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These three Latino employees “saved” St. Hubert's restaurants

These three Latino employees “saved” St. Hubert's restaurants

Saint-Hubert restaurants in the Quebec region can no longer do without foreign workers, who give them a “second wind”, in particular by ensuring better “stability” for kitchen staff.

“We often have the problem of teaching people, and after a month, they quit. There is a rolling stock [de personnel] We always seem to be starting over. But these people do not pass. “They love their work and learn very quickly,” explains Stephane Lapointe, manager of the restaurant on Grande Allée, who is excited about the skills of his new employees. For two years, he employed Guatemalan kitchen workers.

According to him, the arrival of foreign workers to his organization gave “a enhances Very useful for cooking.

“I always have been Staff pantsWith -3 or -4 staff in the kitchen. But the fact that they arrived, frankly, saved us. “I would say they easily replace four employees,” he adds.

In total, the restaurant chain employs 24 temporary foreign workers from Mexico, Guatemala and Mauritius across its 11 locations in the region.

Newspaper He met three of them. José Luis Chittick Chittick, 24, and Mario Garcia, 36, both from Guatemala, arrived in Quebec in October 2022. Their colleague Nestor Gonzalez, a 27-year-old Mexican, arrived in April last year.

Each of them has at least three years of experience in the kitchen. “For them, it is a profession. We pass on knowledge to them, but they also have knowledge that is useful to us […] “It creates a great chemistry in the kitchen,” says Clara Martin, human resources director at St-Hubert.

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Good reception

The company is keen to welcome its new workers, providing them with furnished housing and winter clothing, among other things.

MI Martin explains that managers accompany newcomers on buses to show them their future routes to work.

But the most complicated thing, the workers admit, is learning the language.

To help them, the company also provided them with a translator during their first shifts. The production charters and mnemonic items that line the kitchen walls have also been translated into Spanish.

“At first, I didn’t understand the purchase orders. I just answered, ‘Yes, yes,’” José said, laughing. “My colleagues told me Polo Polo.” [poulet en espagnol]» Mario adds, laughing heartily.

Every week they participate in French language lessons. Today, they are rather proud to be granted an interview Newspaperin the language of Molière.

Improve their situation

Chefs who appreciate their “new life” mainly aim to improve their situation economically, and admit that they no longer want to leave.

Guatemalans say they earn a salary here five times higher than what they would earn working as chefs in Guatemala, the country's capital. As for Nestor, from Mexico, it's three times that.

Every month, they send part of their salaries to their families. “I want to help my mom and dad. I also have a 22-year-old brother,” says Jose, who wants to bring his brother here. “It changes their standard of living, it helps them with food, clothing and a home,” adds his roommate Mario.

Although their first winter was “very difficult,” they say, because of the cold, they now enjoy appreciating the colors of the seasons they had never seen before.

Last summer, Nestor admits that he was very surprised to see young people his age walking in the city streets late at night. “I find it unbelievable. This is something I would never do at home, it is not recommended, it is very dangerous,” said the Val Belair resident.

Renewing their contracts

More than satisfied with their work, MI Martin also claims that he is in the process of implementing administrative procedures to be able to renew his employment contract, which lasts for between two and three years.

Nestor Gonzalez Carrasco, 27 years old, from Mexico:

  • Grill at St-Hubert restaurant in Val-Bélair
  • He holds a university degree in primary education

What shocked him when he arrived: Social relations. “In Mexico, people are closer together, and families and friends see each other more often,” he says.

The biggest difficulty: learn French

What he likes about Quebec: Seasons, bike paths, walking trails and festivals



Nestor Gonzalez Carrasco, originally from Mexico, is 27 years old and works as a griller at the St-Hubert restaurant in Val-Bélair.

Elissa Cloutier

Jose Luis Chittick Chittick, 24, from Guatemala:

What shocked him when he arrived: Taxes. “In Guatemala, taxes are included in the prices. Here, it was a big surprise during my first grocery store!”

The biggest difficulty: Learn French and face the cold

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What he likes about Quebec: His work and colleagues



José Luis Chittick Chittick, originally from Guatemala, is 24 years old and works as a chef at the St-Hubert restaurant on Grande Allée.

Elissa Cloutier

Mario Garcia, 36, from Guatemala:

What shocked him when he arrived: the cold

His biggest difficulties: learn French

What he likes about Quebec: “I love the snow, the food, and all the people are so nice.”



Mario Garcia, 36, is originally from Guatemala and works as a griller at the St-Hubert restaurant on Bouvier Street.

Elissa Cloutier

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