Julia Solans / Photo credit: Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP 13:54 pm, April 22, 2023

With the arrival of the summer holidays, catering, hotels and events are understaffed. The number of seasonal workers has decreased over the years and this phenomenon is partly due to the emergence of housing rental platforms, such as Airbnb. Invited to the microphone of Europe 1, the starred chef Thierry Marx warned about the lack of staff that continues to increase.

Seasonal workers, who represent a large part of the workforce in the hotel and restaurant industry, are less and less present during tourist seasons. Invited to the microphone of Europe 1, Thierry Marx denounced the lack of housing to accommodate employees. In recent years, platforms for renting accommodation like Airbnb have crushed competition and are far too expensive. The starred chef mentioned the solution of developing special housing through a partnership between private and public.

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Too expensive housing

"Today, everything that is allocated, what was commendable at a lower cost for employees or employers, it no longer exists. Airbnb has snatched it all. So there is a real lack of housing," explained Thierry Marx. The price of rent, which has become much too expensive, does not attract seasonal workers, quite the contrary.

To reverse the trend, the areas concerned have redoubled their efforts. Between work planning, loyalty and bonus for employees, many solutions are implemented but without much success. "We are ready, as employers, to be able to develop all these possibilities. But there is still this blocking of hosting."

Solutions "to be found together"

The chef also said that he met, along with several colleagues, the Minister of Housing Olivier Klein to raise awareness about this alarming problem. Mayors of municipalities and presidents of regions are also made aware of this subject. "Solutions must be found together," he said. In particular, boarding schools and campsites should open to accommodate some seasonal workers who have not managed to find accommodation in time.