Restaurateurs affected by the pandemic: “there will be a lot of bankruptcies and suicides”

Restaurateurs frappés par la pandémie: «il va y avoir beaucoup de faillites et des suicides»

Weeks of closing, accounts payable, none if not very little income and plenty of stress. The restaurateurs of Quebec are being hit hard by the pandemic, and the montreal chef, renowned Jérôme Ferrer is one of them.

“It is difficult on a planetary scale. We will witness a collapse of the food scene, both local and québec”, with Mr. Ferrer met in his restaurant in the city centre.

Today, as in the next few weeks, the Europea will not open its doors. The economic recovery plan has left aside for the moment the restaurant industry.

“A restaurant is not just a business, it is a cultural heritage, culinary, value. Through us, these are hundreds of people who work. My thoughts are with the 250 000 people who work in the dining room and in the kitchen, who want to continue working and who love their job,” said Jérôme Ferrer.

“There are more than 20 000 restaurateurs du Québec. For more than 60% of be them is to value family. Couples with parents and grandparents working in catering and each business model is different,” informed the Québec adoption.

Some restaurant owners of the province have turned to the takeaway to try to keep if possible the head out of the water. “There is no money coming in and with the food to go, there is no profitability. It works all with a margin of 2% to 4%, this is ridiculous. Somewhere, it is to choose between the plague and cholera, and it was the COVID-19 above us,” explains the head of his soft voice.


Slaughter tax

The man is lucid, he does not hesitate to speak of what has been referred to the lip since the beginning of the pandemic, and the paused Quebec. “There will be a lot of bankruptcies, and certainly suicide because it is a slaughter tax which we live,” laments Jérôme Ferrer.

However, no question for him to place the blame on the authorities. “It is obvious that our restaurants should be closed for public health, I can do nothing to blame the governments. They have made a step forward at the federal and at the provincial level. However, there is a need for urgent support to the government with solutions; the restoration must reinvent itself”, argues the chief in montreal.

He asks, by what the government offers them a forum, that certain rules are relaxed. “You must let us have the freedom to sell glasses of wine, a beer when people come in the takeaway. And iI need a round table with actors of the industry to explain our reality. The situation will be like that for several months.”

Domino effect

Behind every good chef and restaurateur, there are large and small producers that supply them. “There is a domino effect. If the restoration is collapsing, the agricultural world and a lot of professions will also collapse”, warns the head chef and experienced entrepreneur.

Jérôme Ferrer has seen other. He has had to deal with déconfitures professional and a grieving experiencing. His wife was swept away by the cancer, he tells in the book Hunger to live. He remains optimistic for the future.

“The restoration is strong, passionate. We will manage to get up, reinvent yourself, but you need help. For anything in the world, I want to go bankrupt and lose my business, but if you must, I’m going to reinvent myself, I will pass to something else”, breath of the one who is said to have realized his dream of a child by becoming a great cook.


If you need help

Line québécoise de prévention du suicide

  • 1 866 CALLS (277-3553)

Youth, I listen to

  • 1 800 668-6868


  • 1 800 263-2266




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