"I don't want to be a sitting duck."  Phillip Foss

Here I will post articles about the measures in place for restaurants and chefs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the food and beverage industry, with rough summaries and translations, as well as any articles pertinent to rebuilding/re-engineering  stronger, more resilient food systems for the future.

Coronavirus : 5 questions sur le chômage partiel

Coronavirus: 5 questions on partial unemployment

Le Parisien - 10 march 2020

  • There is no difference between "chômage technique," "chômage partiel," and "l'activité partielle."

  • Entrepreneurs should submit requests online through DIRECCTE, they will be treated within 48 hours.

  • Salaried workers are paid by their employers, at the end of the month, based on the number of non-working hours. They must log in online, indicate the number of hours, and be compensated by the state. Partial activity generates paid vacation rights as usual.

  • Employers will compensate non-working hours up to 70% of my salary based on overall gross hourly rate. This amount is not subject to social charges. The employer will also benefit from state support.

  • The request is granted for a maximum of six months, potentially renewable. At this point, either the economic activity has resumed or the employer will have to make economic redundancies.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 : quelles sont les autres aides financières pour soutenir les entreprises ?

Coronavirus / COVID-19: what are other sources of financial aid to support enterprises?

CCI Website - march 2020

  • Possibility of postponing social (URSAAF) or fiscal (impôts) taxes. They can request a payment delay or a direct tax rebate.

  • Delay can be requested for March payments to DGFIP, no penalty on next tax payments.

  • For self-employed - you can demand to adjust tax rates and automatic payments. 

  • Can also request suspension on CFE or property tax.  

  • Employers, liberal professions or self-employed can request support from URSAAF if there is a disruption in their activities, including payment instalments or cancellation of surcharges and late payment penalties.

  • Employers with March 15 URSAAF deadline can postpone part or all of employee/employer contributions, up to three months without penalty.

  • The rest is Google Translate for now because I don't really understand what employers had to do in the first place:

    • ​First case - the employer filed online his Nominal Social Declaration (DSN) of February 2020 for Monday, March 16, 2020 by modulating his SEPA payment within this DSN.
      Second case - the employer has already filed his DSN for February 2020: he can still modify his payment until Thursday 19 March at 12 noon, according to an operating mode available on the urssaf.fr site and if the employer is at due date of 15
      Third case - the employer pays his contributions outside DSN: he can then adjust the amount of his bank transfer, or else not make a transfer.
      If the employer does not wish to opt for a deferral of all contributions and prefers to pay employee contributions, he can stagger the payment of employer contributions, as usual. For this, he can connect to his online space on urssaf.fr and report his situation via messaging: "New message" / "A declarative formality" / "Declare an exceptional situation".


Coronavirus: what the state has planned for salaried workers on partial unemployment

Sortiaparis Website 18 March 2020

  • Because of the containment and limited economic activity since March 14, 2020, companies are obliged to pay their employees partial unemployment. 

  • On Monday, March 16, 2020, Macron announced an economic protection plan for employees and companies hit hard by the crisis. 

  • This uncapping of wages represents 35 billion euros for the French economy.

  • On paper, when a company declares employees on partial unemployment it was previously obliged to pay 84% of their (net) salary (otherwise 70% of brut), or a loss of 16% on their monthly remuneration. 

  • The exception is employees on minimum wage, for whom wages remain intact. 

  • There is no difference between CDI and CDD contracts as far as these regulations are concerned.

  • It is particularly on the side of the employer that things are moving.

  • The flagship measure remains 1500 euros of aid for all PMEs and self-employed. It remains to be seen if salaried workers will be fully compensated and receive their total salary.

Les Professionnels de Bouche Face à la Crise Sanitaire

Food professionals facing the health crisis (

On Va Deguster - 22 March 2020

*note very rough translation

  • Stéphane Jégo - L'Ami Jean

    • Does not want the citizens to have to pay twice (tax payer money for government support) 

    • Pandemics do not qualify for indemnisation in case of operational losses​

    • We don't have a vision on what the situation will look like because this crisis is unprecedented, thus demands an exceptional measures

    • The actions of the government have been concrete, clear, direct, helpful, but what must not be forgotten is the effect of the strikes on business - it put businesses in the red, and makes it that much harder to get things up and running again

    • We dealt with/survived the terrorist attacks, the yellow vest movement, the strikes

    • Has started a petition online to ***

  •  Julien - lawyer representing restaurants - commercial rights

    • The consequences of the pandemic will be very heavy, uncertainty about whether restaurants will be able to reopen at all, damage that will be difficult to repair

    • This kind of epidemic is not considered a natural catastrophe; unless the state makes this declaration, we could imagine a scenario where there's a solidarity between different actors with the means (insurance companies, banks) to take measures to help businesses

  • Florent Ladeyn - chef owner of many restaurants in Lille, ambassador of NE cuisine

    • Launched an initiative for the producers ​who he works with - farmers who grow only for restaurants, who don't sell at markets or co-ops

    • Producers like this have no treasury at the end of the winter - they are waiting for spring 

    • Helped producers to arrange to sell their produce to consumers directly 

  •  Julien - Linkee who collects leftovers from restaurants

    • Has mobilized teams to take inventory of leftovers and redistributed them to ​isolated, homeless, in precarious situations

    • Distributed 10,000 meals in 4 days

  • Dominique​ 

    • Resteront Soignables Durablement - Ecotable & KissKissBankBank - purchasing product directly from producers, prepare the food with chefs, and delivering ​

    • Don't go out to buy three carrots; some food suppliers can prepare your purchase in advance for pickup to reduce contact; some markets have taken measures to ensure social distancing; call around to figure out what situation is around you

Second part less relevant, will not summarize.

Coronavirus : l’« effort de guerre » aux fourneaux pour aider les soignants et les sans-abri

Coronavirus: The "war effort" at the stoves to aid caregivers and the homeless

Le Monde - 25 March 2020

  • Ecotable has responded to caregivers and hospital workers' need for meals during the pandemic. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign so that all involved in this meal distribution program - suppliers, chefs, delivery persons - can be compensated for their efforts. This all takes place in a central kitchen.

  • Les Chefs avec Les Soignants - another effort where hospitals explain their need, and chefs respond directly from their own kitchens.

  • La Resistance des Chefs - an effort shared via instagram with well known chefs

  • Others "en province" are learning from these groups in order to replicate their efforts elsewhere to respond to the need, with the underlying requirement that all efforts comply with health regulations in place

  • Others are trying to meet the need for homeless, refugees, people who normally rely on community centers 

  • One such effort, co-managed by Aurore, Plateau urbain and Yes we Camp is located at Grands Voisins in the 14th arrondissement, a logistical effort involving food redistrubution startup Linkee, cooks from Ernest and other volunteers, packaging volunteers from Yes We Camp, and distribution volunteers from Wanted - all to deliver over a thousand meals per week

  • Aurore group is also working together with the City of Paris to distribute packed meals at three different locations

  • The crisis has given rise to a new dynamic of organizations working together, creating a kind of efficient and sustainable food chain never witnessed before

Life in a Paris Without Restaurants - Eater - March 17, 2020

  • A health crisis on this scale isn't covered by restaurants' insurance policies 

  • "Stéphane Jégo, the chef-owner of L’Ami Jean, is leading the charge to pressure the government to insist that the insurance company lobbies account for such unprecedented circumstances. “So many businesses, small and large, will be wiped off the map if nothing is done,” the chef told L’Hôtellerie Restauration. “Do we accept to die or do we fight to survive?”

  • "Because it is going to take all of us, consumers included, to rebuild the moments around the table that we hold so dear."

Diet, health, inequality: why our food supply system doesn't work - The Guardian - March 22, 2020

  • UK's food system is in crisis: fragile supply-chain, depleted agriculture sector, production methods bad for the environment and for health

  • Price prioritisation has put most of the business into a handful of massive companies (like Tesco) while only a small cut goes to primary producers; focus on retailers and imports 

  • Solutions: nutritional guidelines as a basis for food procurement contracts, increase in public health spending, creation of food resilience and sustainability council, a network of urban and rural food and farming colleges, the breakup of the brands with too much market share, disinvestment from manufacturers of ultra-processed foods

José Andrés: We Have a Food Crisis Unfolding Out of Sight - NYT - March 22, 2020

  • José Andrés, chef, restaurant owner and founder of World Central Kitchen pushing to use spend federal dollars to preserve jobs and serve public.

  • Must mobilize food workers to feed the most vulnerable among us: the elderly, the homeless, families struggling to make ends meet

  • In Puerto Rico they used three clear approaches 1) support private sector when economy collapses 2) repurpose community facilities and expand their missions 3) match demand and supply - get the food to the people who need it the most

Farm Workers Are in the Coronavirus Crosshairs - March 26, 2020

  • Agricultural laborers are exempt from sheltering in place

  • Their jobs involve high level of contact and high risk, and a large portion lack health insurance and don't qualify for sick pay

  • They are "essential" in the eyes of the government, yet forced to decide between continuing to receive a paycheck or staying home to take care of their children