Thierry Marx’s call to do “case by case” for restaurateurs

Romain Rouillard
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18.17, 12 December 2022

The famous star chef Thierry Marx was a guest on the program “La France moves” on Monday on Europe 1. He returned in particular to the difficulties for restaurateurs to repay the loans guaranteed by the state – granted during the health crisis – in this inflationary context.

They had allowed the sectors particularly affected by the Covid-19 crisis to somehow keep their heads above water. State-guaranteed loans (PGE) had been granted in particular to restaurateurs, shaken by the various lockdowns and curfews, which were responsible for a staggering drop in their turnover. But two years later, between inflation and skyrocketing energy prices, many companies are struggling to repay those loans. Therefore, it is necessary to proceed on a case-by-case basis for restaurateurs, according to star chef Thierry Marx, also chairman of the Union of Trades and Industries of the Hotel Industry (Umih).

It must be said that catering professionals bear the full brunt of the general price increase. “For butter, for example, we have an increase of 30 to 50%, and what is even more difficult for our hoteliers, restaurateurs and the tourism and entertainment industry is the increase in energy costs. There, we are sure of prices multiplied by eight or ten. Some have saw their bill go from 40,000 to 120,000 euros”, illustrates Thierry Marx at the microphone of Elisabeth Assayag on Monday.

A “guard cell”

However, in July 2021 the government announced the possibility of spreading the repayment of these PGEs over ten years. But in practice it doesn’t really solve the problem for companies that are reluctant to take on debt for such a long time. “This lowers their assessment of the Banque de France and will inhibit them from lending,” explains Denis Le Bossé, chairman of a company specializing in the recovery of commercial debts, in the columns of Figaro. That is why Thierry Marx wants to “quickly get the major vulnerabilities off the ground that certain companies are experiencing (…) before they come into contact with a negotiation with the bank”.

To achieve this, the star chef suggested creating a “guard cell”. A device that would “raise the right files at the right time to help people at the right time”. At the microphone for “France is moving”, Thierry Marx nevertheless welcomed the good discussions with the government and especially with Olivia Grégoire, ministerial delegate responsible for small and medium-sized enterprises, trade, crafts and tourism. . “We have been consulted on the merits of our complaints,” assured Umih’s president.

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