Regulation in a bar or restaurant (alcohol, food, hygiene, safety)

Verified 30 September 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Economy

A bar or restaurant is subject to regulations concerning the display of products sold, the display of drinks offered to customers (with or without alcohol), the protection of minors and consumer safety.

If your bar or restaurant distributes alcoholic beverages, you must have a license authorizing this sale.

You must display a sign indicating the type of license.

TO the interior, you must display the list of drinks and their price.

TO the outside, you should display the prices at the counter and in the room of the drinks most often served.

The price of the dishes and all drinks must appear on the menu.


you must display that you are serving for free of thedrinking water, fresh or temperate.

You must display visibly from outside your establishment and on the terrace, the prices of the following drinks and dishes most often served:

  • Cup of black coffee
  • Half beer on tap
  • Beer bottle (with capacity)
  • Fruit juice (with its contents)
  • Soda (with capacity)
  • Flat or carbonated mineral water (with its capacity)
  • Aperitif anisé (with its capacity)
  • Dish of the day
  • Sandwich

These products and their prices must be written with letters at least 1.5 cm high.

If the price includes the service, you must specify service price included.


you must not display price advertising to the consumer on items that are unavailable for sale.

Wine and alcohol

The wine list of a restaurant may be a separate document from the menu or be inscribed on the back of the menu.

It must contain the following 3 elements:

  • CServiced capacity : bottle, pitcher or glass
  • Quantity Served in centiliters (also valid for wine by the glass)
  • Origin of wine : country of origin of wine with a protected designation of origin (PDO) or a protected geographical indication (PGI) or European provenance
  • Price of wine TTC: titleContent and service included

Please note

The vintage, the alcohol content, the trade mark, the grape variety, the name of the holding (such as the name of “Château”) and the medals or awards are optional indications on a wine list.

Free drinking water

You must show in your bar or restaurant, the possibility for consumers to ask for drinking water and free of charge.

You must serve this water, fresh or temperate.

Beverage service

If you serve a drink by the glass, you should pour it in consumer presenceSo that he may see the bottle from which it came.

If the customer orders a whole bottle or a closed can, it must be placed in front of him closed. You must open it in his presence in front of him.

You must follow the following display rules:

  • Outside, display the menu and the menu of the day for the duration of the service (and at least from 11:30 for lunch and 18:00 for dinner). The words drink included or drink not included in the menu must be written there. You must specify service times if certain menus are only served at certain times of the day (for example: only at noon).
  • Use in the menu or menu, the exact name of the dishes and ingredients. They must not be misleading and must be the same as those on the supplier's invoice. For example, a foie gras block shall not be qualified as foie gras on the map.
  • Specify theorigin of all meat (poultry, beef, pork, mutton) on the menu or as a poster, or risk a fine of €450 (or €2,250 for a legal person). This obligation does not apply to meat purchased already cooked for resale.
    This must be indicated by one of the following. Either Origin: (name of country) where the bovine animal was born, reared and slaughtered in the same country. Born and reared: (name of country or countries) and slaughtered: (name of country) where birth, rearing and slaughter took place in different countries.

Please note

the entry and the homemade logo must report home-made dishes under specific conditions.


the indication of allergens in non-pre-packaged foodstuffs must appear on the menu or in a notebook made available to customers.

You must present a display of non-alcoholic beverages for sale at the property.

The display must be separate from that of other beverages.

It must be visible to consumers inside.

It must contain at least 10 bottles with a copy of each of the following:

  • Fruit or vegetable juice
  • Soft drink with fruit juice
  • Soda
  • Lemonade
  • Syrup
  • Mineral water (carbonated or not)
  • Ordinary water, artificially or otherwise carbonated


for happy hours, price advertising must be the same for alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

Prohibition on the sale of alcohol
Illustration X - Illustration
Illustration X
Crédits: Direction de l’information légale et administrative

Ouvrir l’image dans une nouvelle fenêtre

It is a wall poster of size A4 (21 x 29.7 cm), on a white background. In the center at the top is the logo of the Marianne, blue, white, red.

Below are several excerpts from articles of law, originating from the Public Health Code, concerning the repression of public drunkenness and the protection of minors from the sale of alcohol.

In particular: "It is forbidden to sell alcohol to minors under 18 years of age."

The following is added: "It is forbidden to be drunk in public places".

"The operator of a drinking establishment shall be prohibited from giving drinks to manifestly drunk persons or from receiving them in his establishment".

You must post the regulations on the suppression of public drunkenness and the protection of minors (prohibition of sale of alcohol to under-18s).

You must not sell or offer free alcohol to a minor.

If you do, you risk a fine of €7,500 and a 1-year license ban.

You must require the customer to prove his majority by means of a proof.

It is forbidden to let in a young person under 16 years of age not accompanied by an adult.

You may not employ or internship a minor, unless it is a family member (up to distant cousins, so-called first cousins).

Prohibition of smoking

You must display a panel reporting the ban on smoking.

Illustration X - Illustration
Illustration X
Crédits: Direction de l’information légale et administrative

Ouvrir l’image dans une nouvelle fenêtre

It is a poster model for the ban on smoking in public places.

The poster size is A4. On white background. A drawing in the middle of the poster depicts a no-go sign, road traffic type, round surrounded by red, where a smoking cigarette is barred. The cigarette is drawn in black.

Below it is mentioned: "Smoking here exposes you to a lump sum fine of 68€ or to legal proceedings." Then the telephone number, 3989, is mentioned to help you stop smoking, at the rate of 0,15 € per minute from a fixed station. This is the Tobacco Info service number.

No Smoking Poster

If you play music in your bar or restaurant, you must request permission from the Sacem: titleContent.

Use for the sale of animal foodstuffs

You have to make a statement for any activity handling food of animal origin intended for consumers.

It must be sent to the departmental directorate responsible for the protection of populations (DDPP).

It has to be done front the opening of the establishment.

This declaration is mandatory to allow the DDPP's Hygiene and Food Safety department to schedule the health check visits.

You can make this declaration either online or by mail.


Online declaration of food of animal origin

Who shall I contact
By mail

Declaration on the handling of food of animal origin

Who shall I contact

Please note

if the activity consists in selling animal products to other professionals, you must to apply for approval.

Hygiene rules

You must respect hygiene rules on the following points:

  • Clean premises, materials and equipment
  • Dedicated layout for staff hygiene (changing room, hand washer, toilet)
  • Adequate supply of drinking water
  • Storage and preservation of food
  • Waste management
  • Respect the cold chain, hot and freezing
  • Food hygiene training (the operator and at least one staff member).


Your beverage or restaurant outlet must comply with accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

Security rules

The safety regulations imposes obligations on:

  • Evacuation of people
  • Safety lighting
  • Cooking and heating appliances warranty
  • Alarm and fire extinguishers

You can contact the town hall or the prefecture of the department (where your bar or restaurant is located) to know exactly what your obligations are.

Who shall I contact
Who shall I contact

If you wish occupy part of the public space (sidewalks, places) for your bar or restaurant, you must seek permission (in town hall or prefecture). This is a AOT: titleContent.

You have the choice between 2 types of authorizations: parking permit (open terrace, food truck) or road permits (closed terrace).


you may not settle a heating or air conditioning system. However, installation is possible if it is a terrace closed by walls and airtight.