from the public, information is always privileged by the people, usually it's the industries that want to hide what they do (like not telling from where they get the meat used in frozen dishes).

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Ahh, I wondered where it had come from...

When you can't compete on merit, then push for legislation that denigrates the competition.

And what do they propose as "from scratch"? Do you have to prepare each serving of bernaise sauce individually or can you preprepare a vat beforehand? What about a packaged base for a sauce?

From scratch just means it has to be cooked from raw ingredients in the kitchen of the restaurant, you can use the sauce you made the day before, it's not a problem. This is competing on merit like you want, those who buy everything at metro will surely compete on price.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:30 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
From some time I've been avoiding restaurants with a 15 pages menu,

That depends, again, you have to look at the place. If it is a joint that heats up frozen food, do not go there.

If it is aq Chinese or other Asian restaurant that is family owned and prepares fresh food (which is rare in Europe even with Chinese, the fresh stuff they eat themselves) it is OK.

Whatever, no restaurant can, at todaqy's cost, avoid convenience items and that does not have to be bad.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:34 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
So whoever is behind the legislation, it has support from the public, information is always privileged by the people, usually it's the industries that want to hide what they do (like not telling from where they get the meat used in frozen dishes).

The public (i.e., the majority) has decided they don't want to pay exorbitant prices just to have food prepared on-site. This is just another useless attempt by the French government to try to prevent a change in culture.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
From scratch just means it has to be cooked from raw ingredients in the kitchen of the restaurant, you can use the sauce you made the day before, it's not a problem.

Define a raw ingredient. Must olive oil be made from olives in-house? What about the farmer who owns a restaurant in his property, and grows food in his own farm? Perhaps trade for other products with his neighbor? Does he have a right to complain about all the city restaurants and how unfair they are?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
This is competing on merit like you want, those who buy everything at metro will surely compete on price.

False. This is trying to compete by slandering the competition. You completely misunderstand what is meant by merit. There are plenty of upscale restaurants who do not compete on price who also cook things off site.

[Edited 2013-07-10 10:40:26]
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Aesma
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:57 pm

Well if you believe people don't care about such logos (the point of the law being that it will be backed by inspections) then there is not need to worry or get upset about it.

France has the most McDonald's in the world after the US, and we certainly know they don't cook anything.
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cmf
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
I seek out independent establishments as much as possible, but even then, walking into somewhere new, how is a diner to know what is trucked in and what isn't?

If you like the food, what does it matter if it was trucked in or not?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
From scratch just means it has to be cooked from raw ingredients in the kitchen of the restaurant, you can use the sauce you made the day before, it's not a problem. This is competing on merit like you want, those who buy everything at metro will surely compete on price.

What does from scratch mean to you and why does it matter so much? I am not aware of any restaurant doing everything from scratch.

To me what matters is how it tastes. I also want that it should not taste the same as every other restaurant but at the same time I want it to taste the same as last time I ate something at that restaurant. This is why I don't like the frozen food that restaurants buy at the local wholesaler and while there are many, far too many, of these it isn't the only way reheating is done.

When done right it is the restaurants own recipes that are used. The food is then prepared to that specification and sent out for reheating and plating. You will not be able to tell the difference between what was reheated and what was cooked locally. Unless something is bad because then it is safe to assume it was done locally. If you need to serve a lot of guests, say 500 or more, in a very short time this is almost just about the only way to do it with great quality.

I don't see why this should exclude those places from calling themselves restaurants. I accept that this isn't what people think of when they hear reheated food but it is a very common form of restaurant reheated food. I also have problems if you can't call it a restaurant just because there is a central kitchen servicing multiple dining rooms and some of them may be in the next building or things like that. Advertise that you have a local kitchen or better open up so guests can see into the kitchen if you think that is an advantage but don't try to change the language.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:06 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 31):
If you like the food, what does it matter if it was trucked in or not?

Walking into somewhere new, how is one to know whether they're going to like the food? I like the idea of knowing what there is on the menu that's trucked in from a remote kitchen.

Some things are fairly easy to spot. A coffee shop with a $12.95 prime rib special "any way you'd like it except rare" is probably going to be reheating prime rib slices which arrived in the kitchen individually vacuum sealed in plastic. The local Mexican place with an open kitchen is likely to be making things from scratch. The cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster are probably trucked in, thawed and baked (still pretty good, but not as good as scratch biscuits I make at home).

There's a lot of food out there which may be prepped somewhere else and held for a long time in one preserved state or another. It may have started out fresh ...
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:48 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 32):
Walking into somewhere new, how is one to know whether they're going to like the food? I like the idea of knowing what there is on the menu that's trucked in from a remote kitchen.

How do you know you will like the food just because it is prepared there? Again, you treat all forms of food not prepared next to the dining room the same when reality is there are big differences between them. Just as there are often big differences between food prepared by difference chefs using the same kitchen, and often supposed to make it the same.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:55 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 30):
France has the most McDonald's in the world after the US

Mon dieu!      

I think it's a great idea, confining the word "restaurant" to places that actually cook the food from scratch, though it might be hard to implement.

What I can see coming out of this is restaurants who prepare and cook their own dishes forming an alliance of some sort and displaying a sticker in the window, much like the Slow Food movement.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:17 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 24):
If a restaurant has to prepare everything from "scratch" it has at least one Michelin star or the ambition to get one. Prices for a menue start at 100€ with open end and there are a small number even in a country like Fraqnce.

Even high price restaurants without that ambition cannot afford to do everythoing from scratch. The magic word is "convenience" and that starts from basic sauces to peeled and pre cooked potatoes and many more things. At today#s wages most restaurants cannot afford to do such things on the premises.

The real mix does it and a look at the prices will tell the educated guest what he can expect.

Not to call places like "Applebee's" or McDonalds a restaurant is perfectly OK. That goes for chain "restaurants" like Maredo as wlel, they are better McDonalds.

As a university student I used to work from time to time in a restaurant kitchen (as a dishwasher). There the cook would come in the late morning and e.g. prepare big pots of sauces (sometimes the day before), and him and his assistant would peel potatoes, clean the veg for the salads etc., but the actual meal was then made on order, using those on site prepared components (else the guests would have to wait for hours for their meals).
The cook refused to use powdered sause bases etc., but made them every day from fresh ingridients. This wasn´t a top class restaurant, but just the restaurant of a big amateur football club in Berlin and the prices were very civilised.
It was just that the guy was proud of his craftsmanship and did his work as good as possible. The result was that the restaurant was always packed.

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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:38 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 33):
How do you know you will like the food just because it is prepared there?

I would like the choice:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 32):
There's a lot of food out there which may be prepped somewhere else and held for a long time in one preserved state or another. It may have started out fresh ...

Just like I only buy Oregon dairy products ( http://whereismymilkfrom.com/ ), or how I make many of the other food choices I do. This isn't a difficult concept to grasp.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:43 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 35):
There the cook would come in the late morning and e.g. prepare big pots of sauces (sometimes the day before)
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 35):
The cook refused to use powdered sause bases etc., but made them every day from fresh ingridients.

Powdered sauces shouldn't ever be used at a restaurant. But as you said sauces are often made hours or even the day before. What does it matter if that happens at the dining room location or some other place?
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:48 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
I've long avoided the Olive Garden

Good for you. I was invited for dinner there few years ago, their "Italian" food looked and tasted nothing like what I had in Rome few months prior.



Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
Do you believe you have the right to know what you're buying at a restaurant is prepared onsite vs. what is trucked in and reheated? I sure do.

Of course I do, if they're gonna serve me a microwave meal, I might as well grab one from the supermarket, much cheaper and more convenient.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:55 pm

I'm not sure why you're all focusing on sauces, sure they will probably be considered in the label but really the outrage isn't about the sauce, rather about whole plates coming off a plastic bag or can. The other day there was a reportage about pizzerias, some went as far as buying precooked and "tomated" base.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:00 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 37):
What does it matter if that happens at the dining room location or some other place?

Among other reasons:

1) The restauranteur has control over the quality of the ingredients and how they're prepared, rather than just ticking "marinara sauce" off on an order form for the same sauce that every other restaurant serviced by the food factory receives;

2) The restaurant only prepares what they think they need, rather than what quantity of food the factory wants to sell them in minimum order sizes;

3) It gives the restaurant the choice of having preservatives in the food or not;

4) It keeps culinary crafts alive.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:17 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 30):
France has the most McDonald's in the world after the US, and we certainly know they don't cook anything.

Actually it's Japan. But France isn't far behind.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:30 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 40):
Among other reasons:

1) The restauranteur has control over the quality of the ingredients and how they're prepared, rather than just ticking "marinara sauce" off on an order form for the same sauce that every other restaurant serviced by the food factory receives;

2) The restaurant only prepares what they think they need, rather than what quantity of food the factory wants to sell them in minimum order sizes;

3) It gives the restaurant the choice of having preservatives in the food or not;

4) It keeps culinary crafts alive.

With this it is obvious you don't know the processes available to restaurant. What you describe is the lowest form of pre-made food. It isn't the only process available. When you have restaurants that serve large quantities of food, many do, you use your own processes and ingredients are coming from the same sources you would use if the went out to kitchens next to the dining rooms. This isn't stuff that you keep weeks or months. Typically it is one day, maximum three.

Again, I think it is very dangerous to define a restaurant as requiring a kitchen together with the dining room. It doesn't account for the situations I described above. It would not cover many hotels serving multiple dining rooms out of central kitchen and so on. The quality of a restaurant isn't defined by the distance between the kitchen and the dining room. It is defined by the recipes, ingredients used and the processes used.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:41 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 42):
With this it is obvious you don't know the processes available to restaurant.

Thank you, Mr. Obvious!  
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
I'm not a restaurant professional

I've never claimed to be anything other than a restaurant patron.

Quoting cmf (Reply 42):
The quality of a restaurant isn't defined by the distance between the kitchen and the dining room. It is defined by the recipes, ingredients used and the processes used.

Oh, look here:
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 40):
1) The restauranteur has control over the quality of the ingredients and how they're prepared, rather than just ticking "marinara sauce" off on an order form for the same sauce that every other restaurant serviced by the food factory receives

This is getting easier though, to answer your posts it's not taking much more than simply copy/pasting what I've already stated earlier.   
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:48 am

I do think some advertising regulation as to the place of preparation of food in a restaurant should be included or allow those that prepare meals identify them as prepared on the premises.
 
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:08 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 43):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 40):
1) The restauranteur has control over the quality of the ingredients and how they're prepared, rather than just ticking "marinara sauce" off on an order form for the same sauce that every other restaurant serviced by the food factory receives

This is getting easier though, to answer your posts it's not taking much more than simply copy/pasting what I've already stated earlier.

  

How is it you still fail to understand that it is the restaurants who decide on recipes and ingredients? They use the exact same ingredients they would use in a kitchen next to the dining room.

It isn't checking a box for a generic marinara sauce. It is sending your chefs to make sure it is your version of marinara sauce. Then, as was the case with my mothers restaurants it would go out to the 30 or so dining rooms they had. Or it would make it much easier and and handle events where you have large groups of people eating in very short time.

Get out of your box.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:00 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 45):
It isn't checking a box for a generic marinara sauce. It is sending your chefs to make sure it is your version of marinara sauce.

I really encourage you to read the linked article. The picture you paint is much different than what is described there.

Even common sense would tell one that unless you're running a chain, or at least several locations, the food factory isn't going to be custom-making everyday items for you. Go back to the example we saw with Amy's Baking Co. and her desserts. Do you really think that they had their outside source custom-prepare what they ordered, or did they say "send me one of those, two of those, one of that"?
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:02 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 46):
Even common sense would tell one that unless you're running a chain, or at least several locations, the food factory isn't going to be custom-making everyday items for you. Go back to the example we saw with Amy's Baking Co. and her desserts. Do you really think that they had their outside source custom-prepare what they ordered, or did they say "send me one of those, two of those, one of that"?

How about using some of that common sense. I've already provided you an example of where a it makes sense even when you have a single location. One of my mothers restaurants averaged 5,000 meals per day. It isn't uncommon.

As to small restaurants and desserts. One place I visit frequently used to have a person deliver the most amazing chocolate cake I've ever had twice a week to them. Why is that cake less valid than if the same person came twice a week and made it in their kitchen? She had 8 restaurants she provided with that cake. She did it like that because she didn't want to give away the recipe. Sadly she died in a car accident 3 years ago and with that the amazing cake.

The problem with the proposal, and your objections, is that you try to equate quality with having a kitchen connected with the dining room. Yet again, reality is that that isn't defining quality. It isn't even defining uniqueness of food.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:35 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 47):
She had 8 restaurants she provided with that cake.

As the article points out, and has been discussed here by others, bringing food in can result in the same homogenized food in place after place. If I really liked chocolate cake, and looked forward to having a piece after dinner when I went out, seeing the same chocolate cake on the menu in restaurant after restaurant would be rather boring.

Quoting cmf (Reply 47):
Yet again, reality is that that isn't defining quality.

The reality is, as I've said before, when you pull in food from the outside, it may have started out with fresh ingredients, but it's still preserved in some manner. That does affect quality.

What you may be doing is confusing the small operation your parents ran, supplying their own different kitchens from a central kitchen, where they apparently had some control over the age of the product, its ingredients and preparation, to what is offered by the food service industry.

Going back to the Amy's example again, they had frozen ravioli. Amy and Samy claimed they were good frozen ravioli, but frozen food isn't what people want to pay high prices for when they go out. We not only saw that in the response Gordon received in Amy's dining room when he asked the patrons if they wanted frozen ravioli, to some of the responses here in this thread, such as:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 38):
if they're gonna serve me a microwave meal, I might as well grab one from the supermarket, much cheaper and more convenient.

One doesn't need to be a restaurant professional to understand the reach of the food service industry today. Outlets like Restaurant Depot are in 27 states now with the cash-n-carry food service supplier concept, which offer more than just industrial-sized jars of mayo. There isn't even one place in town I've found which makes its own potato salad to go along with sandwiches any longer. It's all the same Reser's garbage that sits in its carton until someone scoops some out.

I was reading on another forum not long ago that not even United Airlines makes its own cinnamon rolls any longer, something they used to tout in TV commercials. When you fly United, you get Pepperidge Farm cinnamon rolls. Good as they may be, it's the same cinnamon roll that you get where ever anyone else uses Campbell's for food service baked goods. Pepperidge Farms Distinctive Cinnamon Rolls

What people are asking for, and I can't believe you aren't seeing that in the replies to this thread which are saying "yeah, I want to know what's trucked in" is that we want to know where our food is coming from and what we're paying for when we sit down and look over the menu at a restaurant. There are those of us who want the honesty of knowing that our pizza is made on the premises, and not from a disk of pre-sauced dough.
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RE: French Propose Regulating Restaurant Factory-Food

Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:07 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
As the article points out, and has been discussed here by others, bringing food in can result in the same homogenized food in place after place. If I really liked chocolate cake, and looked forward to having a piece after dinner when I went out, seeing the same chocolate cake on the menu in restaurant after restaurant would be rather boring.

Again, what does it matter if she makes them at her place and deliver them or she goes to to their place and make them there? What is the difference?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
The reality is, as I've said before, when you pull in food from the outside, it may have started out with fresh ingredients, but it's still preserved in some manner. That does affect quality.

You build your argument on may and then apply it as you prefer. Food made in a kitchen next to the dining room may also use preserves. Again, it isn't a guarantee that your concerns are covered.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
What you may be doing is confusing the small operation your parents ran
May again. No I'm not confusing anything. I'm stating that the definition you try to apply is too rigid and doesn't accomplish what you want it to do. What you're doing is looking at one specific type of operation and ignore everything else that would be included in that definition even though it doesn't have the problems you try to address. It is similar to how Internet cafes here in Florida had to close because of bad legislation.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
Going back to the Amy's example again, they had frozen ravioli. Amy and Samy claimed they were good frozen ravioli, but frozen food isn't what people want to pay high prices for when they go out. We not only saw that in the response Gordon received in Amy's dining room when he asked the patrons if they wanted frozen ravioli, to some of the responses here in this thread, such as:

She had a local kitchen. Per the definition you defend she would be able to continue selling the frozen ravioli and call it a restaurant. You failed to solve the problem.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
One doesn't need to be a restaurant professional to understand the reach of the food service industry today. Outlets like Restaurant Depot are in 27 states now with the cash-n-carry food service supplier concept, which offer more than just industrial-sized jars of mayo. There isn't even one place in town I've found which makes its own potato salad to go along with sandwiches any longer. It's all the same Reser's garbage that sits in its carton until someone scoops some out.

So how does allowing only places with a kitchen next to the dining room solve this?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
I was reading on another forum not long ago that not even United Airlines makes its own cinnamon rolls any longer, something they used to tout in TV commercials. When you fly United, you get Pepperidge Farm cinnamon rolls. Good as they may be, it's the same cinnamon roll that you get where ever anyone else uses Campbell's for food service baked goods. Pepperidge Farms Distinctive Cinnamon Rolls

I am not aware that United Airlines label themselves as restaurant. How does requiring a kitchen next to the dining room change any of this?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 48):
What people are asking for, and I can't believe you aren't seeing that in the replies to this thread which are saying "yeah, I want to know what's trucked in" is that we want to know where our food is coming from and what we're paying for when we sit down and look over the menu at a restaurant. There are those of us who want the honesty of knowing that our pizza is made on the premises, and not from a disk of pre-sauced dough.

I can't believe you think requiring a kitchen next to the dining room will solve your problems. You're creating new problems, you don't solve any.
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