Bought by a Basketball Star near Caen, Steak’n’Shake Restaurant Closed, and Its Staff in the Dark

In Moundville (Calvados), Steak’n’Shake closed in April 2022. Four years after it was taken over by Norman’s former professional basketball player, Ian Mahenmi. © Christophe Jacquet

in 2018, Ian Mahenmi “Jump at the chance.” The former professional basketball player, who was pivotal to the Washington Wizards in the United States, after being the NBA champion with the Dallas Mavericks, dreamed of being the perfect “entrepreneur” of his life. Normandy Sweetened. Never miss the opportunity to repurchase and re-launch Resturant to me Mondville Calvados from an American fast food franchise Steak and Shakerecently established in France.

Suppliers do not pay

After four years, the adventure ceased. The facility is deserted. Its 22 employees have been in limbo, unemployed and nearly unpaid, they said, for three months. On April 14, 2022, its one-year manager was forced to close its doorsAcross from Buffalo Grill and Kentucky near the mall Mondville 2. According to Patrick Godard, “It has been three weeks since we were delivered of meat, fruit and vegetables due to unpaid invoices, suppliers said discontinued.”

The problem is compounded when the Steak’n’Shake restaurant chain claims to serve burgers and milkshakes on demand, with fresh produce, meats 100% of French origin and “fries grown in France, then hand-cut, blanched and cooked in the kitchens”.

Patrick Godard continues: “I had to go to the subway [le grossiste pour la restauration] On my day off, in my personal car. is no longer possible. “The last link in the chain of disruptions, since Ian Mahenmi, the investor, entrusted the management of the restaurant in Moundville to his sister Julie Mahenmi, and two others, at Grande Coivelli near Rouen (Seine Maritime) and in Brittany-Sur-Orge (Essonne)—this has been put The latter has since been in forced liquidation.The director, who resigned in April, after staying only 5 months in Moundville, summarizes the following:

Between bills that haven’t been paid for years, old, broken or simply non-existent equipment, false promises and late payments from the staff, it’s surprising that the restaurant has been open for so long.

‘worrying’ situation

Mondeville Restaurant has held out with its clearly close-knit team of about twenty people. “By our means, we’ve made more sales than Roanne,” confirms Patrick Godard.

Mondeville Steak'n'Shake closed Ian Mahinmi's staff
The 22 employees at the Mondeville restaurant remain united, waiting to see if they will benefit from economic redundancy. © Christophe Jacquet

Today, they do not want to “give up anything”, considering themselves “despised” by the majority of shareholders. After a few weeks of returning the keys to them, they were no longer satisfied with waiting for wages to drop at irregular intervals. What puts them, for the most part, in a “disturbing” financial position, according to Hugo Fleury, the restaurant’s historical director, there before it was taken over by Julie and Ian Mahenmi. He regrets the “few contacts”, which are still “too brief” with them. “Our emails and texts are almost unanswered. They actually gave up on us when we had problems with suppliers.”

‘Not as present as I would have liked’

A situation raised only by Ian Mahenmi half a word, in a press release sent on Friday, July 29. Called multiple times, via email and message on her answering machine, her sister Julie didn’t answer our questions. The former basketball player turned business, who is also a consultant for beIN Sports, understands this:

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What my organization lacks most is my participation. If I devote myself physically and spiritually to this adventure, I must confess in hindsight that living in the United States and still doing activities there did not allow me to be as present as I would have liked, and that entrepreneurial activity dictated it.

He explains it again: “When I started this project, I was a young athlete at the highest level. To put all my chances on my side, I invested large sums and made time to find employment. However, this was not enough. I am the first to feel sad. We did not work out. Failed. “

According to him, the Mondville restaurant experienced several failures:

  • The establishment would have “suffered greatly, like the vast majority of the restaurant world, from the epidemic that we have had to go through for the past two years”;
  • He also regrets that, “I lacked support from the franchisor. Especially in the operational and financial areas”;
  • Personnel management was complex:

Unfortunately, I never knew how to find the right formula to retain my group of supervisors, and to recreate a group with many young employees with high turnover.

Economic iteration in progress?

Ian Mahenmi confirms that, he and his sister made the trip to Moundville on June 9. Indeed, to retrieve the restaurant’s keys, and tell its staff it will not reopen. and “Adoption of economic repetition after the vote.”

Since then, the team has not received any news. On the advice of the Labor Inspectorate, it asked the Prosecutor and the Commercial Court to speed up the proceedings, obtain the balances of all accounts, the “Pôle Emploi Certificate”, or even pay the unneeded deductions to the subscriber while the two-year contract was terminated. On July 27, when they called the press to testify about their predicament, their June salaries were paid.

Ian Mahenmi confirmed in his press release, “There will be no social plan as I am still personally responsible for all salaries. Regarding the dismissal, strict procedures have been implemented with our legal representative and relevant authorities.”

Julie Mahenmi told our colleagues from West-France that the procedure will be completed “at the end of August”. For its part, the administrative court has not yet received the order for the economic dismissal of the employees of Mondville, who are still in the dark before “being able to move forward”.

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