THE NICE STORY OF A CATERER IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
Created in 1959 by Helen and Maryse Louis who were restaurant owners at the Hostelries of Chasselas at the Thor and later of the Restaurant Helen in Avignon, which already grouped three different restaurants in its 720m2: A grill, a brasserie and a gastronomic restaurant. Helen has become rooted in the spirits in the past and is definitively forward-looking. Creativity, love for well-done work and passion, helped its founders to reach quickly the success.
Keen on history, Helen Louis imagined the receptions which gave him fame. In the heart of historical monuments like the Popes’ Palace of Avignon, the Island Saint Marguerite in the wide of Cannes, or at La Rochelle, he offers unforgettable events which combine delicate palate, impeccable service and original atmosphere, in a setting of real historical re-enactments, set up all by himself.
HISTORY IN MOTION
In 1983, Eric-Helen Louis, joins the family company, after his hostelry studies in Strasbourg. Passionate manager, creative and enterprising, he will exploit the exceptional product which constructed his parents and bring his own qualities to the company, in revitalizing the whole structure. He is now the CEO. By his exceptional and dynamic direction Helen Traiteur became the first Caterer in the PACA Region and the 8th in the Provinces of France.
Helen Traiteur is an important regional economic actor and a key player for prestigious events in the whole south of France and this is due to the team, senhanced by young executives, which participated for many years, in the development of the company.
Leaving from its head office and logistics’ bases in Avignon, and representatives in Marseille, Cannes and Monaco, Helen develops its activity in the whole South of France.
Helen owns a real laboratory for their gastronomic creations.
A new collection is created every year, fitting to the topical subjects, the fashion and the inspirations of the chefs. Helen changes 90% of the cocktail menu for this opportunity and 50% of the meal and buffet menus. A committee which consists of some clients and members of each department within the catering votes for this new range of food. Once the new creation is adapted, a photo will be shot, in order to keep the identity of the product while it exists and to promote the creative gastronomy of Helen out of house.
Inventing every year, being the leader and example of creation and organization of events in the South of France, makes Helen the creating-caterer which distinguishes him from his competitors… The Decorator and Chefs being surrounded by a special team, made the elaboration of new, different and innovating concepts possible again this year.
THE MORALS OF THE STORY
Signature on October 16th, 2015, in the National Assembly, of the National Pact of wrestling against the food wasting, by Eric-Helen Louis.
Helen takes part in the challenges of green policy, in acting and thinks differently from now on, by committing: For the planet: Ecological footprint, waste management, energy saving, carbon account, combatting food wasting…
For a responsible economy: Sustainable purchasing, regional producers and artisans, organic farm products, sustainable agriculture, control of the traceability… For the women and men of our company: Listening of the stakeholders, well faring of the employees, trainings, transparency, health, equal opportunities, diversity… The company was given the price and received the trophy of « RSE » in the region of PACA.
Helen acts mainly on 4 main axes:
The company communicates internally about Sales Numbers, investments and the ongoing projects.
• A brochure (La Gazette) is realized and distributed to each employee. More and more people are interested in it.
• Meetings are organized several times all along the year with different departments: cooking team, sales team, Maître D’s (including the temporary staff, in order to develop loyalty – that’s why the turnover is so low in this job)
• Preventing of professional risks is part of our main approach :
– Educational program, consulting and prevention concerning the health and security of the employees: training on movements and positions all along the year, fire security every year, audition and ergonomic risks on the working place
– Follow up on the percentage of working accident and actions in order to control them: this is an objective of the management review, 4 times a year CHSCT, raising awareness on the new employees, research of the reasons for the working accidents
– A politic concerning the improving of the working conditions by a dynamic setting up of a high quality working environment (security, user-friendliness working space, prevention contracts with the CRAM, unique documents, CHSCT – committee for health and safety at work…)
• Supplying mainly realized with local producers (less than 200 kms from the company)
• Gastronomic offers realized according to the season
• Waste management and its impact on the controlled environment :
– Decide about the best quantity with the clients and providing from the beginning of the organization of the event the waste management
– Request an exterior plug in, in order to stop the motor of the lorry
– Using potted plants and not cut flowers for the decoration
– Avoid the one-way items
• Selective sorting as often as possible in the company as well as on the event sites
• Training the staff on combatting food wasting :
– The surpluses are limited and finally given to associations (e.g. Croix Rouge)
– The cost of the re-packaging is supported by the company and the client is informed about the final association
• Reducing the quantity of consumable items without hygienic risks or risks for the company
• Recovery of frying oils: They are collected in a barrel of 200 liters and taken away by a specialized company (Oleo Recycling)
• Limiting the one-way items: using biologically degradable tea and coffee cups, bamboo cutlery…
• Improving the hoods operating: a annual contract with a specialized company in degreasing the hoods by an enzymatic way rather than chemical way, what reduces the pollution of the waste water system and participates in deterioration of the grease in the communal plant
Improving the hoods operating: a annual contract with a specialized company in degreasing the hoods by an enzymatic way rather than chemical way, what reduces the pollution of the waste water system and participates in deterioration of the grease in the communal plant.
• The water invoice has been divided by 2 in 5 years
– Recycling water in the stewarding
– Changing quick cooling cells with water by air system cooling cells
– Placing double toilet flushing for those which weren’t provided with
• Following the electric consumption and the cost with indicators
– Review of our consumption and advices given by CRITT AGRO PACA and AEFD and ADEME in 2015
– Communication and sensitizing the employees by displaying the costs
– Replacing electric bulbs by low-energy bulbs
– Installing automatic lights in the refrigerated storage area
Helen has been engaged in the green policy for nearly 10 years now.
This involvement was first of all organized by a responsible of green policy, the study of a ecologic event realizations and by the application of the chart: citizens, social, environmental and economic engagements.
After having been rewarded by the PACA region in March 2011 as a particularly exemplary SME concerning the Societal Responsibility of companies, Helen became the first Event-Management Caterer having obtained the ISO 9001 standard and continued its commitments in terms of Green Policy by realizing its carbon accounting with Clima Mundi.
By setting up remedial actions, Eric-Helen Louis is very proud to present a decrease of 494 tons of CO2 of Carbone effect of the company which corresponds to:
203 528 liters of petrol,
or 1 930 058 kms by car
or 6 916 years of lighting a 100 W bulb
“The activity of event-management caterer’s presents some special features as we produce first, than we transport and finally we heat the products on-site”, explains Eric Louis.
Setting up special tools in the company allowed a reliable assessment of the greenhouse gas effects with the direct result of an optimized control of energetic consuming, pollution, annoyance and the biological diversity, by:
Measuring (cost and volume) the electrical consuming, petrol and water (monthly control to identify leaks), energetic balance realized by EDF, awareness of the employees with different displays, optimizing the transports, training of all our employees on Green Policy, recycling water of one cooling cell and re-using it for the stewarding, replacing one of the air systems of the cooling cell: water consumption reduced by half, using low voltage bulbs and motion detectors, using FSC paper, using rechargeable batteries.
The knowledge of the different types of waste produced by the company, collecting and recycling glass, paper and cartons (compacting), batteries, cartridges, waste-oil and bulbs, reducing waste by purchasing products in big contents, in order to limit the packaging, using biologically degradable items, sensitize the sales team on seasonal products, limiting the release of detergents, notice board for carpooling for the employees, degreasing the hosts by an enzymatic process in order to avoid the contamination of the wastewater system, retention of waste-oil, special fuel tank with a doubled skin retention, organizing the transportation of the staff going on an event, conference calls in order to limit the travelling, Consolidation of transportations of different events in the same neighborhood, changing a printer using solid ink : solid sticks without cartridge which avoids being thrown away once it’s empty.
“By using more local and regional products we also decreased the transportation costs and the Carbone effect. We add value to our RSE politic by carrying out a purchasing politic with local and regional partnerships in which we have been engaged for many years”, adds Eric-Helen Louis
An approach which is requested by the clients who are more and more concerned about the choice of their partners.
These measures are resulting from the philosophy of the company which is daily engaged in the respect of the environment, continually working on setting up ecological events which are more and more initiated and requested by the clients.
The certification ISO 9001 is based on 8 points which concern the whole company.
No service is excluded. The quality must be perfect on all levels. Only two French Caterers obtained this standard.
- Standard ISO 20121, for long-lasting events
- After having been one of the first caterers in event-management having obtained the certification “Qualitraiteur” which adds a value to the professionalism, the performance and the high level requirements to the members of Traiteur de France, Helen undertakes to obtain the certification ISO 20121. This standard helps identifying, eliminating or reducing the negative potential effects which could have the events on a social, economic and environmental point of view. It will also help to take advantage of the positive effects in improving the planning and the processes. Helen will obtain the standard ISO 20121 in spring 2017.
NATIONAL PACT AGAINST FOOD WASTING
Eric-Helen Louis signed a National Pact against food wasting at the National Assembly at the end of his chairmanship of Traiteur de France. It was signed with the presence of Guillaume Garot, Member of Parliament of Mayenne and former Ministry of Agriculture.
Helen participates actively in combatting food waste by redistributing the unconsumed food to associations which aid people having difficulties.
The company realizes regularly reclamation operations of food surplus in repackaging the unconsumed products for the benefit of local associations. These measures which are not always easy to implement where completely supported by the clients who have to agree and by the teams of the Caterer who have to manage the relationship with the associations, the unpacking and repackaging of the products with labelling and finally the supporting.
Helen has a partnership with the Red Cross since 10 years, with the best chef cooks of France (Maître Cuisinier de France), for the organization of their Gala Dinner once a year in Marseille.
Eric-Helen Louis is member of the organizing committee. Helen makes its laboratory available as well as its team for producing the menu and handling the logistic part of the event, involving also the hotel school of Marseille.
Through this special relationship and in order to support the combat of food waste, the company created a partnership with the Red Cross of Avignon and Marseille, by giving them the surplus of food coming back from the events .
Helen s’est engagé aux cotés de l’Institut Sainte-Catherine à Avignon.
Création en 2019 du “Gala Fourchettes & Rubans et partenariat avec 32 chefs locaux pour lever des fonds au profit de l’innovation en cancérologie sur le territoire d’Avignon-Provence.
Les bénéfices du repas de gala servent à l’acquisition de matériels spécifiques ayant pour but de corréler directement les images IRM de la tumeur à traiter avec les accélérateurs de particules dédiés aux traitements radiothérapies de très grande précision.
Artistes, sportifs, acteurs économiques ayant donné des œuvres pour la tombola, chefs, organisateurs bénévoles, tous sont engagés pour que vivent longtemps les valeurs de solidarité et de générosité.
En 2020, compte tenu des contraintes sanitaires, le dîner des chefs est proposé sous forme de paniers gastronomiques. Rien n’arrête les bonnes volontés et les engagements durables !
The association “ARTISTS’ WISHES” works for the profit of children having a cancer or leukemia since 2003, through an annual exposition which is now registered on the calendar of important contemporary arts’ events.
They display unique pieces, in a same size (20×20), sold 115 €uros each and framed. They display unique pieces, in a same size (20×20), sold 115 euros each and framed.
The whole benefice of this event is given to the service of hospitals in charge of these children. Through these donations, those services could acquire medical equipment as well as equipment of comfort.
The objective is to sensitize a wide audience to the modern art in giving them the possibility to acquire a unique piece and the original work of the renowned artist for an unthinkable contribution in a traditional way.
Helping to introduce a new audience and providing the artists with the information of the buyers and collectors.
Building connections between the artists and the collectors by generating popular meetings during annual expositions, visiting studios or expositions of groups or personal, public or private.
And last but not least, smooth every day’s life of the children having a cancer or leukemia and improving their conditions of hospitalization.
Helen has a partnership with the agency of Marseille MCO, for one night. Inviting clients every year to draw their attention on this transaction and participate in buying artworks.
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