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How to get and use restaurant titles?

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The restaurant voucher (Ticket restaurant, Lunch voucher, Pass restaurant, ...) is a voucher that allows the employee to pay for his meal, if he does not have a canteen or a company restaurant. Restaurant vouchers are not an obligation for the employer.

No, the employer is not obliged to hand over restaurant vouchers to the employee.

It may also choose to make a canteen or restaurant or pay him a lunch premium.

If the employer chooses to award restaurant vouchers, the employee is entitled to a meal voucher included in his/her daily work schedule.

This right applies to the employee full or part-time, employee acting and trainee.

The employee is not obliged to accept restaurant titles. One collective agreement may provide for this obligation.

If the employee does not wish to use them, it is recommended to inform his/her employer in writing.

The employee can pay for all or part of his meal with his restaurant vouchers in the following places:

  • Restaurants and some similar traders (cold cuts, caterers, bakeries, food distribution shops, etc.)
  • Fruit and vegetable retailers

The titles are valid for food that is immediately edible or that will be used to prepare the employee's meal:

  • Prepared dishes or salads
  • Sandwichs
  • Fruit and vegetables, dairy products, etc.

The restaurant titles are valid until 31 December 2023 for the purchase of any food product, whether or not it is directly consumable.

Please note

restaurants and shops are not obliged to accept restaurant titles. Each store chain sets its own list of products payable by restaurant title. So there may be differences between the different brands.

The restaurant titles are personal. The employee is the only person who can use it.

He can use his restaurant titles business days only, unless he is required to work on Sundays or public holidays.

The employee may use his restaurant titles within the limit of €25 per day.

When using a card or app on your smartphone, the employee is charged the exact amount to pay.

If the employee uses paper securities, the merchant has no right to give him back the money.

The employee can pay for meals by restaurant voucher only in the department where he works and in the neighbouring departments.

The employer may grant the employee valid qualifications outside these limits if he or she is travelling on business.

The employer may provide the employee with securities in several formats:

  • Chequebook Paper Tickets
  • Pre-paid and rechargeable smart card (usable in the same terminals as bank cards)
  • Accessing an app on the mobile phone (smartphone)

When the employee has a card or application on his or her smartphone, he can access the balance of his personal restaurant voucher account free of charge (by SMS, for example).

Restaurant titles are available for calendar year and in January and February of the following year.

When the employee leaves the company with unused restaurant vouchers, he or she hands them over to the employer. The employer shall reimburse the employee for the amount of his participation in the purchase of these securities.

The employer freely determines the value of the restaurant vouchers.

The restaurant title is partially funded by the employer, who obligatory take care of between 50% and 60% of its value. It stays between 40% and 50% value of the ticket to be paid by the employee.

A company that decides to set up a restaurant voucher system for its staff must obtain it from one of the private businesses specialising in the issue of the vouchers.

The employer must make the payment of the order of the restaurant vouchers at the latest upon delivery of the vouchers and for the full value of their release.

The company issuing the securities must repay those presented to it by the businesses authorised to accept them in the course of their commercial activity. This reimbursement must take place within a maximum period of 21 days from the delivery date.

In order to be exempt from social security contributions, the employer's contribution must be within the €6.50 by title for securities 2023.

If the employer's contribution exceeds this limit (which is not prohibited), the portion of the contribution exceeding the legal ceiling is reinstated in the payroll tax base company.

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