Statutory notices and signage for restaurants

As you well know, the restaurant sector is governed by a multitude of regulations. In particular, restaurant owners must comply with certain obligations regarding the display of specific information. 

Here, we take a look at the signs you are required by law to display in your restaurant.

Signage required for the sale of alcoholic beverages

Restaurants that serve alcohol must comply with the following signage requirements:

Restaurant licence signage regulations

Restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages must have a licence to do so. If this is your case, you are required to display a sign on your restaurant premises indicating the category of licence held (Licence restaurant, Petite licence restaurant, Licence de débit de boissons – drinks licence, etc.).

Remember, you can obtain your operating permit after completion of a mandatory training course.

Sale of alcohol signage regulations

You are required to display on your restaurant premises regulations on the repression of public drunkenness and the protection of minors, mentioning the prohibition of the sale of alcohol to under 18s.

You can download a copy of this notice online.

Signage required for the food menu

Several statutory restaurant signage rules apply to meals served in a restaurant. For example:

  • The exact dish name must be stated on the menu (it must not be misleading or deceptive in any way).
  • The origin of beef must also be specified on the menu in one of the following ways:
     - “Origin: (country)”, if birth, rearing and slaughtering took place in the  same country
    - or “Born and reared: (countries) and slaughtered: (country)”, if birth, rearing and slaughter took place in different countries. 
  • If a dish is handmade, cooked or transformed on the premises using raw materials, the “home-cooked” logo or indication must be included opposite the dish in question. If all dishes are home-cooked, the indication may be stated in one location on the menu. 
  • Daily menus must be prominently displayed outside the restaurant for the duration of the service: from 11.30 am at lunchtime, and from 6 pm at dinnertime. 
  • If you offer set menus, you will need to: 
    - Specify whether a drink is included or not (boisson comprise / boisson non comprise), and which beverage is included
    - Stipulate whether certain menus are only served at certain times or on certain days (lunch, dinner, weekday, weekends, etc.).

Allergen labelling requirements

Although it is not compulsory to indicate the presence of allergens in dishes, you are required to display:

  • A list of allergens, specifying if they are present in certain dishes
  • or at the very least: A notice informing customers that this list can be consulted on request.

The following is a list of the different allergens to be indicated:

  • Wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and all other cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans 
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Soya
  • Milk
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, etc.)
  • Celery
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Molluscs
  • Sulphur dioxide and certain sulphites
  • Lupin.

Signage required for the drinks menu

Certain statutory restaurant signage rules also apply to drinks:

  • The wine list must specify:
  • A notice informing customers that they can request free drinking water must be displayed somewhere.
  • You are also required to post a list of non-alcoholic drinks offered in your restaurant. This list must be clearly visible to customers inside the premises, and include at least 10 bottles, including one fruit or vegetable juice, one fruit-based soft drink, one soda, one lemonade, one cordial, one still or sparkling water, and one carbonated water. 

Signage required for displaying restaurant prices

Food and drink prices must be clearly displayed both inside and outside your restaurant: 

  • Inside your restaurant, food and drink prices must be the same as those displayed outside. 
  • Outside your restaurant (or that can be clearly seen from outside), you are required to display the prices of:
    Cup of black coffee
  • At least five wines or five drinks if the establishment does not serve wine.

→ All these elements must be written in a minimum font size of 1.5 cm.  
→ If service is included, prices should be displayed including VAT and service. In particular, the words “Price service included” must be mentioned. 
→ Your customers must be given a bill at the end of the meal, specifying at least, your restaurant’s name, address and company name, the date, prices including VAT, the total excluding and including VAT.

No smoking signs

You are also required to display a no smoking in public areas sign in your restaurant. 

You can download a copy of this notice online.

Statutory signage for employees

You will also need to display a number of statutory notices and signs intended to inform restaurant staff.

The following notices must be displayed in such a way that they can be clearly seen and read by all staff members:

  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) standards concerning restaurant hygiene rules: these should be displayed in the kitchen 
  • Safety and fire instructions
  • Staff rotas
  • The name, address and telephone number of the labour inspector, occupational health service
  • Emergency service numbers
  • You should indicate where staff can consult:

You must remain vigilant with regard to these different signage regulations when opening a restaurant (or taking over a restaurant). Failure to comply with these rules may result in penalties.

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