After Courtepaille this summer, it is Flunch's turn to be shaken by the health crisis.
This "mythical" restaurant chain, which has 227 establishments (including 66 franchisees) and welcomes 55 million customers per year (excluding the Covid-19 crisis), has requested to be placed in safeguard proceedings with the Lille commercial court. (North).
It also announced a project "to resize its restaurant park" with "the possibility of opening a PSE (job protection plan), after consultation with staff representatives": around sixty establishments are thus threatened. , or around 1,300 employees concerned.
“This safeguard procedure will make it possible to deploy an emergency plan which is: 1, accelerate the transformation of the banner launched last year (take-out sales, themed kiosks, etc.) in order to better meet consumer expectations.
And 2, offer a maximum of sixty restaurants on takeover, giving priority to employees and franchisees, ”explains a spokesperson.
The objective being to keep only the best placed establishments and the least loss-making in order to relaunch the brand as best as possible once it can once again serve its customers: “Knowing that the difficulty is precisely that we does not know when we can do it ", blows the spokesperson for" the first French chain of self-service catering ".
The 5,000 employees of the group left in the dark
While 90% of restaurants are located in shopping malls, the list of those at risk has not yet been released.
It should be on February 2.
But the concern is strong among some 5,000 employees "already severely affected by the six months of closure", points Grégory Dubois, central union delegate CFDT.
Born in 1971, Flunch, which belongs to the constellation of brands of the Mulliez group (Decathlon, Auchan, Boulanger, Leroy Merlin, Kiabi, etc.) saw its turnover plunge by nearly 212 million euros (i.e. -57% ) last year for its 161 directly owned restaurants.
"However, as a catering group, the company was not able to benefit from the solidarity fund at the same level as the self-employed," recalls the spokesperson when the fund has just been revalued this January.
"Flunch has been failing for years"
“This announcement is only a half-surprise.
The company was already not doing well, it has undergone several PES in recent years.
We suspected that with the Covid, the situation was going to worsen, but not to such proportions, "laments Grégory Dubois, who also mentions" a losing economic model and an aging model ".
"The crisis has a good back," says Marie-Josée Bienvenu, CGT Flunch union representative.
“They are using this - admittedly difficult - situation to restructure the park and solve problems that have existed for a long time.
Flunch has been faltering for years and attendance is declining, ”she points out before recalling that a“ project to close 13 restaurants ”was already in the pipeline at the start of last year before the crisis. health does not put everything on hold.