So, on July 1st, 2009, the TVA in fine French places went from 19.6-5.5%. The culinary equivalent of Alan Greenspan, a man we trusted to tell us the truth and get us out of trouble, André Daguin, he of the Hotel de France in Auch (a great place in its time) and father of Ariane Daguin of D'Artagnan, sold everyone on this reduction in his role as the Président Confédéral of the UMIH (Union des Métiers et des Industries de l'Hôtellerie).
The blogosphere has been alive with the sounds of doubt if this rebate would ever reach the customer and even mainstream publications had full page articles on what everyone from Taillevent to McDo’s (fast-food places were not really in the game except for the “game”) intended to do. So,…… since the revolution, I’ve dined at and scoped several places’ chalkboards and menus and guess what? Darned if I could see vast savings.
To be fair; the Gov’t ran full page ads saying “lower prices, creation of jobs, investing [in the future].” And so it was.
One place said 12% reduction on all food; another listed the prices of each item (plat du jour, formule, menu, etc., etc.,) before and after July 1st, yet another promised 1 E reductions per dish. But in the places that we’ve actually eaten, nada, nul, nuttin.”
Two chefs I’ve talked to, both before and after July 1st, said they were just trying to hold their own, keeping costs down, not INCREASING prices, trying to hire a sous-chef and praying.
That’s it from your man on the ground in Paris.