“Before, in full service, the restaurant was full, you had to book! We had 80, 100 covers every day at noon. Today, if we manage to do 40, 50, that’s the maximum!” Gianluigi, a 55-year-old Parisian restaurateur, is worried, like many of his colleagues. In addition to the high inflation which has slowed them down for the past few months, restaurateurs are facing the extension of telework which particularly affects restaurants in business districts. One in three French people continues to work at least two days a week at home to this day, which in particular complicates Gianluigi’s activity.
In his restaurant, the midday shot gave way to dead calm. His waitresses, back against the wall and tray in hand, silently watch the few occupied tables, in case a customer needs something. The boss, he is in front of his restaurant and tries to lure customers.
Strong competition from delivery platforms
In reality, the problem does not only lie in teleworking. Restaurants also face strong competition with delivery platforms, explains Marcel Benezet, president of the catering branch of the National Group of Independents. “Many are delivered to offices by platforms. The problem is that today you have ghost kitchens that deliver you in 10 minutes at home, so we don’t know where it comes from and that harms the restoration”, he laments at the microphone of Europe 1.
According to Marcel Benezet, restaurateurs have lost 10 to 15% of their turnover at lunchtime compared to the pre-crisis level.