Alençon to have its multicultural restaurant

The restaurant "Aux Goûts d'Ici et d'Ailleurs (Tastes From Here and Elsewhere)" will shortly open its doors in the Perseigne district of Alençon. Designed and run by the nonprofit Assise Orne, it will be a place for strengthening the bonds between the neighborhood inhabitants and for bringing cultures closer together, while creating back-to-work jobs.

Social and Employment

Alençon, France

Yves Eisenbarth

€15,000 to the Selection Committee at 2010/06/22

Project leader

Assise Orne

"This project is an example of workforce development for a durable exit from the economic crisis. Closely monitored by the local political bigwigs, it concerns a neighborhood considered to be difficult, where unemployment is high. At the start, the main obstacle will be to attract customers in this sector. But hiring locals, the attractiveness and variety of the menus and prices, should help the restaurant succeed."

Yves Eisenbarth

The Perseigne district has all the particularities of a so-called "difficult" neighborhood: high unemployment, bad reputation ... And yet it has the advantages deriving from a very broad diversity, because the representatives of 20 communities rub shoulders there daily. Assise Orne - a workforce development agency through business activities - has decided to turn this melting pot aspect into a strength. By helping some people discover culture, others cooking and art. As its name implies, the restaurant "Aux Goûts d'Ici et d'Ailleurs" will propose multicultural menus. As a gallery, it can also host theme soirées and artists. As a meeting place, it will also provide a setting for workforce development and training, in a profession that has braved every storm.

Simulating and opening up the neighborhood

Having been upgraded to standard last spring by the lessor, after a feasibility study carried out by the local agency in Alençon, the restaurant will be open for lunch daily and also Friday and Saturday evenings. A waiter captain and a chef, both hired on open-term contracts, will transmit their knowhow to four back-to-work employees hired for six months renewable, the equivalent of two full-time jobs.

In the medium term, six to eight persons could benefit in this back-to-work arrangement. The Veolia Foundation is financially backing this project, which also helps stimulate a troubled neighborhood and broadens the range of social and cultural activities proposed to the population.