“It burns my employees”: a restaurant in Baie-Saint-Paul must close, for lack of foreign workers

The labor shortage is hitting merchants in the province hard, and in Baie-Saint-Paul, a restaurant owner had no choice but to close his doors temporarily.

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Donald Duchesne is the owner of Orange Bistro. For several months, the restaurateur has been facing difficulties in recruiting workers, particularly abroad.

It had started procedures to hire workers in December 2021.

“[Je n’ai] still no news. [Toutefois]this week I heard from Messenger employees that we had selected. It’s another 8 weeks. My boss told me that until he sees the new workers, he won’t believe me,” he says.

“I had promised my chef to get cooks, but I did not respect my word, due to deadlines […]. At the beginning of July 2022, they were supposed to arrive. All the documents were accepted in April and May,” says Mr. Duchesne.

Several factors explain the delays in the procedures, according to the restorer.

“Initially, it was the federal bureaucracy. It was more than a month than usual. Then, the permits issued by Morocco, instead of being 4 weeks, after the pandemic, the delays were more than 16 weeks”, he underlined.

For current employees, working without the promised reinforcements was becoming very difficult, which explains the temporary closure.

“It burns my employees, and there is always the risk of losing them, because they are sick of not having normal working hours,” sums up the entrepreneur from Baie-Saint-Paul.

Procedures for recruiting foreign labor should be simplified, he said.

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