August 3, 2021

Chef de rang, cook or bartender … they have chosen to leave the hotel and restaurant sector

While their former colleagues are getting ready to resume work, Christophe Couvreur, Laure Haussard, Laura Termens and Damien Bascoul have their future profession in mind: for them, the work stoppage caused by the pandemic has been indicative of the disillusions they have experienced. in the area.

  • “I have reached saturation”

Christophe Couvreur, 48 years old, Versailles (Yvelines). Last position held: chef in collective catering, at the university.

“I started in the profession at 17, with a CAP Cuisine. At 48, my CV was several pages long. Some employers do not understand this rotation. The main factor is the lack of valuation of work and gratification. There is no longer the little note that goes well when the business turns, no thanks. No more air conditioning in many kitchens, where it is 45 degrees in summer and where people sometimes work, especially in Paris, in a pocket square.

What kills the profession are the cut-off times. You make the employee come from morning until evening, with a few hours of break in the afternoon, but in Paris, most of them live too far away to return home. So they hang out with some money in their pockets and go spend it at the bar – many hang out with narcotics, cannabis, booze from the cooks, or cocaine for room service.

The only people who accept these conditions today are Pakistanis or Sri Lankans, or interns and apprentices. For the past twenty years, the majority of experienced cooks have gone abroad or gone to collective catering, where there are 35 hours and a mutual. It was my option. My contract ended on December 31, 2020. I reached saturation point. Community catering essentially consists of opening boxes and managing a team. It’s the ultimate food job. My retraining has not yet taken place, but in September I will not be in a kitchen. “

  • “A latent misogyny”

Laure Haussard, 30 years old, Caen. Last position held: head chef in a gourmet restaurant.

Laure Haussard, in Caen (Calvados), June 5, 2021.

“After a specialty in sommellerie, I was head chef in several large restaurants, in Reims and in Normandy. The gastronomic service has a lot in common with the army. We do not dispute anything, any discussion is impossible. If you speak out, you become an outcast. We talk a lot about team spirit in the restaurant business, but it doesn’t exist. Employers’ human relations policy is archaic. They haven’t updated. It was when I worked as a trainer in the restaurant business that I discovered that there could be a different working environment.

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