Coronavirus Diaries: Bistro des Arts and Publique patron Julien Pilard

How to juggle family life and two restaurants during a pandemic
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A day in the life of Julien Pilard
A day in the life of Julien Pilard

Since we have being asked to close our restaurants, we had to quickly build a new habit.

Normally my day is shared between baby, workout, and work time. I used to spend a very limited time inside the house. Nowadays, this is how it looks like in the Pilard house:

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7am: Wake up to giggling sounds of Alexie, eight months. After 20 minutes of baby chit-chat and hugs, we have our breakfast which is the best family bonding time of the day. By 8:15am, this is our playing time and then nap for Alexie.

My wife and I then start our day.

We start out LinkedIn e-learning session, developing a third language and our daily sport session. We’re both competitive, pushing our limits and the sessions can be quite full on. It is good for the body and mind.

Time to check emails, brainstorm with future projects together and touch base with my team.

During “normal days” we rarely eat at home, so it is great to cook on daily basis and we’re trying to challenge ourselves with different recipes. We don’t eat ready food, everything is prepared from scratch: homemade brioche, Saucisson de Lyon with lentils, rib eye steak and bearnaise sauce - we don’t compromise on calories.

Around 2pm, my wife and I go to Bistro Des Arts or Publique to maintain the place to ensure they’re ready for re-opening - painting the walls, varnishing the wooden floor, taking care of the plants.

6pm. We arrive back home and I Skype my son, Mathias, who is in France – we usually play online chess and make funny videos. We keep video calls on while we are weaning Alexie, they love each other and being far from each other is very difficult. We don’t know when will be the next time we can meet.

We call our family every single day to keep their mood up, to remind them that we love them a lot and also to make sure they don’t feel left alone. Currently in France, the situation is terrible and so we are very worried.

It is time to eat, 8pm. Despite the fact it feels like we have been eating all day, we prepare a light (but delicious) dinner. The baby is sleeping, and so the evening is our time. We talk about our day and our plan for the next one. We really try to focus on the important values of what is life teaching us now and keep the positivity that illuminates us.

And after some quick TV (which we try to avoid the most), it is time to sleep as we take one step closer to the day we will reopen our business, and see our team - being back in the business, working with my committed team members and sharing our passion. This is hospitality.

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