It is one of the most renowned hotel and restaurant training groups in France and around the world. The Vatel group has been training the managers of tomorrow in these sectors for 40 years by teaching them “the French art of hospitality“, THE “good taste” And “excellence“. This, on the brochure… Because behind the scenes, some students denounce a much darker side.
A few days ago,
the Médiacités site revealed the accusations of harassment and denigration against several teachers of the school based in Paris. Students denounce the absence of sanctions against these leaders.
Charges of sexual assault on female students
Sarah* joined Vatel Paris three years ago, her dream at the time. But from her first lessons in the school’s application restaurant, where young people practice in front of real customers, the young student is disillusioned, because of the behavior of a particular teacher. “I was making a pastry and the pastry chef was behind me. I wasn’t listening to him at the time, and to get me to listen he hit me with a spatula on the buttocks“. This same professor does not hesitate to call Emma *, another first year student, at that time, “My dear“, “my beautiful“and to make him”pats on the back“.
The young girl, embarrassed, quickly warns the director of the establishment who would not have reacted at this time. At Sarah, unease sets in with this feeling of “belly lump“before each new session in the app restaurant.”It was stressing me out, I was throwing up in the evening, because of this leaden atmosphere“, she says. It takes time before she can talk to her parents about it: “We have pressure with a school for which we spend.“
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Insulting remarks reported by students
Boys are not spared. “Me, it was mostly insults: ‘You’re just an idiot, you don’t know how to do anything, you’re good for nothing’… Insults to denigrate the student instead of making him progress“, says Sasha, 20 years old. Today, the student in the third year of Bachelor, says to himself “disgusted” of the restoration and does not see himself working there.
These students implicate four teachers, all from the team that manages the school’s application restaurant. They say they have tried to alert management and other teachers since 2020, to no avail. In its article, the Médiacités site even mentions a student who would have traced the problem back to 2013. “They’re still here, it’s the same team and it doesn’t look like they’re going to leave“, regrets Sarah. “We still get crying first-year students who can’t stand being spoken to badly“, adds Emma.
The management issued two “warnings” against teachers
Contacted by France Inter, the Vatel group claims to have been alerted only in the spring of 2022, by email sent directly to the company’s founder Alain Sebban and his son, Dov Sebban, general manager. He says he immediately sanctioned two teachers with a “warning“.”This means that they have been told in writing that this type of behavior is unacceptable and that if they do it again, it will be immediate dismissal.“, specifies Véronique Hasselweiler, spokesperson for the group.
“Since then we have not received any alerts, we are told that they are holding themselves correctly“, she explains, while saying to herself “disaster” by these new testimonies. She encourages potential victims to come forward to the management and ensures that the group takes the subject seriously with the creation next September of a “committee on psychosocial risks“, which will look into the accusations of harassment. Sarah, Emma and Sacha, they believe that the dismissal of the teachers in question is the only viable solution to return to study in a peaceful atmosphere.
*Name has been changed to ensure anonymity.
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