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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Does anyone here have experience hiring kitchen staff and waiters?

This is for a small restaurant in France with 20 covers. We will need 2 French speaking waiters and 2 kitchen workers.
 

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I would contact Pole Emploi first and foremost. While people complain that they don't "find you workers" nor do they "find you a job" (if you're a job candidate), they do have a pretty current list of job openings. Not sure if it's free to post your jobs there or not, but for folks looking for work, it certainly is one of the first places they look. (There are also a number of employer benefits available if you hire someone who has been out of work for a while.)

Otherwise, study up on the French job market and labor rules. (Or ask your local CCI - Chambre de Commerce - for help.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Bev. What we are interested in finding out is; the bureaucracy involved in the hiring of our restaurant staff in France. Does anyone run a restaurant here in France?
 

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You may find this site useful, it has all the info you need about becoming an employer in France.
https://www.apce.com/?pid=244

It's not specific to the restaurant business but AFAIK the same legislation applies.

Definitely start by finding out what incentives you could be eligible for. Social charges and obligations for 4 staff is going to be a huge burden for what sounds like quite a small business. Maybe one of them at least could be a stagiaire?
 

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Not wanting to put a damper on things but have you really done your research/sums.Our local restaurant has about 40 covers and the only staff are the husband in the kitchen and the wife front of house.They are full every lunch time with their €11 lunch menu but only open in the evenings at weekends when they do à la carte.They struggle to make a living and they are not paying any cotisations for staff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, my main objective is reducing staff costs. Just google 'stagiaire.' Will look into volunteer / stagiaire staff option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
staff costs

Not wanting to put a damper on things but have you really done your research/sums.Our local restaurant has about 40 covers and the only staff are the husband in the kitchen and the wife front of house.They are full every lunch time with their €11 lunch menu but only open in the evenings at weekends when they do à la carte.They struggle to make a living and they are not paying any cotisations for staff.
. . . this is what I'm here to find out... it's a fact that starting a business is a gamble; stff costs are my main concern and I need to fine out more
 

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Thank you Bev. What we are interested in finding out is; the bureaucracy involved in the hiring of our restaurant staff in France. Does anyone run a restaurant here in France?
OK, one other major factor to consider is how is the restaurant set up? (In terms of what sort of business entity?) That will determine how you register for paying cotisations (social insurances) and all.

This page from the Service Public should at least help you get started: https://www.service-public.fr/professionnels-entreprises/vosdroits/N24268 But you probably should also contact the local CCI if you haven't yet established the appropriate business entity for your restaurant.

The rules for establishing your business and especially for hiring staff are a bit complicated, at least when coming from outside of France. Of particular importance is the registration of the business, your registration with the VAT authority and, of course, your registration with URSSAF and the other cotisation entities. Your employees may also fall under an industry-wide employment contract (which is determined when you register the business based on the APE - a sort of industry identification number - to which your business is assigned).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Bev,
Thanks. Will read through the info on those links. My aim is to register at the lowest level at first; the equivalent of 'sole trader' in the UK, then if the restaurant earns enough, go to 'company' status. I just want to start off very low key for the first year. i.e: myself working the kitchen with some temporary staff waiting. Thanks again for your help!
 

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Hi Bev,
Thanks. Will read through the info on those links. My aim is to register at the lowest level at first; the equivalent of 'sole trader' in the UK, then if the restaurant earns enough, go to 'company' status. I just want to start off very low key for the first year. i.e: myself working the kitchen with some temporary staff waiting. Thanks again for your help!
I suspected as much. There isn't really a "sole trader" category here in France except perhaps as an AE - but an auto entrepreneur can't have staff. I'm also not sure with the smallest sort of business entity, an EIRL or an EURL (but the local CCI would know that).

With an SARL (sort of the beginning level of "corporation" type of entity - you need at least 2 owners), you have the option of having the business pay its own taxes or of simply declaring the results of the business on your own personal tax declaration. Or, as géant (managing director) the business can pay you a "salary" and take that as a business expense when figuring its own taxes. The requirements for staff are the same either way, though.

Google the CCI for the departement in which your restaurant is located. They will have LOTS of information for people setting up any sort of business in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you're moving to France brand new from the UK, you need to be prepared for a very different mindset as regards the social responsibilities of being an employer. Employees here are well protected by legislation and employing casual staff as and when, as you can in the UK, isn't really possible. Every employee has to be employed on an employment contract that respects all the rights that those employees are entitled to (job security, social cover, holidays, travel expenses, weekly working hours etc). Everything is tightly controlled to prevent employees being hired and fired to suit the short-term needs of the business.

That said, France has recently realised that employees have become so expensive that businesses are reluctant to employ anyone, so they have introduced measures to reduce staff costs - you could have a look here: https://www.service-public.fr/professionnels-entreprises/vosdroits/F24542.

But as Bev says, you absolutely need to go get some proper business advice, don't try and do it on your own, it's all too different to setting up a business in the UK. But when you do, just be aware of the different attitude here, ie that employing staff is supposed to be seen a social duty and you accept that your priorities as an employer are 1. looking after the people you employ, 2. contributing to the national economy by providing employment and 3. ensuring the sustainability of your business. Making a quick profit isn't even on the list. If you go along assuming that your business advisor will appreciate that you want casual staff in order to increase your profits, you risk being at cross purposes. If you say you want to take on four employees, they will be mightly impressed by your commitment to society but they will struggle to understand how you think you are going to manage it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
. . . this sounds like I need to look at different approaches to staffing, I can't see how anybody can actually run a restaurant with those constraints, without a staff budget being over cumbersome, something to think about and thank you again
 

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. . . this sounds like I need to look at different approaches to staffing, I can't see how anybody can actually run a restaurant with those constraints, without a staff budget being over cumbersome, something to think about and thank you again
As Crabtree says, small restaurants are generally run by the owners with maybe an extra pair of hands to help out at busy times. In all those I know, hubby does the cooking and his wife does front of house. I don't know why it's always that way round but it seems to be. Obviously you have to set your menu with this in mind, you're not going to have a dozen different dishes on offer. Those that open twice a day usually stop serving lunch at 2pm and don't open again in the evening until 8pm so you have six hours to clear up after lunch and get everything back shipshape and prepare for dinner. Mornings are for doing your accounts, placing orders, paying bills, thinking about marketing etc. Or so I've been told by the folk that do it. They all say it's not worth it and yet they keep doing it :confused2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
. . . yes, that is the kind of model I'm envisaging here. However, It's me in the kitchen, my wife will be busy working. Therefore, I'm going to need help front of house. Thanks for the help
 

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. . . yes, that is the kind of model I'm envisaging here. However, It's me in the kitchen, my wife will be busy working. Therefore, I'm going to need help front of house. Thanks for the help
The thing is that if you are both partners in the business then you can work every waking hour and 'pay' yourself crap wages, or no wages at all if no customers turn up. You have no social responsibilities towards yourself, but the moment you take on a third party, you do. I think you need to find a business partner to have a chance of making this work, or alternatively take on one employee and make sure you set up your business in such a way as to qualify for all the employer subsidies there are going. Your business advisor will be able to help you with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finding a business partner was something I was just thinking as an option. I was also wondering how opening times might effect hiring staff; ei: if a business is open for lunch service only, or open tree days per week. But a business partner is an option worth considering here. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
... that's interesting, so college commitments etc.. but there still has to be an official contract. Thank you for this link
 
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