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FEATURE ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ on le French highways, au convenience BY MONSIEUR NICK NEEDS Nouvelle cuisine is a term richly used by the French to define an approach to cooking and food presentation, emanating from a country which quite rightly prides itself as being responsible for some of the best cuisine in the world. But how far does this reputation extend from its romantic bistros and classy restaurants and most specifically, given the nature of our industry, how well does French food fare on its motorway networks, which after all represent some of the most effective, but also most expensive, routes in Europe. With recent UK news announcing that Blackburn based forecourt operator Euro Garages has joined forces with EFR, a major fuel retailer in France and Belgium to create one of Europe’s largest independent retail networks, I decided to cross the English Channel and find out what’s currently on the lunch menu for your average French motorist. Euro Garages, is firmly established in the UK as a major forecourt developer possessing a strong ‘Food to Go’ image, working with international partners such as Subway, Starbucks and Burger King. But if it is to successfully transplant the essence of its UK success into the continental markets of mainland Europe, Euro Garages first have “In the UK we like to snack and eat on the move, but in France they prefer to sit down to a proper lunch, with dessert if possible!” Ilyas Munshi Commercial Director, Euro Garages to fully understand the simple cultural and logistical differences which exist between one European country and another, as was explained to me by Euro Garages Commercial Director, Ilyas Munshi. “In the UK we like to eat on the move, but in France they prefer to sit down to a proper lunch, with dessert if possible! This might be followed by an espresso coffee, however in the Netherlands; it would more likely be a cappuccino. “The different tastes and cultural likes surrounding something as simple as bread is indeed a major factor in countries across the continent, especially when we are talking about ‘Food on the Go’. The bread for example used in the UK for convenience fast food products, would simply not be taken up by many customers in some other countries, who are probably looking for more of a baguette type experience. “Then there are the different labour laws and opening hours. 24/7 is normal everywhere in the UK, but not so in the Benelux or some other neighbouring countries. In retail terms, Germany is closed on a Sunday and in Norway nothing is open late in the evening. These are just examples of the differences we must understand prior to moving forward and deciding which partners might be the best for us in any given country we may be working in.” Euro Garages and EFR together will now 16 erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd.


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