“A nightmare that does not stop”: this entrepreneur plans to leave the bar business after 10 years of career

& laquo; A nightmare that does & rsquo; never stop & rsquo;: this entrepreneur is considering leaving the bar industry after 10 years of career

MISE & Agrave; DAY

Twenty-two months after the start of the pandemic, the owner of three Montreal bars Mathieu Ménard describes the situation currently experienced as an entrepreneur in the field as an endless “nightmare” and is considering leaving it .

“Would I be better off going back to an agency, not having any more stress […] rather than being at home with anxiety, to see a government that promises things and is slow to give them, to receive the phone from certain suppliers who want to be paid? ”asks the man who is co-owner of bars Waverly, Le Blind Pig, Minéral as well as the Italian grocery store Aperitivo Village, located on Atateken Street in Montreal.

The 36-year-old entrepreneur and his associates are currently considering the future of their assets. Mathieu Ménard describes the current situation as a “nightmare that does not stop”.

For the moment, he does not plan to “pull on the plug “Because of the financial commitments he must meet with financial institutions and owners of buildings in which he rents premises.

Tired of” sticking together “

Mathieu Ménard

Despite everything, the entrepreneur can no longer “stick together” as Prime Minister François Legault asks him at the time that its counterparts in other countries can still operate.

“[The government said], 'Get vaccinated, that's going to be your passport to freedom.' This is bullshit . It is a step forward and a step back, ”thinks the one who nevertheless understands the epidemiological situation in Quebec.

Mathieu Ménard estimates that he could have generated sales of more than 700,000 $ if his establishment had welcomed clients to the Blind Pig between January and June 2021.

“That money will never come back,” he fears. He now figures his debt for the said establishment at $ 130,000.

In business for 10 years

Mathieu Ménard, sitting between two plexiglas in his Blind Pig brewery in Montreal, points to the government's incompetence in its crisis management.

Mathieu Ménard began his career in the restaurant business a little over ten years ago. A cabinet maker by training, one who worked in a marketing agency embraced the dream of working in the field. He first set up Le Chasseur, a restaurant-bar located in the Hochelaga district of Montreal, which finally closed its doors three years later. This is when the adventure of the Blind Pig, still in Hochelaga, begins.

In 2020, during the second wave of the pandemic, he opens the Mineral bar as well as the Blind Tiger, a Thai take-out restaurant. But due to lack of profitability and motivation, the entrepreneur does not want to live the take-out experience again.

In February 2021, he launched Aperitivo Village, but the latter closed its doors on Wednesday for an indefinite period. The cause: too little traffic. “In the streets, there is no one. [With the recent closures], the city is dead, ”he laments.

A few months later, in November 2021, he becomes co-owner of the Waverly, on Ontario Street.

But after so many projects launched, why is he thinking of giving up? “[This summer], we were still in a speech [by the Legault government] telling us that in the event of another wave, it would not close [the bars and restaurants]. We trusted the government […], but that is not what happened at all, ”says Mathieu Ménard.

Not the first cry of the heart

David McMillan

In recent months, Antonin-Mousseau Rivard (Le Mousso) and David McMillan (Joe Beef) have raised concerns on social media about the restaurant industry. David McMillan even left the estate two months ago, exhausted from his career.

The different cries of the hearts of his counterparts do not make him indifferent. “We will have to consider the soul of the table and the restaurant business as an economic engine,” he thinks.

He urges the Legault government to look into the economic situation of the City of Montreal. “Last summer, [the various levels of government] were wondering how to revive the downtown area. They killed him, he replies. It's not resuscitation you have to do, it's a birth. But a birth, it's going to take years to come back, ”adds the entrepreneur.

At the next opening, customers should expect a significant rise in prices on their next visit to the restaurant , he argues.

In recent years, the price of food, insurance and electricity has increased dramatically, he notes. “All my expenses have doubled in the last ten years, but not the price of my burger,” concludes Mathieu Ménard. It doesn't make any sense anymore. ”& Nbsp;

To see: the shortage of manpower in restaurants explained by cooks & nbsp; & nbsp;

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