• Paris is a land of welcome for fast food, as evidenced by the inauguration on Wednesday February 1 near Gare du Nord of the first Popeyes restaurant, a competitor of KFC.

  • This success is due to the move upmarket in the sector.

    “We were the first country to take fast food off the streets,” explains Bernard Boutboul, from the Gira firm, which specializes in catering.

  • “We offer quality raw products with personalized burgers,” boasts Constance Ergand, brand manager at Five Guys.

What if Paris was the Eldorado of fast food?

On Wednesday February 1, the American fried chicken chain Popeyes inaugurated its first French brand near Gare du Nord, while Five Guys is due to open a new restaurant in Blanche on February 13.

And the figures tend to confirm this surge in fast food.

In a study of "some of the busiest Parisian streets, chosen to represent all the arrondissements", Apur notes an "increase in fast food, which is settling in small premises and whose fixed costs are less important (+68 establishments, i.e. +8%) while traditional catering is decreasing (-57 restaurants, i.e. -6% between 2020 and 2022)”.

For Five Guys, which opened its first restaurant in Bercy in 2016, "it was unthinkable not to be in Paris", explains Constance Ergand, the brand manager, as the capital weighs demographically and economically, compared to the rest. of France, where a city like Marseille remains to be conquered.

Moreover, the sign in Blanche will be the 25th of the chain in France but already the 6th in the capital.

And it is not by chance either that Popeyes chose Paris to launch in France with high ambitions.

"We plan to open 20 addresses in 2023 with a long-term objective of 350 restaurants", indicates Xavier Expilly, the director of operations of Popeyes.

Tourists at home

Paris is also popular because of the large number of tourists.

According to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, "Greater Paris will have welcomed 34.5 million tourists in 2022", even though this figure is down -10.3% compared to 2019. many tourists, especially Americans, which explains part of our success,” says Constance Ergand.

Bernard Boutboul, founder of the firm Gira, specialist in restoration, is more skeptical.

"London, which attracts fewer tourists than Paris, is also experiencing strong growth in fast food," he argues.

For him, Parisian success is due to the move upmarket of fast food.

“We were the first country to do this, to take fast food off the streets.

France has become the laboratory for innovations and trends in fast food, but could it be otherwise in the country of gastronomy?

he falsely pretends to wonder.

Fresh and quality products

And in fact, during its inauguration, Popeyes never ceased to praise the quality of its products.

“We are a channel that has real know-how, argues Xavier Expilly.

Our credo is quite simple.

We work with fresh products which are prepared in front of the customers and which are French products.

Same refrain at Five Guys.

“We offer quality raw products with personalized burgers, says Constance Ergand.

We are aimed at lovers of good fresh food.

And even the emblem of fast food, in its best and worst, got into it.

"McDonald's has gone upmarket like nowhere else in the world," notes Bernard Boutboul.

One day I took Canadians and Americans to visit Rivoli's restaurant and they couldn't believe they were in a McDo.


“The burger is completely out of junk food.

Now even starred chefs are getting into it, adds the Gira boss.

In any case, low cost does not work with Parisians and French people.

"The new generation pays attention to the quality of what they eat," says the brand manager at Five Guys.

And indeed, the first customers of Popeyes insisted on the novelty but also the quality of the products.

Thus Nil, 22, who appreciates the “very spicy” side of the chicken before adding: “It's different in terms of bread, in terms of fries.

So it's really interesting.

Or Stéphanie, 24, who came because she heard on TikTok “that the chicken is well marinated for several days”.

Catering distributed quickly

Another point, raised by Bernard Boutboul, which differentiates Paris from other capitals, is the mode of consumption of fast food.

“In France, we should rather speak of catering distributed quickly, because it is not consumed quickly, unlike in the United States, for example, where we eat it on the move or in our car.

And it is exactly in this niche that Popeyes wants to position itself.

"We really want to be a premium brand in our approach, with table service, for example," explains the chain's director of operations.

As in professional catering, where we take care of customers from the beginning to the clearing.


This move upmarket has made Paris the showcase for fast food chains.

Thus, according to Bernard Boutboul, it is on the Champs-Elysées that McDonald's achieves its largest turnover for a restaurant at the world level, that Five Guys has its largest sign in the world and at the Halles that KFC generates the largest string digit.

No doubt, Paris is the world beacon of fast food.


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  • Paris

  • Ile-de-France

  • Fast food

  • McDonald's

  • Gastronomy