Chefette returning to St James

Approximately eight years after closing its Sunset Crest outlet, local fast food chain Chefette Restaurants is about to return to the parish of St James, but this time at Lancaster, at the bottom of Orange Hill.

Managing Director Ryan Haloute would not disclose the likely cost of the new project, which commenced two weeks ago, but he told Barbados TODAY it was a multi-million dollar investment in the local economy “at a time when it is most needed”.

That restaurant is scheduled to open in the summer 2017, when the company celebrates its 45th anniversary.

Haloute said the new location would create employment for an additional 50 Barbadians, bringing the chain’s staff count to about 850.

“Chefette Lancaster consists of over 7,000 square feet of restaurant, drive-thru and playground situated on 35,000 square feet of land with facility for 40 car spaces, 95 indoor seats and 30 outdoor seating. The double MEGA 3-storey playground will be the largest Chefette has on the island and will be the first to have two 3-Storey MEGA towers,” he said.

“Chefette is a Barbadian brand and we will continue to heavily support our local manufacturers and communities. We attribute all of our company’s success to the 800-plus staff we have and their commitment and dedication to the company in addition to the loyal customers who continuously support us over the years. Chefette’s local heritage and Barbadian legacy is something we should all be proud of,” Haloute added.

He said officials of the company had already begun to contact the neighbouring schools – St Silas Primary, Gordon Greenidge Primary and Frederick Smith Secondary – to assist them through the company’s “strong community outreach focus”.

Chefette currently boasts 15 restaurants and ten drive-thrus.

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman congratulated the company for taking the initiative to open another outlet, saying it should become one of the “best commercial sites” on the island.

“Chefette has recognized what other businesspeople should have recognized,” he said, pointing out that Chefette had the opportunity to recapture the market it had in Sunset Crest.

“They have an opportunity to capture the market to the north, to the east, to the west and to the south . . . I will tell you, that area at Lancaster is going to become one of our prime areas and that is the area that might help us to reduce our deficit in a significant way,” he said, adding that his ministry was keen to maximize its earnings potential.

“When you have land like that you must maximize the returns so that you can help the poor people of Barbados. The more money I make from those sales the more I can help the masses in Barbados. If I do not have money in the ministry I cannot subsidize housing for the people of Barbados. And that is why my number one priority is to ensure that I am not a liability to the Minister of Finance and that NHC [National Housing Corporation] generates enough revenue that we can look after the poor while building out Barbados so it can continue to be sustainable,” Kellman said.

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