A French couple are looking to sell their restaurant in the south of France through a lucky draw lottery after failing to find a buyer by traditional methods.
Vincent and Carey Lucas, both 61, plan to auction off the family-run restaurant they have owned for 22 years in the village of Uzos (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). They will choose a buyer through a lucky draw on November 15.
Anyone interested in participating has until October 31 to buy as many €50 tickets as they wish, up to the €150,000 minimum total limit set by the couple. Once they hit their €150,000 target in ticket sales, they will choose a winner by lucky draw.
The ticket acts as a share of the Le Pare-Faim restaurant and represents one entry into the draw.
All tickets will be reimbursed if the €150,000 minimum is not met.
While the method is similar to a tombola or a bingo charity, it was suggested and carefully designed by the couple’s longtime lawyer Jean-Michel Gallardo, so that it complies with French law on gambling.
“One of our goals is to pass on a restaurant that is central to the daily life of Uzos village and to keep the four employees working there,” the couple told The Connexion.
The duo resorted to the unexpected selling method after struggling to find a new owner over the last three years. They said they had never had such trouble selling a venture in their 34 years of entrepreneurship, and previous ownership of two restaurants.
The couple said that the market is experiencing greater problems due to greater reticence from banks to grant loans to interested buyers, and the current hardships associated with running a business in the catering industry, the couple said.
The duo said they will provide as much help as they can to the winner over the first three months.
“I think too many entrepreneurs start a business expecting to not get any revenue out of it over the first year. It is so wrong. I do not agree with that,” said Ms Lucas.
So far, around 600 tickets - 20% of the amount - have been sold, the couple said, adding it expected around 3,000 more tickets to go. One of the restaurant’s waitresses even bought a ticket, they said.
People who are only interested in helping financially can buy a ticket and designate an interested buyer who already has a ticket, the Lucases added.
“Had we been aware of such an option 10 or 20 years ago, we would have participated without question. We would have bought €1,000 worth of tickets to get one out of 150 chances to win it,” said Mr Lucas.
The sale is meant as the final closing chapter of their entrepreneurial adventures before they retire. They are set to return to the UK, near Birmingham, where one of their sons lives.
*Connexion readers who are interested in taking part can do so here.