When the dream turns into a nightmare. Three years ago, Patricia Prevotat and her husband became owners of the restaurant L’Actuel in Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, on the border with the Var, with a view of Lake Holy Cross. The clientele is there, everything is going well until last October. Breast cancer is diagnosed to Patricia. This mother of three children must therefore leave the kitchens and stop working in order to take care of herself. The restaurant is only open from April to September, during the summer season, the couple must therefore find someone to replace her, as well as a server since the waitress who was officiating until then has left. Despite recruitment difficulties, restaurateurs manage to find people and are therefore ready for the opening in April.
“She said it was too complicated, too tiring, too hard”
But that’s where the problems start. After barely a day, the waitress they had just recruited and who was on a probationary period, decides to quit. “She said it was too complicated, too tiring, too hard and she wouldn’t last the season.” Patricia therefore tries to recruit urgently, without success. “Frankly, we published posts everywhere, on LinkedIn, on Pôle Emploi, we tried in lots of places, we had no offers. My husband said ‘listen, we’re going to do less cutlery and I’m going to do the service in addition to the bar.’ The cook, paid according to Patricia 3,000 euros per month and having a company apartment, lasts two months, until last Sunday. “He had said several times that he was fed up and he said to me ‘yes, do you realize it’s 2 p.m. and I’m still here’ then he left in full service. And there we have just received a sick leave for depression.
“We are throwing away everything that had been prepared”
Without a cook or waiter, the restaurant is closed and Patricia explains that since last weekend, “we are emptying the fridges, throwing away everything that has been prepared, we had to call our customers to cancel the reservations, it hurts the heart.” The restaurateur knows it, recruiting both a server and a cook is going to be particularly complicated in this period so there, enough is enough. “I no longer have this momentum in fact, I’m tired, I’m fed up, I have no solution apart from selling the restaurant.” The couple is therefore actively looking for a buyer.. The establishment, which currently seats 40, is for sale at a price of around 220,000 euros.
It is urgent because economically, it becomes more and more difficult for the couple. “Financially, it’s very complicated, my expenses continue to fall, I have my stock to pay when I no longer have any money coming in. We were me and my husband on the restaurant, my husband has no profession next door. I have children who are still financially dependent so yes, we are in a hurry.”
Once the restaurant is sold, Patricia explains that they are considering opening not a restaurant but why not a bed and breakfast.