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My job in Belgium: How much does a restaurant manager earn?

10:22 02/07/2019
We asked Raf Rombouts, 31, from Boechout (Antwerp province) what his job involves and how much he earns

What is your job?

Together with my partner I am the manager of Restaurant Jacqueline in Boechout. We do everything ourselves, so the day starts with the cleaning of the restaurant. In the morning we place the orders needed, and when the afternoon service starts, I greet and serve the people. After the afternoon shift we do the dishes together, and in the evening we do everything again.

We have now been open for three years and I’m still enjoying it. It is getting busier, although of course there are also some quiet periods.

Do you like your job?

I really like my job. We debated for a long time whether to start our own business, but we eventually took that step. These are hard days of course, but you know that in advance, if there is just two of you starting up a business. The freedom that comes with it is very nice: we are our own bosses, and if we want to close for a day, we do not have to account to anyone.

Our restaurant is small-scale, but I think that's just right. I prefer not to work in a big business where you walk around with a mass of people. My girlfriend can also do her own thing in the kitchen. That is really good.

What do you think of your income?

I earn €1,750 gross (€1,424 net) pet month and I am very satisfied with that. The advantage of having your own business is that you can, for example, also have dinner at the expense of the business, or you can travel for business reasons.

How many hours do you work per week?

That fluctuates between 75 and 90 hours per week. On a normal day we start at 7.00 in the morning, and we close the business around 1.30 the following morning. But everything depends on the number of customers of course.

Do you save?

We try to set aside an amount each month. One month is often better than the other, because our wages fluctuate in relation to the number of customers. We also make pension savings, both private and through the business.

What is your biggest expense?

The fixed costs, and our rental insurance. These things cost us the most money.

What can you definitely not spend money on?

I can absolutely not spend money on "all-in" holidays. They mean nothing to me.

What do you gladly spend money on?

Going to a restaurant (laughs). We like to travel to Scandinavian countries, often for work. This could be to search for new products or, for example, to go to an event that has something to do with food or restaurants. We try to combine work on these trips with a few days' rest.

What would you do it you won the lottery?

Move to Sweden, I think. Not to start a restaurant there, but to enjoy life. Belgium is a fairly hectic country. I feel that Scandinavia is much quieter. I would have to look for a hobby to keep me busy.

Written by Noreen Donovan