For half a century, Brasserie Chez Noël occupies the landscape of the town of Dolbeau-Mistassini. The couple, Johanne Thibeault and Yves Guy, are celebrating this important milestone for the company located in the indoor shopping center of Wallberg Boulevard, as well as celebrating more than a decade as owners.
The world of catering was no stranger to Johanne Thibeault, who has been working in the field for 40 years. It was quite the opposite for her husband, who worked at Dolbeau-Mistassini’s Resolute Forest Products pulp mill and agreed to embark on the adventure with his eyes closed.
“When the plant closed, we decided to buy a job,” says Thibeault.
The couple, who took over the company of the founders, invested tens of thousands of dollars from the beginning in order to carry out upgrading work, in addition to implementing a computer system to facilitate the work of employees .
Given the reputation of the already well-established company, the co-owners made the decision to keep the original name. “We have a nice clientele. They are extraordinary people, “says the one who manages catering staff for 21 years.
The challenges remain for the owners of the restaurant located in Promenades du boulevard.
“The restoration moves in Dolbeau-Mistassini. There have been many openings in recent years. We feel it for a few months. People will try, and it is readjusted. People share the restorers, “says Thibeault.
Nevertheless, this does not prevent him from being, even today, passionate about his work. “I like it because it’s never flat. There is always something to do, “says one who loves to develop new menus. Although the restaurant specializes in grilling, Johanne Thibeault does not hesitate to follow the trends, which allows to reach a younger clientele.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy; imagine when the project includes your spouse. With a very different professional background, Ms. Thibeault and Mr. Guy admit to having learned from each other. And to avoid the quarrels of couples at work, everyone has his section. Thus, Ms. Thibeault is responsible for the restaurant while Mr. Guy takes care of the section of the bar.
Without surprise, the challenges of the scarcity of manpower are not spared the owners of Chez Noël Brewery. To make up for it, they made the decision to turn, in part, to the buffet formula. This type of restoration reduces labor management puzzles as fewer employees are needed for service and cooking. In fact, Ms. Thibeault said she plans to add an Italian buffet on Thursday.
Fortunately, the couple in life and in business can count on the loyalty of several members of their team who have decades of experience. Ms. Thibeault and Mr. Guy do not hide it: they work with employees involved. “Our employees develop relationships with customers. The waitresses knew our customers and their restaurant habits, “she says.
The couple does not spare the efforts while he is present every day at the trade. For the first time in 10 years, they traveled together last year. The holidays were usually spent in solo so that one or the other partner is available for the company.
The duo concludes that to be an entrepreneur in the restaurant business, you have to agree not to count the hours. Johanne Thibeault and Yves Guy intend to run the business for a few more years before enjoying more of life.