Toulouse. Locals are considering legal action against Popafood’s dark kitchen

Their own appreciation was not a sign of easing tensions. Nearly a year after an online petition was filed to demand the abandonment of the Popafood Dark Kitchen, one of France’s largest ghost kitchens based in the heart of Toulouse’s chalet district, locals decided to speak out again on Tuesday, May 3. . Through the association ‘Chalets-Roquelaine Toulouse’ they have invited the press to state their outright rejection of this large-scale project of 400 square metres, but open since April 18.

Popafood, France’s largest dark kitchen, has opened its doors in Toulouse

As a reminder, the residents of Toulouse resent the noise and olfactory inconveniences that an establishment can cause once it has reached its maximum production capacity, i.e. 600 Meals are provided daily. They also denounced the failure to observe their requests by the project leaders and the Toulouse City Council, and therefore do not rule out referring the case to court.

“Tensions have not subsided,” he points to the association

A reversal of the situation in this case has appeared closed, since Olivier Arsac, the deputy mayor in charge of commerce in the Pink City, met with the two parties last summer in order to calm morale.

Setting up a security guard at the entrance to the establishment, responsible for managing the delivery workers, seems to fit both camps. But this was ultimately not implemented. Eric Descarge explained this choice to exhibition In April, considering it better to prefer human dialogue. The reality will in fact be economic according to the association, which is relying on comments made during a visit organized on April 8 to reassure residents. This was done with a few anxious residents, neighborhood mayor Caroline Adoi-Belsa and Florent Garin (co-founder of Popafood). In response to a question from our media about the concerns expressed by residents a few days before the opening of the dark kitchen, Eric Descarge announced: “These are concerns, these are unproven problems.”. It was without relying on the vigilance of the neighborhood who was waiting for this opening at the turn…

Alan Roy, Vice President of the Neighborhood Association, surrounded by street residents surrounding the multi-brand restaurant (credits: Remy Benoit).

Because the inhabitants of the streets Honoré Serres and Cabanel (located behind the multi-brand restaurant) have a different discourse: “Smells of french fries late at night! “says a resident who lives a few meters from the facility, which closes to the public at 11 p.m.

Eight containers of garbage will be parked on the street three times a week, “ Neighborhood Association President Mary Laurie Echango adds before adding that this corresponds to the same garbage collection cycle as the household garbage collection cycle. Although their categorical refusal to welcome this company into their area may sometimes lead some residents to make incoherent statements, this clearly does not detract from the legitimacy of some of their concerns.


Garbage bins, smoke hoods, lack of parking space for delivery staff … The neighborhood association points out several problems (credits: Rémi Benoit).

If the union’s calculations are correct, 450 to 550 scooter delivery trips could be made per day if the company met its year-end goals. However, as the organization denounces, no dedicated parking or local area has been set up for delivery people, unlike other establishments in this category. A door dedicated only to the front facade of the building has been added.

On the subject, Florent Garin had indicated during the April 8 visit that this kind of development is not the responsibility of the company.

Toulouse. The rise of ‘dark kitchens’, these restaurants are designed for delivery that swears

Lack of anticipation on the part of the municipal council of Toulouse?

So as a solution, the neighborhood town hall suggested creating a scooter collection area or creating a telephone whitewashing area around Popafood to prevent delivery staff from standing in front of them, as their smartphones are their main work tool. These proposals are still as they are in the hypotheses stage, which the complainants have regretted since the announcement of the institution’s opening months ago. These statements reinforced the feeling of local residents that they were not being listened to or taken seriously. Because although the mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Modenc, responded to one of their letters, residents say they regret that the municipality is not doing everything in its power to preserve, as much as possible, their living environment.

Members of the neighborhood association take as an example the measures taken by the cities of Nantes, Lyon or Lille to restrict the access of thermal scooters to the city center during certain periods of time, or to combat the spread of dark kitchens and other dark places. stores. In his letter, Jean-Luc Modenc defends his position with “A supreme principle of commercial freedom is at the heart of our economic system.. at exhibitionOlivier Arsac explained this reasoning in July 2021.

Marie Laurie Echango’s chance to remember that there is”legal vacuum regarding dark kitchens”, A fact that is regularly reported when this type of institution is a problem in France. Popafood is already registered under NAF code 6820B, which corresponds to the land and other real estate rental business. If there is no doubt that a company is subletting its kitchen units, what about the team members who provide meals to customers throughout the day?

“This is not a job creation project, it is just an investment bankable”

In addition to the little inconvenience noted by these residents, the Association of Neighborhoods mentions its vehement opposition to the principle of the opening of these ghostly establishments, which abound in the great capitals of France. Supermarkets, restaurants, assorted and diversified stores: all or almost all of them face competition from their various enterprises, intended exclusively for delivery, in the form of urban warehouses. “Do we want our shopping streets to turn out the same way? asks the president of the Roquelin Chalets Toulouse sarcastically.

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without transmission, eHe then addressed the position of the two entrepreneurs behind Popafood regarding wealth creation. at exhibition In particular, Eric Descarge has reiterated on several occasions his desire to “Creating value and employment. Much of these jobs are risky, says Marie-Laurie Echango, as are those offering digital platforms such as Deliveroo or Stuart, companies Toulouse will soon be collaborating with.

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For all of these reasons, the association hopes to be able to file a complaint against Popafood once it has gathered enough evidence to establish that its concerns are based on proven facts. Will phantom enterprises, as well as a sign of a shift in our consumption patterns, be a sign of the redevelopment of our city centers?