Training to promote French among Montreal restaurant owners

Restaurant owners having difficulty serving their customers in French now have access to a free training program, which is intended to be adapted to their needs, in an attempt to improve their mastery of the language and that of their employees.

Updated at 0:00

Isabelle Ducas

Isabelle Ducas
The Press

The Association of Commercial Development Companies of Montreal (ASDCM) unveiled two new projects on Thursday to promote and enhance the use of French in local businesses.

Due to the current labor shortage in Quebec, some merchants hire employees who do not speak French, recognizes Billy Walsh, general manager of the ASDCM.

In addition, owners and employees have little time to devote to learning a language, due to busy schedules.

“The program specifically targets this issue. We know that there is a need and a desire, underlines Mr. Walsh. We are not there to provide academic training to entrepreneurs, we are there to equip them so that they are able to develop their business. »

Company training

For the part of the program that concerns oral communication, called Dialogue, trainers will go on site and can target several employees of the same business. It was the Cégep du Vieux Montréal that developed this support and language reinforcement service.

“The training pays particular attention to those who have atypical schedules, and addresses topics adapted to the reality of restaurateurs,” says Éric April, director of continuing education and businesses at Cégep du Vieux Montréal.

In addition, the Dialogue program includes a mobile application presenting learning content accessible at all times.

For the second part, called Image, merchants will have access to support to display themselves in French, in their restaurant or outside. For example, we could help a restaurant owner to translate his menu.

In the immediate future, the program will be accessible to restaurateurs from seven commercial development companies: Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Latin Quarter, Saint-Denis Street, Les Quartiers du Canal, Promenade Wellington, Côte-des-Neiges and Plaza Saint-Hubert. It could then be extended to other territories.

If it is currently limited to restaurateurs, the program may eventually be accessible to all merchants.

“We chose to start with the restaurant business, because it is often the gateway to the labor market for immigrants, so there is a need that is more marked on this side than in the retail trade”, explains Billy Walsh.

“We consider restaurant owners of immigrant or Francophone origin to be an asset for the economic environment and the vitality of commercial arteries in Montreal,” adds Éric April.

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