Corona crisis in practice

Author: Mike Schapendonk
April 29, 2020

Hospitality employment agency Mise en Place went bankrupt, which caused thousands of students to lose their side jobs as a consequence of the corona crisis. 

Last week, some bad news came out for a lot of students and other staff members of catering agency Mise and Place. Mise en Place Nederland is bankrupt, the company reports this in a letter to their staff, and because of that, thousands of students and other flex workers have lost their jobs.

Mise en Place was founded in 1994 in Maastricht and was closely involved with the Hotel Management School Maastricht. Over 25.000 students have worked for the company over the years, reports co-owner Hubert Ummels. As a result of the bankruptcy, 160 permanent employees end up on the street and about 3.500 students lose their side jobs. The owners wrote a letter to the employees stating "Mise en Place Nederland has been hit hard by the Corona crisis and the sudden and sharp drop in revenues that come with it. We have been fighting day and night for the past few weeks to keep our heads up. Our top priority was to pay your March wages, and we did. But unfortunately, that was the end. With pain in our hearts, we have to inform you that we have had to file for the bankruptcy of Mise en Place Nederland today."

Since the measures regarding the coronavirus, the catering industry has been closed and many events have been cancelled. Think about festivals, concerts, and other places where the staff of Mise en Place sells coins or works as bar staff. It is a hard time for companies that depend on events. Earlier this week, employment agency Eventure from Nijmegen also went bankrupt. Eventure provided catering staff for major festivals such as Lowlands, Concert at Sea and the Zwarte Cross.

Mise en Place had many locations in the Netherlands, including almost all student cities. The company stated that they are aware of the impact this decision has on the lives of the many people involved and that they hate the situation as well. The bankruptcy of MeP affects a lot of students' income. Like stated earlier, 3.500 students lost their jobs and thus their income. MeP was a big and well-known name for students looking for a job and wanting to have a fun side job. According to Ummels, the government's support measures are not sufficient enough to get through the current season. "When the bank proved unwilling to provide a bridging loan because of the uncertainties, the curtain fell." Because all major parties and fairs have been cancelled, there is no more money to be made in the Netherlands, according to the owners. The bankruptcy filing only applies to the Dutch branch of the company. The Austrian and German branches had been declared earlier. The companies in England and Belgium will continue to exist, although strict lockdown measures are also applied there.

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