La Provence is a French restaurant in Kula, Maui, Hawaii that serves mediocre food and is run by people who believe they are God’s gift to Maui. I thought maybe I was alone in thinking they were terrible but a quick look at Yelp and other online review sites showed me that I wasn’t. Complaint after complaint about the owner, Thierry Michelier, and the rest of the staff. But let me share my wife’s experience with the company.
My wife worked tirelessly at La Provence Maui for months. I listened to her go from telling me how great the people and tips were, to telling me how they were using her[not her words, mine] and she was losing tips.
She went from getting over $200 every weekend to being lucky if she got $150, it was usually just over $100. On weekdays she brought in about $20. A far cry from the $100-$400 in daily tips everyone else that worked were getting.
She went from being told that she would serve, to being told to wash the dishes. She responded to an ad on Craigslist for a dishwasher but after working at La Provence Maui for one day they told her she’d be up front and that they were going to find another dishwasher. They never did, but she did have days where she worked the front. She had two different pay rates. First of all, wtf?! Secondly, NO. She was getting paid $11 as a dishwasher and $9.50 as a server. A server got paid A LOT more in tips so she was happy about this. Unfortunately, “server” was just a title they slapped on to cover up the fact that she was just a barista, who does not get tipped out as a server.
She went from working on a team to being the bitch of the office. My wife is 5 feet tall and 110lbs. On top of having to wash every dish she had to take out everyone’s trash. About 10 bags of trash everyday. Occasionally, they decided they wanted to be decent human beings and she got a little help.
She went from telling me about jokes the owner told her, to telling me what he yelled at her for that day. Once she showed up to work 6 minutes early and decided she wanted to help them out and went in early. Thierry yelled at her about not being able to listen or follow instructions and kicked her out because her shift started at 7am, not 6:54am. Keep in mind that she was going to work for love, not money. They write their times down and she wrote 7am, just like every other day.
I watched my wife come home after work and look a little more defeated everyday. I started to encourage her to quit her job and find somewhere where she would be appreciated. My wife is no slacker and I’m not just bias. Before we got together she was just another co-worker that I couldn’t stand because she was getting promoted quickly and getting paid more than me after just a couple of weeks. I know my wife is a hard worker and knew that La Provence didn’t appreciate her so I supported her leaving 100%.
One day she called in sick to work because of her endometriosis. Let me just say that other than that one day she has never called in. She requested a day off twice and was denied both times because they needed the help and no one else wanted to work the shifts, so she never bothered requesting another day again. Never complained either. But calling in is what did it. She let Tia know she wasn’t coming in. Tia is the daughter of the owner who says she is the manager. You call out to a manager and that should be enough, right? Not for them. She told my wife to let her dad know. My wife immediately let Thierry know that she wasn’t coming in. She didn’t get a response but they didn’t call her telling her to come in so we took it as a green light.
The next day my wife still wasn’t feeling great. For those of you who don’t know, a main symptom of endometriosis is unbearable menstrual cramps. So the day after my wife called out I was woken up to her crying because the pain was too much. I told her to call in again but she was having difficulty speaking through the tears. I told her I’d be okay if she just left them high and dry because they deserved it. She didn’t want to call in anyway because she didn’t want to get yelled at so she just didn’t show up. We’re both fully aware that this wasn’t how she should have handled the situation but what came after is incredible. If I didn’t have proof there’s no way people would believe it happened. Luckily, I have the proof I need to tell you to avoid La Provence Maui!
If you didn’t hear that clearly let me decipher it for you. This is a voicemail from Tia, the owner’s daughter, saying that it’s 7:15[am] and if my wife doesn’t respond to her she will no longer have a job. My wife’s shift always starts at 7am. The “manager” gave her 15 minutes. Really?? Get a grip, bitch. When did 15 minutes late equate to loss of job?
This is a voicemail left by the owner of La Provence Maui, Thierry Michelier, saying that he was going to show up at our house. WTF? Is this idiot serious?? I’ve never dealt with such arrogant schmucks before and hope to never deal with them again.
Don’t work there. No amount of desperation should get you through those doors. Also, their desert is good but their actual food is crap. The crab cake that I ordered was completely raw and looked absolutely disgusting. I would have complained to the waitress but she never came around to my table. Terrible service. My wife has also been caught in the middle of a lot of arguments between customers and the staff, mainly the owner and his daughter. The customer is NEVER right at La Provence Maui.