Fast food giants top list of France’s recruiters

Forget all the negative press about unemployment. In 2014 there will be thousands of jobs going at the biggest and most successful companies in France. And a new survey of the biggest recruiters next year reveals that fast food giants McDonald's is leading the way.

Fast food giants top list of France's recruiters
McDonald's leading the way i nterms of recruitment in France next year. Photo: Yanivba/flickr

The survey, conducted for Le Figaro economie and released online this week, shows the American hamburger chain is planning to hire a whopping 42,000 employees in 2014, 1,500 more than it expects to take on this year.

Le Figaro surveyed 125 companies based in France, who were willing to divulge their recruitment plans for 2014. Added up, the figures revealed the companies will be making over 200,000 job offers next year.

To find out which companies will be the major recruiters in France next year click on the link below.

The Top 10 recruiters in France in 2014

The recruitment drive by McDonald's, or "McDo" as they are called in France, is part of a trend which shows that France's fast food giants are leading the way in terms of job vacancies. 

Other fast food restaurants also cracked the top-10 list of job hirers, including France Quick, the Belgian burger chain and KFC France.

Quick, France’s answer to MacDonald’s, plans to engage 8,000 new workers next year, down slightly from the 9,000 it expected to hire for 2013.

KFC, the fried-chicken vendor, is boosting its planned hiring to 3,960 positions next year, up from the 3,750 estimated for 2013.

Working in a fast food restaurant in France might not be the job foreigners think about when the move to France but the figures show it is not to be sniffed at.

"There's nothing to stop students who come to study in Paris from working at a fast food restaurant to give them a bit of extra money to get by," Megan Ascione, a recruiter from EuroLondon appointments told The Local.

The results of the survey come as sales of hamburgers, pizzas, fried chicken and other fast food gain an increasingly strong foothold in France.

A report earlier this year revealed that fast food sales of €34 billion surpassed those of meals from traditional restaurants in France for the first time in 2012.

Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and Chicken McNuggets headed the sales of American-style fried food that are crowding out France’s conventional gastronomic fare, accounting for 54 percent of the restaurant market, up from 40 percent the previous year.

While fast-food restaurants are among France’s biggest recruiters, they experience high turnover of staff and a high portion of the minimum-wage jobs are part-time.

McDonald’s employs a total of 70,000 people In the country, for example, and its planned recruitment of 42,000 people next year is only slightly above the number from this year, suggesting many workers move on after a short period.

Of the total hirings, the chain is expecting to offer 28,000 full-time jobs (CDI or indefinite contracts).

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.