Restaurant owners hope for an exemption to tidy up terraces and make customers after customers have left -
Emmanuel Macron announced this Wednesday the establishment of a curfew in several metropolises from Saturday.
Restaurant owners, already hard hit by confinement and health protocols, are worried about the consequences of this curfew.
Many dying establishments could definitely go out of business.
They hope to benefit from a waiver for their employees, otherwise they will have to close even earlier than usual.
“Look, from Saturday it's empty, not a reservation.
»Diary in hand, Julien scrolls through the blank pages.
This room manager at the Augustin bistro, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, is already seeing the effect of the curfew.
Announced Wednesday evening by Emmanuel Macron, the ban on driving from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., from this Saturday, is a shock for restaurant owners.
"They finish us off"
“It's hard, very, very hard.
At the mention of this measure, the restaurant owners accuse the blow.
After enduring confinement and health protocols that have hardened until last week, they feel they have received the final blow.
“Already teleworking had hurt us over lunch.
There, they finish us off, ”sighs the owner of the Au temps past brewery, rue d'Alésia.
Prostrate behind his counter, he confides, annoyed, that he sees no solution.
Still, this announcement is not much of a surprise.
Marco, owner of the restaurant Le saut du crapaud, rue des Plantes, admits: “They closed the bars and the numbers continued to rise.
We knew we were next.
"Taken aback, he has the impression of being unfairly pointed out:" Studies show that clusters do not happen in restaurants!
Julien, in his bistro Augustin, shares the same incomprehension.
For him, closing restaurants while leaving crowded transport open is an aberration: “There isn't even a station that offers hydroalcoholic gel.
Restaurant owners also note a vagueness in the announcement made by the president: will employees have a derogation?
At the bistro, Julien's colleagues discuss it.
“The president says that for a client who lives five minutes away, you will have to leave at 8:50 pm.
But the employees?
They have to tidy up the terrace, do their checkout, clean the house.
Some live 45 minutes or an hour from Paris.
If the exemption is not granted to them, the establishments should close even earlier than planned.
Reorganize to limit breakage
At the foot of the wall, they are already thinking about alternatives.
The first would be to offer a service earlier.
But she does not avoid all obstacles.
Marco enumerates them: “For this to work, people would have to leave work earlier, organize themselves well in advance with their friends and agree to eat, not to sit down.
The nuance may seem fine, but Marco explains it simply: when you dine at a restaurant, it's to have a good time.
The cleaver of 9 p.m. is likely to spoil this pleasure.
“And then we'll have to ask them to leave, it's a bit violent.
If Julien and Marco are already planning to offer take-out, this is not the case for Ornella, owner of the restaurant Les Frangines, rue Raymond Losserand: “People do not take a brasserie to take away.
They want pizza, Asian or burgers.
»She has already thought of another solution: offering an aperitif dinner.
But Ornella remains worried about the success of this formula: “Are people going to have time to come between the end of work and the curfew?
Knowing that you are in a hurry does not mean going out.
The call to Parisians
Even with these attempts, everyone knows that the time will be very difficult.
Ornella is already thinking about reducing her staff.
Julien could request partial activity for some of his teams, or even close for a while.
For Marco, the end could be sadder.
If his attempts to attract clients during curfew are unsuccessful, he could shut down permanently: “Ok, there is partial unemployment and small state aid.
But the fixed charges are more important and there are the loans to be repaid.
And morally, I do not know if I want to.
It's hard to get up every morning wondering if you're going to be forced to close.
Restaurant owners count on the solidarity of Parisians and call on them to continue to come to their establishments, whether it is early after work or for take out.
But that will not be enough for all, as the owner of the brewery sighs In the past: “Many will remain on the floor.
Curfew: Extended Solidarity Fund and Extended State Guaranteed Loan for Affected Businesses
Curfew: Law enforcement on the front line to enforce the rules