The meal voucher made its first appearance in the United Kingdom in 1954. In 1962, Jacques Borel International launched the Ticket Restaurant®, the first meal voucher in France, and creation of the Credit-Repas Company. Five years later, a French law was passed creating the legal framework for the regulation of meal vouchers in France.
In the 1970s, the Ticket Restaurant® concept was exported to Brazil, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Spain
In 1982, Novotel SIEH took control of Jacques Borel International, which had become the global leader in meal vouchers issuance with 165 million meal vouchers distributed in eight countries. One year later, Accor was created following the merger of Novotel SIEH and Jacques Borel International. By 1984, over one million people were using meal vouchers on a daily basis worldwide.
Between 1980 and 1990, the Group implemented a diversification strategy for its prepaid services with the creation of the Ticket Alimentación® food voucher (1983) and a car voucher (1988) in Mexico, its Ticket Childcare® in the United Kingdom (1989), and its elder-care voucher in Sweden (1983). In the 1990s, the Company launched the Ticket Service® (aimed at beneficiaries in economic difficulty), the Ticket Culture® and the Ticket Clean Way® in 1995, and a health-care voucher called Wellness Gutscheines® in Austria, in 1998.
During this time, the Group continued its geographic expansion, in particular by setting up operations in Argentina in 1988, Venezuela in 1990, Turkey in 1992, the Czech Republic, Austria and Luxembourg in 1993, Hungry, Slovakia and Uruguay in 1994, Greece in 1996, the Netherlands, Poland and India in 1997 and Romania in 1998.
Since the turn of the century, the Group has pursued its expansion strategy through organic growth (setting up operations in China, with the launch of the meal voucher smart card in 2000, and Peru) and acquisitions in Mexico (Dicasa) in 2003, Romania (Hungastro) and the United States (WiredCommute) in 2005, as well as in Italy (Serial), India (RID) and Germany (Calicado) in 2006. In the same year, Edenred also strengthened its presence in Brazil by becoming the sole shareholder of Ticket Serviços Brésil (in which it previously held a 50% stake). This company is one of the market leaders in Brazil, with approximately 4 million vouchers used per day.