On Saturday March 14, 2020 all restaurants and bars across France closed to the public at midnight. A few days after the full force of this measure aimed at slowing the spread of the Covid-19 virus came into place, Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides, sent a message to restaurateurs.
The unprecedented health crisis that the whole world is going through is hitting the world of catering hard, whose key players are forced to face many issues that concern their entrepreneurial projects. Faced with this situation of great uncertainty, Gwendal Poullennec sends a message of hope and solidarity to restaurateurs and expresses the full support of the Michelin Guides.
"I will work to defend gastronomy with everything that I have."
In particular, the international director of Michelin Guides is keen to support the community of French chefs, who he says is one of the most dynamic in the world. His message ends with words of encouragement: "I am sure she will be able to demonstrate resiliance and solidarity in this situation. "
Read the full Gwendal Poullennec message below:
From my makeshift office: on behalf of the whole MICHELIN Guide team, I want to express my deepest sympathy for the families and loved ones of the Covid-19 victims and deep respect for those who are committed on a daily basis to curbing this pandemic.
Restaurants are all about sharing; but for now, and for an indefinite period of time, it will not be possible to go to these convivial places to admire the talent of the chefs and their team's service after service.
We are well aware of the resulting drop or suspension of business. The lifelong dream of many chefs is being put to the test at the moment. I would like to express my full support for them during this tense moment that we all wish would end quickly. As soon as possible, the Michelin Guide and its teams will return to devoting all their energy to guide gastronomes on their way back to your establishments.
Not only will our inspectors be among your first customers, but we will make sure to nourish our passionate community of gastronomes with your latest news and creations, and I will work to defend gastronomy with everything that I have.
A restaurant that closes for several weeks means a whole community will suffer. It not only is, of course, the staff of the establishment but also the market vendors, fishermen, farmers and all the other actors who depend on the restaurant for their livelihoods.
Some chefs have expressed their resulting fears about the implications on the next instalment of the Michelin Guide. We are fully aware that this situation is unprecedented.
Therefore, we will adapt to the circumstances to evaluate your restaurants in a fair and equitable manner once things have returned to normal. The community of chefs is one of the most dynamic and close-knit in the world and I am convinced that it will be able to weather this storm together.