Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), correspondence.
Rue des Blanchers, in the center of Toulouse, there are many restaurants. A street which usually comes alive in the evening. At Peilharote, the boss, Cyrille Burgaud, judge “Huge” the consequences of the curfew: “In the evening, we achieve 80 to 90% of our turnover. “ So the restaurateur decided to innovate: “We are going to develop take-out meals, with lower prices. We will make less margin, but it will bring in a little cash. “ He plans to organize a jazz aperitif, a quiz or a wine tasting from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The restaurant will also be open at noon on Thursday, in addition to the weekend. But Cyrille Burgaud wonders: “Will the customers follow? “
A little further, the boss of Dahu is sorry: “We are an evening restaurant. Usually people stay late. “ But Bakul Sorkar must now lower the curtain at 8 p.m., which leaves very little time to taste the pleasures of the table: “We come to the restaurant to have a good time, not to eat at full speed. “ This Saturday, he did a test: “I opened earlier… but there is no one there. ” Open at noon? he goes “Maybe try”.
On the other side of the Garonne, left bank, the manager of a bar-restaurant who does not want to be identified announces straight away: “From this Monday, we are closed for two weeks. “ The establishment also achieves the largest share of its turnover when the sun is down: “40 covers in the evening have more economic importance than 70 covers at noon”, he explains. And the six employees on permanent contracts? “We are fighting for jobs. We will make requests for partial unemployment, as during confinement. We are a place of life, we do not want to close. “
The manager does not take offense at “The rules that change every two days”. On October 12, the prefect decided to close the bars; on October 14, Emmanuel Macron announced the curfew; on October 16, the administrative court annulled the prefectural decree and authorized the reopening. “We are completely unable to manage employee planning and inventory! “ continues the manager. According to him, the curfew is even more badly lived here: “In Toulouse, there are Spanish habits and people arrive late in restaurants. “
State aid, just a plaster
Vicente Montserrate will not say the opposite. He runs the bodega Chez Vicente, rue du Faubourg-Bonnefoy. “The best hours for my establishment are between 9 p.m. and midnight, he explains. With the curfew, the freedoms to work are reduced. State aid is just a plaster. “ So Vicente Montserrate tries “A bet of common sense”. Starting tomorrow Tuesday, he will be working the day continuously and opening his bodega from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. A very long time range during which it will be possible to drink coffee, taste oysters in the morning or discover the dish of the day at any time. A daytime bodega, a new concept … “I don’t know what it will turn out but I have no choice. The situation is very complicated for the user-friendliness professions. ” Le Mayombe, an African restaurant on rue de la République, now closes its doors at 8:30 pm… when most customers have barely arrived. Saturday evening, it only welcomed six guests. “I will try to open earlier but I do not envisage a service at noon”, says the boss, Gabriel Nzelemona. To savor a saka saka, a Congolese dish made from crushed cassava leaves, you will have to arrive early.