In France, meal vouchers are a practical way for employees to pay for meals included in their working hours (according to article R3262-7 of the Labor Code). More than 140,000 private companies and public employers offer these benefits to around 5.4 million employees, in a market estimated at 8.5 billion euros according to the Commission nationale des titres-restaurants (CNTR), the organization overseeing this payment method.

Current solutions, such as smart restaurant cards, offer benefits in terms of convenience, security and flexibility. In particular, they enable remote reloading and offer blocking options in the event of loss.

Regulations: restaurant vouchers in France

The meal voucher is a “special payment voucher” issued by the employer to employees enabling them to pay for their meals in the absence of a canteen or company restaurant. It should be noted that meal vouchers can take various forms, in accordance with Article R3262-1 of the French Labor Code, amended by a decree dated March 6, 2014, which authorizes their issue on paper or in dematerialized form. The main current solutions are as follows:

  • The paper meal voucher, similar to a cheque and nominative, with a face value
  • The smart, prepaid and rechargeable restaurant card for electronic payments

Several companies issue meal vouchers, offering both paper and dematerialized formats.

In France, meal vouchers are geographically limited to the department where the employee works and neighboring departments, in accordance with the French Labor Code. In addition, there are a number of key points to bear in mind regarding how meal vouchers work in France:

Meal vouchers are not compulsory. The employer’s contribution to the financing of meal vouchers is exempt from social security contributions and income tax on two conditions:

  • it must be between 50% and 60% of the voucher’s face value;
  • it must be less than the exemption ceiling set at 7.18 euros as from January 1, 2024.

From this date, the value of a meal voucher qualifying for the maximum exemption is between €11.97 (60% employer’s contribution) and €14.36 (50% employer’s contribution).

  • Since October 1, 2022, the daily limit for using meal vouchers has been set at €25.
  • Luncheon vouchers can only be used on working days (generally Monday to Saturday). As of July 1, 2022, they can therefore no longer be used on Sundays or public holidays. Exceptionally, meal vouchers may be used on Sundays and public holidays, but only if employees are required to work on these days.

In other countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain, similar practices exist, although details vary according to local regulations. It is therefore advisable to refer to the specific laws and regulations of each country for precise information on meal vouchers.

Why opt for a restaurant card?

Restaurant cards differ from paper luncheon vouchers in their practicality and ease of use, thanks in particular to contactless technology and integrated security measures. They offer the possibility of limiting usage, receiving real-time notifications and instantly blocking the card in the event of loss or theft. In the event of an incident, you can quickly obtain a new card by blocking it online. What’s more, the card can be topped up remotely by the employer.

Employers are free to choose between paper and dematerialized meal vouchers. While paper vouchers offer a degree of flexibility for employees, the dematerialized version offers advantages in terms of security (the card is blocked in the event of theft) and payment precision (payment can be made to the nearest cent).

In addition to these practical benefits, restaurant cards also offer tax advantages for companies, by reducing social security contributions, while offering attractive benefits for employees. They incorporate reinforced security features to minimize the risk of fraud.

Some cards, including those offered by Treezor, feature a “top-up” function to complete payments in excess of the maximum daily limit of 25 euros. This enables the employee to combine other means of payment, such as a bank card, to make transactions exceeding the daily limit, while making a single payment with the same card.

To facilitate access to their personal meal voucher account balance, employees can opt for a card or an application on their smartphone, offering features such as free consultation of the balance by SMS, for example.

Why choose Treezor to issue a restaurant card?

Innovative technological solutions 

Treezor supports players in the meal voucher sector in the development of offers and services thanks to its embedded finance solution, integrating innovative, frictionless payment solutions for end-users.

Treezor’s services include opening payment accounts, issuing customizable and co-branded payment cards compatible with X-Pay, and customizing each card’s payment thresholds and restrictions.

Treezor offers innovative technological solutions to meet the complex needs of meal voucher management. Beyond the ability to issue physical and virtual cards, Treezor’s API adapts perfectly to regulatory requirements and business preferences. Treezor’s card management system, called MDC (Multi criteria Dynamic Card), integrates advanced features to adjust card usage conditions to specific needs and business sector requirements, such as management of eligible retailers, geographical control of cards and management of spending thresholds. In addition, this feature enables the integration of external data sources (such as weekend days, for example), thus enhancing the decision-making process (e.g. refusing restaurant card payments on weekends). In this way, companies can not only customize their business rules, but also optimize their choices by integrating relevant external data.

Lastly, Treezor places security at the heart of its priorities, and implements measures to control card use, including the ability to set thresholds and limits for your corporate customers’ cards. Tracking and reporting tools are also available to enable companies and their employees to monitor their catering expenses, manage their budgets and generate detailed reports.

Advanced restaurant card personalization

In collaboration with our partners, Treezor offers innovative printing and card personalization options to enhance your design differentiation and brand identity, promoting higher activation and loyalty rates.

Check out the most innovative features of our restaurant cards below:


Restaurant cards issued by Treezor
Rules engine

Card payment authorization
based on predefined parameters

Card design

Customized card design and co-branding

Card security  PIN and SCA codes ✔️
Temporary card blocking ✔️
Card cancellation ✔️
Expense management Management of limits and ceilings ✔️
Access to real-time balances ✔️
Personalized spending limits ✔️
Transaction management  Retailer whitelisting ✔️
Retailer blacklisting ✔️
Real-time transaction notification ✔️
X-Pay Virtual card ✔️
Apple Pay and Google Pay ✔️

Success story : Swile x Treezor

Treezor has facilitated Swile in revolutionizing the lunch and meal voucher industry by replacing traditional paper vouchers distributed by companies to their employees with a digital solution.


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