Would you buy meat from a machine? Residents watch the first meat vending machine installed in the French capital, in Paris, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Would you buy meat from a machine?
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Parisians can get their beloved baguette 24 hours a day. So it seems only logical that they can now get the Bayonne ham and Basque pate that goes so well with the bread. It comes from the first meat vending machine installed in the French capital.

Paris is filled with small shops where long lunches remain a crucial part of the French "art de vivre." So the gleaming red machine set up on the lively Rue de Charonne in eastern Paris seems a bit incongruous.

The area has at least two dozen butcher's shops and no shortage of meat. But that didn't deter the owners of one of those shops, Florence and Michel Pouzol of "L'ami Txulette," from investing 40,000 euros ($45,000) to set up their project. They sell vacuum-packed meat from the refrigerated machine.

"We're closed two days: Sundays and Mondays," Florence Pouzol told The Associated Press. "So this is to cater for customers over the weekend. The idea was also to serve people after the shop's closing hours. We close at 8 p.m. but some people leave work very late and find the shop closed when they walk past it."

L'ami Txulette specializes in products from the Basque Country. From their machine, which takes cash or credit cards, customers can also get a large choice of traditional delicatessen including duck confit and beef carpaccio. There are also faux-filet steaks on display, priced at 34 euros per kilogram. On average, the products are 20 euro cents more expensive than those sold inside the shop.

A majority of shops remain closed on Sundays in France, but the Pouzols are confident that France is changing fast and so are their customers' habits.

"Our customers are young. There are also quite a few bars and restaurants along the boulevard," Florence Pouzol said. "When we see them during the day, they tell us: "Last night, I bought this, or that, and it was really helpful." We also have those who work in the cafes and restaurants and who come off work at 2 a.m. They tell us they were happy to buy an entrecote or something else to eat."

But not all residents, especially the older ones, seem ready to stop running errands at their favorite shop and switch to the meat dispenser.

"I'm so happy that I can actually go to the butcher's shop now that I'm retired and go there in person", said local resident Lydie Aparacio. "I think that it can be useful for people who are busier than a retiree. I don't use it because I have time."

While baguette dispensers have been enjoying a large success across France over the past five years, the meat vending machines business remains in in the embryonic stage in France. The first machine of this type was installed three years ago in the small western town of Garat by a butcher who set it up outside a bar.

According to the bar owner, it adds extra comfort in an area lacking services.

"We don't have a butcher's shop in town, the first one is located three kilometers (two miles) away," Jo Ferreira told the AP in a phone interview. "When you finish work at 7 p.m., it's very convenient to have this machine available. I love their minced burger steaks."

In the central medieval town of Mennetou-sur-Cher, popular with tourists, Pascal Bidron has installed a machine to sell his locally made andouillette, a sausage prepared with pig's intestines.

He bought a second-hand machine and put it next to his shop, which is closed for more than three hours during the daytime.

"I have customers coming from afar to buy my andouillettes and I wanted to serve them even when the shop is closed" Bidron told the AP. "I recently went away for two weeks and managed to sell 250 andouillettes during my vacation thanks to that machine. It's more than I expected."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are French shops closed on Sundays?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (20)
  • jacksonm-2-bar
    3/30/2016 - 07:02 p.m.

    Paris meat shops are closed on Sundays because they want family time, and are only open on the week days. They close at 8 PM so that people who would normally work very very late can get off early to go spend more time with their families.

    This article is interesting to me, because I have always wanted to go to France. Now they have meat shops just around the corner.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    3/31/2016 - 12:06 a.m.

    French shops are closed on Sundays, because Sunday and Monday are the two days French people have off. Because many French shops are closed on these two days, it's a very good idea to have machines selling food twenty-fours hours a day so that people could buy food when needed. I found this article very interesting, because I would have never thought of selling meat in a machine. Normally, chips and candy bars are sold in vending machines instead of duck or beef filet.

  • calis-3-bar
    3/31/2016 - 10:37 a.m.

    French shops are closed on Sundays because France is a very Christian nation. Sunday is supposed to be the day of church, and people are expected to be at church. So, many shops close to respect the holy day, Sundays. I though this article was interesting. The meat is vacuum packed and in a refrigerated container, something that seemed odd. I cannot imagine getting meat from a vending machine. This article was interesting and I enjoyed reading it.

  • collinf-2-bar
    3/31/2016 - 12:15 p.m.

    French shops are most likely closed on Sundays for religious reasons. Many shops are also closed on Sunday in the U.S. because Sunday is a special day for a lot of people.

    I found this article interesting because I think it would be cool to buy meat from a machine.

  • johnl-6-bar
    3/31/2016 - 07:07 p.m.

    French shops are closed on Sunday because the French believe it to be a day of rest. It is a good idea for shop owners to have these vending machines so that people can buy their food even on these days. Also, it can be closed on Sunday for religious events.

  • carolinev-2-bar
    3/31/2016 - 08:15 p.m.

    Most shops in France are closed on Sunday. They are close because France is made up of mostly Christians. In the Christian religion Sunday is god’s day, and because Sunday is god’s day on Sunday the only thing that the Christians are supposed to be doing is worshipping God. So because many of France’s people are Christians and because Sunday is God’s day many of the christians close down their shops to worship God. In paragraph six the article states, "A majority of shops remain closed on Sundays in France, but the Pouzols are confident that France is changing fast and so are their customers' habits.” This shows that many shops are closed on Sunday due to religion.

    I enjoyed this article because i would want to use the meat vending machine.

  • jacks-6-bar
    3/31/2016 - 10:04 p.m.

    French shops are closed on Sundays because they are always busy and have the most popular food in the area. The article states: "Paris is filled with small shops where long lunches remain a crucial part of the French 'art de vivre'" Since French shops provide tedious service to each of the many customers for a strenuous time, it would be logical to assume a break, as, in this case, the Sunday off; an ideal day for a break. Since so many head to French restaurants, the entire staff must serve them all, which would be quite tedious and tiresome, there being such a significant amount. Doing the above-average work would, obviously, hard, and it would only be healthy for a break. The logical choice are Sundays, as it is the least busiest (but still busy) weekday. They also serve people for long periods of time. Combining this with the fact of taking care of many people, are requiring the same time to eat or shop, workers would struggle to keep with the constant rate of troublesome demand. This "keeping up" would be, since needing to tend to many things for the needy customers, tiresome. Tiresome things should have a break at some point; its healthy.
    Also, French shops carry the best food around (for its area). The article states: "Parisians can get their beloved baguette 24 hours a day." The simple fact that the article advocates a daily dosage of the food is preferable and positive indicates the popularity of the French bread. Also, it states that Parisians love it directly. Since French shops sell baguettes and meats, the Parisians' favorites, there would be a huge demand for them. As the concept supply-and-demand works, they would have to supply the demanding customers with food to gain money. However, with the large majority buying, it would be extremely difficult to stay with the demands. In order to recover from the strenuous work, documenting, and serving, French restaurant staff should take a break. Sunday is a perfect option; though a busy day, it is mild relative to the others.
    The article was mind-blowing; I had no idea that fresh foods out of vending machines could become such a popular practice and a significant deal. I was surprised at how but only two, small-time, French restaurant owners could invent something so revolutionary.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    3/31/2016 - 11:38 p.m.

    The people in Paris, France might have been able to buy their meat things from the vending machines that people had set up for the customers that wanted to buy meat from the vending machine while the butcher shop is closed. The owners of the butcher's shop might have been excited about installing a meat vending machine in front of a butcher's shop when the shops are closed. The people might have liked it better when the butcher's shop are closed, people would most likely want to buy the meat from the red meat vendor which people would be buying from the shop. People might have gotten excited when they had been able to buy the meat from the vendor without even going into the shop when the butcher's shop are closed.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why are French shops closed on Sundays?
    Answer: I knew that French shops are closed on Sundays because the people that work in the French shops need to rest from the work that they had been doing all week.

  • noahf-3-bar
    3/31/2016 - 11:44 p.m.

    French shops are closed on sundays, as sunday is usually the day where many people go to church and spend time with family, giving shop owners a chance to have a day off. This makes vending machines very effective as they do not require human maintenance regularly allowing shop owners to leave on vacation or go to church, while still earning a profit.

    I found this article interesting as I had never heard of a vending machine for baguettes let alone meat.

  • michaelm1-ver
    4/04/2016 - 12:35 p.m.

    I don´t think I would buy old meat from a machine... It just doesn´t seem natural.

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