When his restaurant opened, Oumar Cieutat had an ambition for excellence. A gourmet restaurant in Hendaye, the project is daring, even if the first months make it possible to quickly build customer loyalty. Word of mouth is in the dithyramb and the small team takes its marks.
Weary in March 2020, the health crisis comes to a halt. Like many other brands, the restaurant implements a “click and collect” system. Committed, the chef and owner also delivers meals to the Bayonne hospital.
Far from curbing his ardor, Oumar Cieutat concretizes another project, a kitchen workshop, rue du Port. He also engages in a collaboration with a campsite in the city. Lots of chestnuts on the fire, probably too many.
“When the restaurants were able to reopen their terraces, after the Covid, I was in the Bordeaux region, says Pierre Bruneau who worked at L’Oumar between June and September 2021. A friend who was already employed there made me hire for the season. The Basque Coast, the good reputation of the establishment, all this prompted me to leave my CDI to try my luck. During the first weeks, this good impression was confirmed. But the doubts appeared when I had to ask insistently for my work contract. Oumar Cieutat explained to me that he had to see with his accountant that a prior declaration of hiring had been made in good and due form, with my social security number. Which turned out to be a lie. »
Salaries for the first two months are nevertheless paid by check. With a hiatus: overtime is not paid: “1,450 euros for 60 hours per week”, explains the one who provides service, mainly at the bar but also in the dining room, and manages wine orders.
From disorganization to administrative worries, tension mounts within the team of ten people (three in the dining room, seven in the kitchen). Even if the restaurant is doing well on the plates, the outcome seems inevitable. It is undoubtedly worse than imagined for the employees who will not perceive their emoluments for the last month at first, before finally obtaining a check… without funds.
“You have to be realistic, at the end of the season, it turned into a fiasco. He owes money to all the employees”
One hour to set up
Today, Pierre Bruneau, who has returned to the Bordeaux region, has filed a file with his legal protection in order to obtain the advice of a lawyer and his due: “I am under no illusions, but I have to we find this gentleman to place him face to face with his responsibilities and that this does not happen again. I know that, if this is the case, it is the outstanding payments from suppliers that will be reimbursed in priority. I’m all the more aware of the thing that it was we who answered the phone to them in the restaurant. Oumar Cieutat dispersed too much, he did not know how to manage and probably did not work enough. In the morning, we regularly had to take our car to go shopping ourselves. The kitchen was not him, but his executive chef Raphaël Simonian. »