the madness of parties of office after two years of pandemic is undermined by labor shortages that are forcing many caterers and room renters to turn away clients or make concessions.
“It’s pretty phenomenal, we’re in a race against time because people are buying [leur party de bureau]. We have our clients, there are also new ones who want to do business with us, but we cannot meet all the demand. It’s very frustrating,” explains Eric Reynaud, owner of the catering company Gisèle Gauthier.
The phone no longer rings for this catering service, whose business is located on rue Saint-Denis, in Montreal.
After two years of the pandemic, people are eager to celebrate, but the businessman is missing his arms. He regrets that he cannot provide for all the clients who contact him.
“If I were at full capacity [en ce qui a trait au personnel]I could easily do 30-35% more orders,” he adds.
The entrepreneur who thought of closing shop at the height of the pandemic, however, is delighted with this great enthusiasm for his services.
To serve all these properly prepared morsels, staff are needed.
So, to make up for the shortage, many caterers have to do business with agencies that rent out waitstaff services by the hour.
The Sacrée soirée agency is very popular in Montreal, but it is also not spared from the lack of workers.
“It really is a special year. Currently, we are full for several dates”, launches Florentin Lepoittevin, development director of the agency.
The latter also lacks waiters and cooks.
And the reception halls are also particularly busy as the holidays approach, so many are already full.
The Hotel Mortagne offers 20 reception rooms almost all reserved for parties office in December.
To respond to such a large number of events simultaneously, important logistics must be respected.
“You have to juggle. Sometimes, we talk to clients, we see what we can do to accommodate them,” says Marc Paca, director of communications for the hotel, located in Boucherville.
According to Mr. Paca, the same servers can cover multiple rooms during the same night to make alcohol and food service as efficient as possible.
Event organizers will also need to plan ahead to liven up their evening with music, as several DJs are already sold out.
This is the case of Ridge Dadoun, owner of RD Events.
“Almost all booked, I’m fully booked until the end of the holiday season,” he says between two calls.
The businessman even explains that customers have booked up to 4 months in advance this year.
Inflation also disrupts celebrations
Rising wages and the cost of many products are causing headaches for event planners. parties Office and other holiday celebrations.
“Everything increases, there is no invoice that is the same from one week to the next, even the packaging, the chopsticks, everything,” says Eric Reynaud, owner of the catering company Gisèle Gauthier in Montreal.
According to the businessman, economic concerns on the part of customers are more present when planning their Christmas celebrations.
The newspaper talked to several vendors who made the same observation.
“Some people contact us to find out our prices, but they don’t do business with us because our meals are out of their budget,” adds Mr. Reynaud.
an expensive service
To reduce the prices he offers, Mr. Reynaud often suggests the buffet option that subtracts the cost of the service.
“Agency fees for having a server have gone from $29 to $41 per hour […] It increases expenses”, he argues.
The personnel placement agency specialized in catering, Sacrée Soirée, also reports a change in its clientele.
“We feel that there are cuts […] the budgets are not the same”, mentions Florentin Lepoittevin, director of business development of the Montreal company.
The price of the services offered by DJs also had to increase to remain viable.
The rise in the price of gasoline weighs on the many trips that must be made.
Salaries have also been increased to ensure the financial stability of employees who do not always work under ideal conditions.
“We get a lot of requests, but people sometimes tell me it doesn’t fit their budget,” explains Salvatore Randazzo, owner of Entertainment Goldstar DJ, a Montreal company.
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