Restaurants are often the hardest hit in a recession, with many struggling to make it through the difficult times. How can they continue to attract clients through the door when people have less money to spend? Simple - make prices 50% cheaper!
La Fourchette provides a list of restaurants in France and helps you to make direct online reservations, but crucially it also displays those offering special offers, which often go as far as a 50% reduction on the total bill.
I have personally tried the service on two occasions and found it simple and efficient. Choose the restaurant, then the day and the time, and a few seconds later you will receive a confirmation by e-mail and text message. However, when turning up at the restaurant, things are sometimes far more discrete. The waiter makes no mention of the service, and you are left wondering whether there will be the promised reduction or not.
The reason for this is obvious. Alongisde, other diners will be paying the full prices, and it would hurt business if everybody eating in the restaurant knew about the reductions!
Don’t expect to find any Michelin starred establishments on the La Fourchette list, but the two restaurants I ate at were perfectly acceptable (particularly L’Entre Deux on the Rue de Belleville). Note also that reductions normally don’t cover drinks, but this is perhaps part of the gamble for certain restaurant owners who hope that clients will spend some of their savings on wine, where margins are much higher.
A win/win initiative for everybody!