On the websites of restaurant chains and certain starred establishments, the recruitment or career section now often appears prominently next to the menu and menu sections. The chefs activate all their networks, including via Instagram or Facebook, to find rare gems.
In times of particularly strong labor shortages, everything can be useful to find employees in the restaurant business as in the hotel industry. Working conditions and their development figure prominently in the concerns of professionals.
Beyond wages, the questions of cuts between two services, days off in a row, night work are at the heart of the discussions. With the difficulty, in a sector with very disparate company sizes, of finding solutions that can be adopted by all. But the quality of life at work has taken on a particular resonance as the Covid, confinements and the closure of restaurants have led some to review their priorities.
The cut, this latency time between lunch and dinner, is one of the crucial subjects. Actors with large staff are better able to manage arrangements, by creating midday and evening teams. The movement can also be made simpler when, to respond to new consumption, a place diversifies its concept to offer an offer throughout the day.
“Not all restaurants can operate on the principle of a continuous employee day. It depends on their location, on demand. At one point, you have to choose: increase wages? Make the day go on? And if we add staff, is the customer ready to pay? ” interrogates Christophe Joulie, owner of the family group bearing his name. “Some employees appreciate the cut, because it allows them to organize their life with other activities,” he adds.
Preserve free time
To each his own initiatives to spare the teams. “The staff work four days and have three days off in the week. In a difficult but beautiful job like ours, to be happy to work, people also need time for themselves ”, emphasizes Florent Pietravalle, starred chef at La Mirande, to Avignon.
To allow more days off in a row, industry players are granting an additional day of closure, reducing the number of services. In Paris, it is becoming more and more frequent to see high-end establishments close on Saturday and Sunday, with, in return, a congestion of reservations on Friday evening. And the need to have a sufficient clientele during the week for lunch.
“We have to find solutions. But we cannot impose it on all companies by a branch agreement, ”comments an operator of hotels and restaurants in the region. “On weekends, we sometimes close restaurants in certain hotels, but that means that we have found an alternative solution, with a caterer, for example. Likewise, we sometimes reopen a restaurant, because we welcome a group, but here again we have to find a solution locally, ”he explains.
Do not play extra time at night
Another avenue explored by some: to close earlier than before evening. TO The Bird Pond, in Saint-Joachim, in Loire-Atlantique, the chef Eric Guérin has decided to open new service hours for its Michelin-starred restaurant for “the well-being of the teams”. More and more gastronomic establishments, with a long menu, are advancing the arrival of the first customers at 7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and the last ones around 8 p.m. so as not to finish too late.
In this quest for easier working conditions, the ongoing deployment of technologies in the sector – from catering, which is increasingly done on the Internet, to order management and paperless payment – could make its contribution.