This morning, the owners of the 41 year old Chefette Restaurants Limited told journalists attending a news conference at its Rockley, Christ Church branch, that its 15th outlet would be opened for Christmas at Welches, St. Thomas, adding 50 new jobs to its existing 750.
Executive Chairman, Assad Haloute, gave the assurance that while other businesses were scaling down in the face of the toughest economic recession in recent memory, Chefette would continue to invest big in Barbados and expand.
“As the largest private company on the island, with over 800 staff, we will look to continue to grow and expand where opportunities show themselves,” declared Haloute.
The announcement of the new restaurant also coincided with the official launch of the company’s installation of 175 digital menu screens at its 14 locations across Barbados, an investment, said to run into the millions of dollars.
“While other businesses in Barbados are down sizing, shutting down and not expanding, we will continue to invest in our country, and especially our well-trained staff, to ensure that we as a company, keep getting stronger,” asserted Haloute.
The executive chairman also pledged to continue supporting local manufacturers and suppliers who provide his company with its range of food items from chicken, vegetables and milk based products, to bread, nuggets, pepperoni, ham and bacon.
“We will continue to build and invest to keep our company strong, and protect the jobs of our staff and all of their families that depend on them,” promised the man who established the business in 1972 at Fontabelle.
His son and Managing Director, Ryan Haloute, said management would continue to think big and even after the Welches restaurant is opened, would consider building even more outlets across the island.
He explained that the new branch was being built on 6,000 square feet of land and would include a drive through, customer seating for over 130 people, even though it’s going to be part of a plaza now under construction, as well as a three-storey mega playground. He also addressed any possible questions as why the company was placing another outlet so close to its popular Warrens branch.
“You might be asking, ‘So what happen to Warrens?’ Nothing. Warrens is staying there. When we first opened Warrens, it was Simpson Motors, Shell gas station; and Sir Kyffin had a vision for the area, Assad (Haloute) had a vision for the area as well.
“We were the first three businesses to be in the area. There was no highway, there was a lot of bush, and look at Warrens now,” the managing director reasoned.
He said management also anticipated major growth in the Welches area as an extension of general Warrens growth.
“And we want to be there from early,” he added.
Haloute also announced the fast food chain’s intention to assist the schools in the Welches area with various school supplies.
On the often asked question of why is Chefette not operating outside of Barbados, he said all options were open, but that right now, the firm was focusing on investing in Barbados and its economy. He explained that the logistics of moving out of this country may be a consideration, in that a separate manufacturing company would have to built in order to supply any outlet with the daily fresh foods for which Chefette is known.
He disclosed too, that his fast food enterprise would be doing online ordering sometime in the future, but was staying out of the delivery business because of quality concerns at this time. (EJ)