Nîmes: to find a pizza maker, they offer a year of free pizzas

This restaurant on rue de la Madeleine, in Nîmes, rewards the customer who finds his new pizza chef. An unprecedented solution to the recruitment difficulties experienced by many employers. Employment tension in the hotel and catering industry reflects an evolution in the vision of work.

The clientele is abundant, but the employees are few…Like many colleagues, the restaurant Le Pinnocchio, rue de la Madeleine, is facing a lack of staff. He has been looking to recruit a pizza chef for six months now. As of May 23, 2022, due to a lack of conclusive applications, a call has been launched for clients to find this new professional (read below). One of the three directors, Mathieu Bataille, describes an initiative “massive, impactful and positive”.

An original call for applications

The Pinocchio is looking for an experienced pizza chef. It rewards the person who identifies the favorable candidate. For one year, a pizza of your choice will be offered to this “finder” every week, on site or to take away. To recommend a profile or apply, go to the Pinocchio Facebook page, or contact the restaurant directly: 06 51 14 28 28; [email protected]

A sector in difficulty

This Italian restaurant is far from the only one to suffer from this situation. Its neighbor, the DK-Lé is looking for a cook and finds itself forced to close one of its three rooms, for lack of sufficient staff. A loss of up to thirty customers in one service, regretfully considers the manager, Mélanie Cournier.

The hotel and catering industry is indeed a sector under pressure, according to the figures of employment center: during the first quarter of 2022, offers jumped by 122% compared to the same period of 2021. According to Lisa Jankowski, team manager at Pôle emploi Nîmes Courbessac, there are many more than before the Covid. The professions of kitchen staff seem to be the most impacted, with a 20% drop in job applications.

And this despite the 10% wage increase decided in January 2022. But as Lila Bonnetain, president of the association of merchants on rue de la Madeleine, reminds us, money is no longer the sinews of war: “People all want to enjoy their holidays. And we understand that!”

“A new philosophy of life”

Mathieu Bataille, also secretary general at the Union of Industry and Hotel Trades, confirms: “Young people today run less after money”. He points to a “new philosophy of life”, where workers would be more concerned with their personal lives than professional and financial ones. Long working hours, shift work, sacrificed evenings and weekends are more than ever discouraging factors.

But Lisa Jandowski underlines a real questioning on the part of employers. And the manager of the Pinnocchio is convinced of this: working in a restaurant while preserving a balance in life is quite possible, even necessary: “The boss who didn’t understand that is a train behind.”

Hamadi Bouchareb, one of the directors, recalls his beginnings in the kitchen, where huge and underpaid hourly volumes were the norm: “I don’t want to make employees experience what I experienced myself”. The directors of the Pinnocchio claim to be in a logic of negotiation while “in the older generation, the discussion was very quickly put aside”.

The catering sector is taking a new direction, where working conditions are becoming central. Quality of life takes more place in the concerns of employees, a trend amplified by confinements.

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