Even though it now belongs to an Ontario company, the St-Hubert Group does not intend to deny its Quebec roots. Management even considers the idea of having unilingual English-speaking servers in Quebec unthinkable.
“For the employees who must serve customers, there is no compromise to be made,” said Richard Scofield, President of the St-Hubert Group, in an interview with The newspaper. “We are very proud of where we are and everything Quebec has done for St-Hubert. French is a criterion [pour être serveur]He continues.
The big boss of the chain does not hide that one of the challenges in his business sector, when the dining rooms are open, is the workforce. However, he believes that the search for new talent should not be at the expense of the importance of offering service in French in particular.
He even goes so far as to say that St-Hubert has set itself the goal of offering its customers the possibility of having service in the language of Molière in the group’s 11 restaurants outside the province of Quebec. . They are located in Ontario and New Brunswick.
“Whether in Quebec or outside Quebec, we must be able to serve our customers in French. In English-speaking circles, it is not 100% of the employees who will be able to do this, but there must be people there that yes. […] It’s a challenge, but we’re doing our best, ”he says.
Before the pandemic, the St-Hubert Group had more or less 10,000 employees in its two divisions, namely food and restaurants.
Today, between 6,000 and 7,000 people are still at work and the company that was sold to Ontario-based Recipe Unlimited (before Cara) in 2016 has 123 restaurants.
Note that the channel is not closing the door to the idea of having unilingual Anglophone employees, in particular foreign workers, in its ranks. However, management mentions that they will be assigned to positions that do not have direct contact with consumers, such as in the kitchen.
On Tuesday, St-Hubert announced the construction of a new 100,000 square foot distribution center in Mascouche. This establishment should meet the needs of the business for the next 15 years.
In fact, it is the activities in the group’s facilities in Anjou that will be relocated there. The lease at this location ends in 2021. The amount of the project has not been disclosed. About ten positions should be created.
Management also plans to open around 20 new restaurants by 2024, including two or three over the next year.
Since last spring, two rotisseries have closed their doors for good. These closures would not, however, be linked to the impacts of COVID-19.
“Right now we have 87 closed dining rooms in the red zones. Despite this, I consider us lucky, ”said the president. “We have managed to make up for some of the lost sales with our delivery service,” he explains.
The St-Hubert Group is not the only restaurateur to offer service in French. There is also the Quebec company Foodtastic, which owns the La Belle et La Bœuf, Chocolato, L’Gros Luxe, Rôtisseries Benny, Monza, Carlos & Pepe’s, Souvlaki Bar and Nickels banners.
“Honestly, I say no to the question of hiring unilingual English speaking servers. We demand that everyone speak French and that in downtown Montreal, employees speak both languages, ”notes Peter Mammas, President and CEO.
“It’s just normal to serve our customers in their mother tongue,” adds the man who heads a network of 110 restaurants, three of which are located in downtown Montreal. In September, before the dining halls closed, the group had around 4,500 workers.
At MTY, which has many franchised stores such as Valentine, Bâton Rouge and Thaï Express, no company executive has taken the time to tell us if measures are being taken to ensure service in French. We spoke four times to the communications manager, Pierre Boucher, to no avail. Impossible to have the correct time.
– With the collaboration of Julien McEvoy
► St-Hubert announced yesterday the construction of a 100,000 square foot distribution center in Mascouche. Activities in the group’s facilities in the Anjou district of Montreal which will be relocated there.