The only starred restaurant in Perpignan opts for the 4-day week and recruits several employees

One of La Galinette restaurant’s signature dishes during the tomato season. (©DR)

“What if we only worked four days a week? “Faced with recruitment difficulties since the Covid period, Christopher Comes, restaurant manager “La Galinette” at Perpignan, the only starred establishment in the city, has made a strong decision: to close its restaurant for one more day (Sunday, Monday and therefore Tuesday). From now on, its employees will benefit from three days off per week. And he intends to make an argument out of it.

Perpignan: to recruit, “La Galinette” shakes up the codes

Already at the beginning of 2022, the Perpignan chef had distinguished himself with a rather original recruitment announcement. Contacted by News Perpignan, he had previously expressed his difficulties in finding and hiring staff. “At home, we work hard all year round, but there are also good conditions and good compensation,” he summarized.

Despite this first announcement, and his star in the famous Michelin Guide, Christophe Comes was not spared by the crisis which has been affecting the restaurant industry for several years now. This Tuesday, the boss of the establishment published a second publication in which he promises those who wish to join him a four day work week versus three days off weekly :

Seven employees sought, i.e. half of its team

To date, the “La Galinette” restaurant has only seven employees, against fourteen in normal times. Christophe Comes is therefore looking for seven other collaborators: a sommelier with experience, a service apprentice, a deputy head, a leader, a pastry cook, and two kitchen apprentices, and hopes that this change to the four-day week will attract candidates.

On his Facebook post, the starred chef says to himself ” convinced that the model is good for the productivity and for the well-being of his collaborators and himself”. Questioned by Actu Perpignan, the president of the Union of trades and industries of the hotel industry of the Pyrénées-Orientales (UMIH 66) Brice Sannac turns out to be much more nuanced. The latter even sounds the alarm on the general situation of restaurateurs in the department.

“It’s tiring and desperate to have to close services”

“This is not the first restaurant of the P.-O. to owe shut down services extra during the week. It has already happened temporarily in downtown Perpignan, and even more worrying, in some seaside restaurants this summer. It’s tiring and hopeless that for lack of candidates, we have to close services, whether it’s a Michelin star or a brasserie“, regrets Brice Sannac.

The president of UMIH 66, who specifies that other solutions exist, such as the annualisation of working time, above all calls on local public authorities to take their responsibilities:

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I do not understand how we are in this situation when the Pyrénées-Orientales is the department with the most unemployed in France. There is a form of assistantship in this department and something has to be done. Restaurateurs should not give in all the time and fall for this facility. We have a job that can be tough, yes. But it’s also the best job in the world, we give people pleasure.

Brice SannacPresident of UMIH 66


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