“Is the place cursed? asks Eric Gorneau. The owner of La Pizza de Nico refers to the former restaurants that occupied number 15 rue de la Souaberie and saw varying fortunes such as Gavroche, Cocotte (and its legal travails), the Marco brasserie and Bektance, where this last brand had lasted just six months, La Pizza de Nico fares better with 19 months open, which is nevertheless short in the life of a restaurant.
Who’s fault is it? To what?
To think that the location at the entrance to the Velotte district, a stone’s throw from the heart of the city with good visibility from the avenue des Alliés, is cursed is of course reductive. Now it is clear that the restaurants that followed at number 15 did not last long. Who’s fault is it? To what?
“Belfort is the 3rde largest restaurant in the group measured by revenue »
To the “lack of dynamism in Montbéliard” as Eric Gorneau suggests? The former head of a web agency in Besançon, converted into catering, is well placed to compare the City of Princes and the City of the Lion. In March 2021, he opened in a commercial area in Belfort La Pizza de Nico, a fast food and takeaway concept launched in 2000 in Bas-Rhin by Nico Palea. Three months later he duplicated the same concept in Montbéliard, on the 33rde brand of the same name in Grand Est. “Two same restaurants and two very different situations,” analyzes Eric Gorneau. “Belfort is the 3rde largest restaurant in the group measured by revenue with impressive growth, an increase of 54% compared to January 2022. Montbéliard is the opposite with revenue below 50% of our forecasts. I preferred to close before I had debt”. Montbéliard drops the curtain while Belfort continues the adventure with pimento, Comtoise or curry madness pizzas.
Social networks make their soup
The last service took place on Sunday evening in this restaurant, which is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Eric Gorneau has since initiated legal proceedings for the liquidation of the Montbéliard company, which will be accompanied by the financial dismissal of the 4 employees: “Of course I leave my feathers there because I invested in this project for €360,000. Now my suppliers paid. To persevere when the clientele was not there was to take great risks”. Why was she not? On social networks, opinions are torn in the mode of “it’s not good”, “to escape” or “it’s like being in cantochen” in contrast to “very good pizzas”, “warm welcome”, “fast service”.
An accumulation of problems
The boss admits: “we had a problem with a team that did anything in the spring and was renewed in the summer”. Pèle mixes, he admits to having faced an accumulation of problems: defective pipes and air conditioning, the development of remote work “therefore less clientele in the city”, fast food “which would have found its place more in the Pied des Gouttes than in the heart of the city” , falling purchasing power, etc. “Ultimately, the Montbéliard adventure is disappointing. We worked very well during the Christmas market or Festival des Mômes, an event that attracts people to the city. The rest of the time it’s too tense. Once again, 15 rue de la Souaberie is without residents!