The way we work at Blin Queen
Hey there, thanks for your interest in the position at Blin Queen!
This is a F.A.Q. about the way we work and general principles and values we share.
Please read it through to understand if everything works well for you. If everything looks fine in general but you have questions – you can ask them when we meet in person. If something looks like a complete show stopper to you – that’s not a problem, but we probably don't need to schedule an interview. That said, we’d be always happy to see you as our guest!
Should I have previous horeca experience?
Previous horeca experience is not a must. We are ready to teach you everything we know.
Restaurant job is not for everyone, but if you are naturally friendly with people, can multitask, if you can manage your stress levels efficiently during busy shifts and you're ready to help a team when needed – it will work out.
Is this a hard job?
Yes, for people that have never worked in a restaurant before it may occur really tiring both physically and emotionally. You need to move a lot, running all around the floor with the plates, trying to multitask and still be nice to your colleagues and guests.
Working in the kitchen might look even harder, you may have 5 tables waiting for their food at the same time, so you need to be really careful in how you plan your workflow, optimize it so the preparation of food doesn’t take too long, and when you are finished with the tables continue with the prep of ingredients or just maintain the general cleanliness in the kitchen.
That said - you get a lot energy back when you get sincere happiness and gratitude from the happy guests!
Is there a career growth?
Lack of development and career growth is a major problem in most of the restaurants. Being a small business (for now :) we naturally are limited when it comes to career growth, but even in these conditions we want to provide the possibilities for everyone to develop themselves while working at Blin Queen. You would always start as a trainee, but with a right mix of talent and ambition you will be able to earn qualifications and pass tests to develop your hard and soft skills further, eventually becoming responsible for one or more strategic initiatives on the company level - if you have an interest for it!
Tests and education?
Yes, we are constantly developing our own knowledge base (think about it as a private wikipedia) , where we have theoretical materials both for kitchen and front team as well as some tests and quizzes to test your qualification.
What kind of contract should we sign?
We always start with a «zero hours» ('nul uren') contract, where the hours per month are not fixed and you can take different number of hours every month (that said, our approach to a schedule management is fixed - so your shifts won't change every week, there's more information about it below). After a first year of work, we discuss the next type of contract that will be suitable for a perspective role and next steps at Blin Queen. This can vary from a min-max contract where we have a guaranteed minimum hours to a full time contract.
What is the schedule?
Irrelevant to a contract type, we try to plan the schedule in a way that we agree on a specific shifts that a team member 'owns' and they don't change every week. This agreement is fixed until a new agreement is reached and mutually accepted by both you and us. So for example, we agree that you work on Tuesday evening and Saturday morning. You know those are your shifts, and you can plan your life accordingly. On the other hand, if you have some other plans on a specific week and you can't work during the shift that is reserved for you, it will be your responsibility to agree with a someone in the team for a rotation.
We stand for equality in the team, that’s why we try to plan the schedule in the way that:
- every employee has both morning and evening shifts,
- every employee works on either Saturday or Sunday, so every team member has one working day and one day off during the weekend
On Monday-Friday we have three types of shifts for a Front team and Kitchen team:
Cafe opens at 09.00 and takes the last order at 21.00. The rest of the time is for cleanup and preparations.
Weekend shifts for a Front Team are quite fragmented and diverse:
08:30-14:00, 09:00-14:00, 10:00-16:00, 12.00-18.00, 14:00-19:00
Weekend shifts for a Kitchen team are longer due to a fact that Kitchen team is smaller:
On weekends, Blin Queen opens at 09.00 and takes the last order at 18.00
What hourly rate should I expect?
We pay in compliance with the Dutch Horeca rates table, so our starting rate at moment is 13,27 euro per hour. This rate is normally indexed by KHN (Koninklijk Horeca Nederland) and becomes a bit higher every half a year.
On top of the hourly rate, you also get your vacation compensation, which we pay every month based on the number of hours worked.
To make it easier to understand, just add about 20% on top of the rate of every worked hour: 13,27 euro +20% = 15,92. 15,92 is what you get per hour before your pay your income taxes and pension.
We pay the same starting rate if you're under 21 years old. But we also expect the same standards of performance!
What kind of taxes do I need to pay?
The largest tax you will see on your payslip is usually an income tax. It’s individual and depends on many factors, such as your family situation, age, if you have real estate or savings, paying mortgage etc.
But in general, if you're only employed by us we will always apply for so called 'loonheffingskorting' which is a discount for income tax when your monthly salary is less than about 1800 EUR (even if you work part-time). In this case your income tax and pension deduction would be only about 10%, which is much lower than the minimum income tax rate in Netherlands. If, for instance, you work part-time and your salary is even lower for instance, lower than 1000 euro, with loonheffingskorting applied your income tax will be practically zero.
I’m a student, are there any limitations?
Yes, in case you are a student coming from outside the EU, you are allowed to work only up to 16 hours per week. Before you can be officially employed with us, we would need to apply for a work permit for you. Usually getting an approval takes up to 5 weeks.
Fluent English is a must for the Front team, as for the Kitchen team – Russian is sufficient.
We have team members from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakstan and many other countries speaking their native languages at home, but we use Russian as a team language, because it’s understood by a lot of people from the Eastern European countries and in this sense it's useful for work related communication.
We encourage your development of Dutch language as Blin Queen is integrated in the society here, in Netherlands. However, at this point knowledge of Dutch is not mandatory.
Politically sensitive topics
We discourage political discussions and arguments during work for obvious reasons, and we stand united by universal human values. Our general position on the war in Ukraine is following: we are against the war, we condemn the unprovoked aggression from Russia. We also believe that both regimes in Belarus and Russia are dictatorships where human freedoms are oppressed and therefore governments in these countries could not speak on behalf of the whole nations they claim to represent.
Are there any additioinal benefits?
We do our best to make the work of the team more rewarding:
Every team member can have a free lunch and several non-alcoholic drinks during the shift. If your shift is longer than 8 hours – you can have additional meal. We do not have a fixed time for lunch, but we agree that we take turns letting each other go for lunch if the situation in the restaurant allows for it.
We reimburse the commute costs for those living outside of Amsterdam. Most of the time this means a train to Amsterdam. We do it because we feel that we should offer equal terms to people living outside of Amsterdam and in Amsterdam.
Tips, equally shared between the team on the shift and paid out once a month
Individual educational and recreational budget based on overall business performance and number of the working hours after you complete your training
20% discount for the whole menu when you come to Blin Queen alone or with your friends or family outside of your working hours. Same applies to your friends or family coming to Blin Queen when you're on the shift. This discount is not applicable on weekends and public holidays.
Team buildings. We always try to learn something new together, so this could be anything from a weekend trip or floristic workshop to a team contest for the best fluffy pancake recipe!
Use the link you received from us to schedule an interview!