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In addition to the college diploma (DEC) in Management of a restaurant establishment, Mérici Collégial Privé located in Quebec City will offer this fall an Attestation of Collegial Studies (AEC) in Restaurant Operations Management / Apprenticeship in the Workplace. For 18 months, this training is aimed at professionals who already have experience but want to take on more responsibility.
If the establishment had 32 students at DEC in recorded years, it has counted a dozen in recent years. “Many people are not ready to commit for three years, reports Sébastien Bonnefis, coordinator and teacher of restaurant management. So we decided to keep the diploma, but add another diploma twice as shorter.»
Another difference between the two diplomas: the DEC includes general education – French, philosophy, English and physical education – while it does not include the AEC. “General education hinders a lot of people because of restaurants, people work hard and have great ideas, but many don’t like school. Going through 14 courses, for some is difficult and leads to trouble. drop out, “explained the coordinator. He hopes to attract new students with the new training and the 20 places it will be available.
Financially affordable studies
Due to the lack of manpower, students are more in demand for jobs or there are professional offers that can encourage them to leave school. “Quickly, they will level off and remain performers, warns Sébastien Bonnefis. In the AEC, they will have operational responsibilities, both in the kitchen and in the dining room, always keeping the management aspect in mind.»
At a cost of $ 5,700, the practice recognizes prior learning. For example, if a student has worked for three years in the kitchen of a restaurant, the Food Preparation for Production course may be credited to him. That way he will have 90 hours less to spend in school and $ 900 less to pay when registering.
Courses are also shortened to the first three days of the week so that the student can maintain his or her catering job. He will also validate the skills covered in the Mérici Collégial Privé. The coordinator assures that when the new training was announced, the response from employers was very positive: “A student who goes back to school is good for retention. He will stay in his business instead of looking to get another 50 cents. per hour from the competition. »
Based on the DEC, he emphasizes the interest of employers to retain their students and the financial benefits offered to them, for example an annual salary of $ 58,000 or retroactive payment for education. Students will also access a work-based learning tax credit.
People interested in training but do not have a current employer can register and benefit from the Mérici Collège Privé contact list. Approximately 45 restaurateurs said goodbye to establishing their interest in participating in a student’s training. They can also intervene for 18 months to cook and present a conference. This is the case of La Tanière and Les Botanistes, whose interest in showcasing local foods makes the link with Aliments du Québec, which collaborates with the AEC. Through nine conferences, the non-profit organization will primarily address procurement. Waste or even packaging will also be discussed through experience sharing and contacts.
“We will work in the same direction, Sébastien Bonnefis assured. For example, when we do cooking tests and compare chicken from the Ferme des Voltigeurs compared to that in Argentina, if we notice that the cooking loss is often not the same, we will be informed to you at Foods of Quebec. The price is one thing, but the result is different! »
Upon completion of the AEC in Restaurant Operations Management, students will have the opportunity to enroll in the second 18-month AEC beginning in the winter of 2024. It will be pure management-accounting, financial statement, budget, performance indicator- with a project that looks like a business plan, like when starting a business. If the AEC that opens this fall requires at least a year of experience, the next will require at least three years.
Restore the image of catering
To his students, Sébastien Bonnefils indicates that the youngest earns $ 18 per hour, while the majority receive between $ 20 and $ 30 per hour. If gourmet restaurants were popular with young people, the pandemic highlighted accommodations for the elderly, which remained open. “Some students are biased and expect to make mashed potatoes, but not really! These establishments are expensive, so they serve good food. The conditions are not the same as in catering: there are pension funds, insurance, schedules with multiple day shifts and alternating weekends … Work-family balance is made easier. »
Furthermore, the coordinator wants to enhance the image of catering. “We have to stop saying that not paying, that it is difficult … We give the floor to the biggest mouths, who speak negatively of the restoration. They don’t do themselves a favor and they don’t do us a favor. I do not understand, must be ambassador. There are many people who are very successful, with good incomes, but who do not dare to say so. In Quebec, it seems wrong to say that we make money, otherwise we are suspected of being crooked … “