Questions about working in France

Discussion in 'After Culinary School' started by riverfish, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. riverfish


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    At home cook
    Hi there!

    I have an opportunity to stage for 5 weeks in Paris at a very reputable Michelin-starred restaurant that I was fortunate enough to land, with the possibility of hiring afterwards. If anyone has any good insight, or has worked in France before, perhaps you could help answer my questions:

    1) What are the working hours? (e.g. how many days,what time will I start and finish?)

    2) Pay: how much can I expect to take home per month? 

    3) Living costs - how much can I expect to spend per month? I will be moving there with my girlfriend, sharing a flat within the city of Paris (not outskirts). Will I need to do an extra job to fund my living (e.g. English tutoring)?

    I know I will be making little money and living in a city which is very expensive (I live London,so I know!) I am about to go through a major career change, but before I see this plan through I just want to gauge how feasible it would be to survive whilst starting out work as a line cook there.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. chris kaiser

    chris kaiser

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    Line Cook
    Haven't worked in France but from what I understand in a lot of French, Swiss, German restaurants cooks start in the morning and do lunch service have a break in the afternoon then prep and do dinner service. I'm sure the days are long. Not sure on pay but I would imagine that it won't be much at first but you will gain a lot of experience. Good luck! How did you link the job? In currently looking for something in German? Thanks.
  3. yellowflamingo


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    Hi! I'm living in Paris now and just graduated from the Cordon Bleu. One of my friends is doing a stage for pastry and works 12 hours a day for no pay. This is pretty common especially in France. They are required to start paying you the base rate after two months. The experience is huge if you are working in a good restaurant, and it is good to put on your resume of course. I would ask them if it is paid and if so, what your salary would be. As far as living expenses, you can expect to find a small apartment (15m) for 600 euros/month at a base. If you are sharing a larger flat, you can expect about 450/500 per month. This is on the super super low end. More normal rates for apartments are 700-800+ euros depending on location. You also need to factor in an agency fee (if you go through an agency) and the deposit. 

    I love living here and it would be an excellent opportunity- my advice is to save up (if you can/have time before the stage starts) to be able to afford the 5 weeks that you are here without depending too much on being paid from your job.

    Also how's your French? ;-) Something to think about as well. :)

    Hope this helps!!