At a time when Government is sending home hundreds of public servants amid budget cuts, fast food giant Chefette is set to expand operations yet again and could employ unemployed public workers, the chain’s managing director has said.
Ryan Haloute told Barbados TODAY that within the next three months, Chefette would present a draft plan to the Town and Country Planning Department for approval to expand its factory at Lears, St Michael.
He said the proposed plant would be an opportunity for Chefette to absorb some of the newly retrenched workers, casualties of the International Monetary Fund-sanctioned austerity measures.
Haloute said, “We have to play our part as Chefette to help whoever is in power by hiring people, paying our people well, expanding and so on. Trying to lay off people is the absolute last resort or no resort.
“On one hand we can say things are getting better, but people are getting laid off. We understand Prime Minister’s Mia Mottley’s mandate and we have to play our part too as Chefette. We have to try and employ more people and expand, because she might have to layoff more people. The net effect is hopefully everything overall would improve
“It seems like things should be getting better. But plans are being put in place and things are getting better, but only for some obviously because people are getting laid off.”
But the managing director would not divulge details on the planned features and capacity of the factory. He said all would be revealed when town planning authorities have approved the draft.
He gave the assurance that the 46-year-old restaurant chain had no intention of sending home workers, despite the state of the economic climate, which has been having an impact on its operations.
Haloute said: “In my time we have never laid off anybody, and we have no immediate plan or plans to do that. That is like the last resort that we ever do. Even though we shut Fairchild Street down two years ago, it was because our landlords needed the space to expand, so they gave us notice that they won’t renew the lease.
“We absorbed the staff and just kept them on, we don’t lay off. But when we expand the manufacturing plant we are going to be taking on more staff, we have to. When we break ground, and we are ready, then we would announce this is what we are doing, this is how much more staff we would need.”