Cyrille Schneider (left), with two of his team from the Beaulieu brasserie in Bonnevoie
Photo: Je suis restaurateur et je suis à poil Facebook page
“The Naked Chef” may well have launched Jamie Oliver’s career, but restaurateur Cyrille Schneider is using nude photos to highlight the financial difficulties faced by the food hospitality sector.
There is no doubt that restaurateurs have been among the hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic, and the light at the end of the tunnel has been receding again given the latest restrictions. Restaurants have been closed since 26 November and that followed a forced shutdown of in-house service from 15 March to 28 May. Even after they were allowed to reopen over the summer, capacity was limited.
Cyrille Schneider, manager of the L'Adresse restaurant in rue Notre Dame in the capital, and partner at the Beaulieu brasserie in Bonnevoie, has taken an unusual step to highlight the problems. He has posed for nude photos with his own team and suppliers as well as with the owners of other establishments in the grand duchy.
The idea was inspired by a similar one-off photo done at the Bistro 111, across the French border in Hettange-Grande. “The idea is to send a strong message without criticising the government’s decisions, because I know it is not easy, but I want…people to open their eyes to all our professions,” Schneider explains.
“In December, we only started to receive fragments of the aid payments meant for October, and that did not even cover the entire rent. As a result, we are making cash advances to pay our suppliers and employees," he says.
The first photo with the team at Beaulieu brasserie was published in mid-December on a Facebook group specially created for the campaign. Schneider then went to be photographed with the Bistro 111 team. “I say nothing. I simply explain the difficulties we face via the photos,” he says. Within a few days he started getting requests from colleagues in the trade, like the owner of the Trattoria da Gino in the Gare neighbourhood, Yan Bartosik, owner of the Cyrano de Bergerac in Bonnevoie, and meat supplier Yannick Tomsfleesch
More photos with other Luxembourg restaurateurs have been taken and will be published on the Facebook page soon.
Schneider says he has no idea when restaurants will be able to resume service, but he is determined to see the latest closure through. “We want to hold on so that we can meet demand when we do reopen, because people will certainly want to come back to restaurants”.