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Chefette defying odds

Cheryl Harewood

Chefette defying odds

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CHEFETTE RESTAURANTS will continue to increase staff count and wages despite the downturn in the economy.Ryan Haloute, managing director of Chefette Restaurants Limited, disclosed this to the DAILY NATION yesterday, prior to the official opening of restaurant No.14 at Black Rock, St Michael.“We will continue to expand and focus on maintaining and increasing our staff count and wages this year. We are giving staff their full hours and maintaining all the benefits staff have enjoyed over the years,” he stated.“Research has shown that companies which continue to grow and expand while in recession get out of recession quicker. We would like to encourage larger companies who have the ability to expand to have confidence in their products and the economy, and expand.”Haloute also disclosed that the restaurant chain was seeking creative ways to market its products, work at providing better service through increased training, and was expanding through new restaurants, while refurbishing some of the existing restaurants.“We are not cutting back; rather, we’re looking at increasing our operations,” he said.He expressed satisfaction that 258 employees of the chain’s 750 staff members had served for ten or more years.“This shows consistency,” he added.Haloute stressed that while the restaurant chain had not dismissed plans to operate outside of Barbados, there were many factors that needed to be considered. Among these was the company’s ability to maintain a somewhat similar set-up and high standard of operations, as well as the same taste.“If we ever go outside Barbados our food would have to have the same taste. If we cannot do that, we will not go outside of Barbados. “There must be careful execution if we franchise. We would also have to establish a Chef Food manufacturing company like we have here in Barbados.“We are considering franchising, but it must be done the Chefette way,” Haloute explained.He stated that Chefette was careful to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle, while giving persons options in menu choices.He described the spanking, new multimillion-dollar facility, which sits on 35 000 square feet of land, as indicative of Chefette’s community spirit.The restaurant seats 140, has a 2 000-square foot children’s playground that is three storeys high – the first of its kind in the Caribbean – and provides employment for 50 people.Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by a wide cross-section of corporate Barbados and residents of Black Rock.