“It’s not inevitable”: gloomy weather, persistent inflation… Gers restaurateurs are keeping their smiles and morale high at the start of spring

“It’s not inevitable”: gloomy weather, persistent inflation… Gers restaurateurs are keeping their smiles and morale high at the start of spring
“It’s not inevitable”: gloomy weather, persistent inflation… Gers restaurateurs are keeping their smiles and morale high at the start of spring

the essential
Neither the capricious weather at the start of spring nor the inflation which is increasingly reducing the purchasing power of the French seem to have discouraged customers, local or foreign, from flocking to the tables of Gers restaurants. Testimonials.

“When the weather is nice everything is fine, when the weather is bad too bad…” Christophe Bayle has made up his mind. Because if there is one Gers restaurant that is dependent on the weather, it is his. “La Terrasse”, the restaurant which borders the lake of L’Isle-Jourdain, does not have any room in which to accommodate its customers in the event of the unleashing of the elements. Only a terrace, with a capacity of 130 seats, is usable.

Unsurprisingly, due to capricious skies at the start of spring, the co-owner of the place had to tear his hair out… Nope! “We had some lovely weekends, even some very hot ones,” shares Christophe Bayle. “People are still waiting and there is plenty of activity,” continues the man who is also the manager of the Gers Nautical Ski Lift.

A speech shared by “Le Bonheur est dans le Pré”, in Lectoure. “Obviously, we had a little less turnover because we don’t have the exteriors, but otherwise there are still people there,” notes Daphné Zuszek, director of the establishment.

A constant eye on prices

Would this mean that customers are less attentive? “Maybe they spend a little less, but I’m not even sure,” they say at the edge of Lake Lislois. “We shouldn’t fall asleep in the face of that, it’s not inevitable.” , insists Christophe Bayle. The boss of “La Terrasse” therefore took the bull by the horns. “We stayed with a pricing policy identical to last year. We tried to change certain products, which were more viable… but which please people just as much,” explains Christophe Bayle.

Retaining your customers, while maintaining an acceptable margin… This is the equation, far from simple, to solve. At the other end of the department, in Nogaro, the restaurant “Chez Quentin” has also found the formula. “My husband, Eddy Caget (manager), does his shopping every day, he checks the prices and adapts according to them,” says his wife.

“It’s not good !”

A sound of bell which contrasts with the feelings on the ground of the manager of “La Bodéga”, in Auch. “I’ve been here for 30 years: the months of January, February and March have never been good,” notes Antoine Cabrera bitterly. “In April, we started to see normal figures,” he adds.

Does this mean that customers, with rising temperatures, are returning in numbers to their establishments? Not really… “To the extent that we have increased the prices, since we have to raise them regularly, in reality, compared to last year, we have roughly the same figure, so that means that there is has fewer people, deduces the well-known owner of the upper town restaurant. It’s not good!”

Antoine Cabrera clings to some reasons for hope. “When the others close, we get more people. Since Paco (manager of “Lou Troket”, Editor’s note) closed, I take on 3 or 4 more customers”, the boss of “La Bodéga”. As the saying goes: one person’s misfortune makes another person’s happiness. “Competition is needed, but in a certain amount,” Antoine Cabrera hastily underlines, before going to serve two customers who opted this Thursday for an outdoor table, rue Dessoles.

Bad weather back?

A few meters away, one of the employees of the “La Grange” restaurant prefers to see the glass half full. “It was a little complicated in terms of the weather, otherwise it’s quite dynamic, the tourists are there,” he slips before the start of the service. A clientele who, if the weather remains mild, can enjoy a breathtaking view of Sainte-Marie Cathedral on the terrace.

If the start of spring therefore remains “correct” for the majority of Gers restaurateurs. The arrival of the first warm weather cannot be too much and should be welcomed with open arms by the sector. Which could be quickly cooled by the return of storms. Starting this Saturday evening…



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