No job cuts at Chefette despite NSRL, says Haloute

Boasting that his fast food chain of restaurants “have never sent home workers”, Managing Director Ryan Haloute today said Chefette Restaurants was not about to begin cutting staff even though Government’s contentious National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) would prove a burden.

In addition, Haloute vowed that his prices would not rise, at least for the time being, despite the levy, increases in the excise duties on petrol and the imposition of a two per cent tax on foreign exchange transactions, the latter beginning to take effect from July 17.

The local business community has complained that the NSRL, which jumped from two per cent to ten per cent effective July 1, along with the other measures, would hurt business and would likely force closures and job cuts.

However, Haloute today made it clear he was not among those planning to sever staff, despite the inevitable rise in the cost of doing business.

“I have never sent home workers to my knowledge. We don’t do that at all. Even when our landlord at Fairchild [Street, The City] wanted the space for offices, we absorbed the staff into our [other] locations. So we try to do everything we can. It is a last resort, so we have no plans to send home staff,” he said following the presentation of a $125,000 cheque to three local charities – the Young Women Christian Association, Precious Touch Foundation and the Variety Children’s Charity – at the company’s corporate headquarters in Wildey, St Michael.

Revealing that prices had not risen over the past six years, with some exceptions, the Chefette boss said the fast food chain would absorb the new taxes, although he left the door open for a change of heart.

“For right now we have not carried up any of our prices, and we have no set date for when we will carry up [the prices]. We always try to hold our prices for as long as we can. Our prices right now, besides two specials which we increased earlier in the year, have remained the same for the past six years.

“It [NSRL] will impact everybody as it is increased cost, but we will keep doing what we are doing. We will keep marketing and 
. . . [maintain] great customer service and quality food, as that is our goal,” Haloute insisted.

It was in his May 30, 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced the dramatic increase in the NSRL, in addition to the other tax measures, as he seeks ways to plug a gaping $500 million economic hole.

With the country’s foreign exchange deficit at a dangerously low 10.7 weeks of import cover as at the end of March this year – a long way below the recommended 14 weeks – Haloute dismissed any thoughts of his company investing outside Barbados in a bid to cushion the impact of the taxes.

He said now was the time to keep the money within Barbados.

“We have no immediate plans for that and right now. We feel that with how the economy is going, we feel that this is the time to reinvest in your country locally, not to go and take your funds and send it overseas, which would be contradictory to what the Government is asking of the businesses. They want people to spend money here [and] keep foreign exchange here
. . . . So right now, we do not think that we will even entertain that thought. Right now, we are investing here and keeping our staff employed and doing our part to keep our country proud,” the Chefette executive said.

14 Responses to No job cuts at Chefette despite NSRL, says Haloute

  1. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams July 7, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Drive through traffic is normally bumper to bumper. Keep prices reasonable, staff happy, inject some ridiculous specials now and then. Win-win!!

    Reply
  2. Marlissa Matthias
    Marlissa Matthias July 7, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Yayyyyyyy

    Reply
  3. Horace Boyce
    Horace Boyce July 7, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Ya gotta say somting

    Reply
  4. Wendell Kirton
    Wendell Kirton July 7, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Oh that’s him I see he is smart I think the minister should go to him for advice

    Reply
  5. Greengiant July 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Young businessman, inherited from his father, but with the right group of senior employees around him. He is learning from them well, after they learned from John Naime, and his father for decades. Those Harvey brother has remained the spine of Cheffette’s operations.

    Reply
  6. Omar Watson
    Omar Watson July 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

    He’ll just cut the worker’s hours even further. He will reduce operating costs one way or another. Business owners give the illusion of holding strain claiming no job cuts for the optics but ask them how many workers qualify as full time employees. #thekeepingitrealnetwork

    Reply
    • Frank Fowler
      Frank Fowler July 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      Really? You try to criticize someone for trying to make money by controlling costs?

      Reply
    • Frank Fowler
      Frank Fowler July 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      And what business rule says you have to have a certain amount of full time employees? How many people do you employ?

      Reply
    • Omar Watson
      Omar Watson July 7, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Not criticism. Just highlighting the language used is carefully articulated to create the illusion that there won’t be changes to the terms of employment of the current employees to absorb the increase of his operating cost.

      Reply
    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham July 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Why is this news? His employees don’t even work 40 hours a week and need additional jobs just to support themselves or their families. I am disappointed with them on a whole as an organization with over 11 locations and counting

      Reply
    • Omar Watson
      Omar Watson July 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Rishona Graham that is the reason why I made the comment. Apparently, I have to an employer to understand business.

      Reply
  7. Alex Alleyne July 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

    “Read my lips”.

    Reply
  8. Sheryl Smith
    Sheryl Smith July 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    I didn’t think so…well, after all the talk lately…Then again a great way to gain respect again. But while we at it give us back the size of the roti and meat to go with it…”Can’t up the thing”, cut the size and meat too.

    Reply
  9. Helicopter(8P) July 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

    A great national Trade Mark and product and one of Barbados’ icons regionally!

    Reply

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