The holidays are a busy time for us all, but those who work in the service industry face the greatest brunt. And on top of that, restaurant employees are hard at work making the holiday season a seamless, delicious, and memorable experience for thousands of guests pouring in over the course of December. So when we hear about local spots raising the bar when it comes to employee benefits and hours, we definitely take note. And St. Lawrence Restaurant in Vancouver is doing just that.

The Michelin-star restaurant just announced a slew of operational changes that will be implemented in the new year, aimed at improving employment conditions for staff and creating an even better dining experience for guests.

“As the holiday season approaches, it has me thinking about what’s most important,” said Poirier. “Success is not about gain, it’s about giving back to people, especially to the staff who have been loyal to me. Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities to live in the world; these changes will help make living here a little more comfortable.”

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In terms of food, St. Lawrence serves up amazing French and traditional Québécois dishes like Confit Sockeye Salmon, Pâté en Croûte, Escargots, and much more.

Changes effective January:

  • An enhanced seven-course menu
  • Scaled-down numbers of guests each evening
  • Additional staff at front and back-of-house
  • Open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday
  • Back-of-the-house employees will clock four-day workweeks
  • Enhanced health benefits for all employees, including coverage for mental health treatments and company-matched contributions to employee RRSPs.
  • Quarterly donations to Vancouver Downtown Eastside charities

To fund these changes, the price of St. Lawrence’s new monthly seven-course menu will be $125 plus tax and gratuity.

“I love this industry deeply but the hours are long and there’s little time for family. Burnout is common; that’s a challenge for employees and owners,” said Poirier. “We’ve had an incredible run and we’re now in the fortunate position to do all this.”

We’ll cheer to that, St. Lawrence Restaurant!