TGI Friday’s American Restaurant To Open In Barbados – But Subway Not Allowed


Barbados-based Goddard’s group has been petitioning to open the American Subway chain of fast food restaurants in Barbados – so far unsuccessfully.

Now a foreign company, Prestige Holdings Limited of Trinidad and Tobago, has been given permission to open another American chain restaurant: TGI Fridays.

Questions for our readers…

Does it matter? Should we be wary of the cultural and economic impact of foreign chain restaurants? If they are allowed, should we be demanding reinvestment and training commitments as a condition of licensing? Why TGI Fridays and not Subway? What part has politics played in one company being allowed to open an American chain restaurant and not another company?

What do you think?

From the CBC…

TGI Fridays Coming To Barbados

Construction has started on the south coast to make way for a July opening of the American restaurant and bar franchise, TGI Fridays.

The franchise holder, Prestige Holdings Limited out of Trinidad and Tobago, says the restaurant being built at the site of the “Pavillion” will accommodate a minimum of 250 customers, when completed.

Speaking to the business report from Port of Spain, Chief Executive Officer, Deane Darbesie said the restaurant is being built at a cost of $1.5 million US dollars.

He also said that the opening of the first TGI Fridays in Barbados will generate employment for 60 Barbadians, some of whom are currently in Trinidad for management training.

Prestige Holdings already has three restaurants in Trinidad and Puerto Rico, one in Jamaica and one in Santo Domingo.

A license is still being sought by the Goddard’s group to bring another North American restaurant chain, Subway into Barbados. … read the original CBC story (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Business

30 responses to “TGI Friday’s American Restaurant To Open In Barbados – But Subway Not Allowed

  1. Jerome Hinds

    To me this story seems to suggest that………………… ” The Goddard’s Influence (TGI) is on the WANE as far as this government is concerned….and that is from Friday to Friday….!!!

    What a DIFFERENCE….a milking COW makes….!!!

  2. Thought

    The question to be asked is: “What is ‘Prestige Holdings Limited’ doing to obtain a license that Goddards is not?”

  3. Jerome Hinds

    I just ‘ Thought ‘ it is the ‘ Trini Factor ‘ these days that lead to these type of stories…!!!

    Remember, BNB, flying fish, insurance companies….etc

  4. Dave Crawford

    Maybe the Goddards need to check to see what the Trinis are doing or if not who they are doing .
    We need to start following the money that would give us some clues. hmmm. i Still Wonder about BNB.

  5. Get In The Action

    I think the difference is that Subway is classified as a Quick Service Restaurant with multiple locations. TGI may have had a different approval process – it’s not really fast food.

    But regardless, the question needs to be asked why is this market category so guarded by the GOB. For all of its commitment to opening up to competition in telecommunications, and other areas, this one category seems to be untouchable. Why?

    Could it be the influence that one or two major local players have on the decision makers.It’s time to let the free market reign. We will allow these Trinidadian interests into Barbados, but stall a Barbadian company looking to expand the franchise here and in the Caribbean. And while the GOB protects the major local players, Chefette continues to source most inputs (ice cream, soft drinks, packaging etc) from Trinidad, putting Barbadian workers on the breadline. Makes sense to me.

  6. liz

    Is there a connection between Haloute and Darbesie?

  7. Rumplestilskin

    Goddards want a license for Subway? The cheek.

    Why do we need competition, even despite all the globalisation agreements we sign?

    But, who is it exactly that owns Prestige, that owns TGI?

    A Trini company, hah, dem Trinis own Buhbaduss now, nah?

    De casinos, de fass food, de land.

    De land I understand, dem gotta get way from alla dat murder and kidnapping in T&T and we oblige by selling some nice golf course for Brian et al.

    But our fass money, in de casinos and fass food?

    Give way de cash machines, deng.

    Even if not de cash cow.

    Excuse I, I wanna set up a bidness, yah know a man?

  8. Red

    While TGI Fridays is not a place that I go to when I travel, I look forward to its arrival.

    There is a greater need for mid-market air-conditioned restaurants in Barbados.

    It will also be nice if the staff receive proper training and will be courteous and efficient. Of course, once in Barbados the owners will have to deal with local structures and cannot easily remove underperforming staff…

    But I’m looking forward to a menu change and better variety.

  9. Rumplestilskin

    You know, everyone wants to set up business here, because our economy and political landscape is seen as stable.

    But, companies like Goddards, understandably, are loathe to set up in other Caricom islands, such as Jamaica and T&T, due to the violent crime and risk to their investment, let alone personnel lives.

    Yet, we bend over backwards (or forwards?) to allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to come here, above and beyond our own indigenous businesses.

    We are male donkeys of the highest order.

  10. K


    Actually Goddards operates in several Caribbean and other territories (Antigua, Barbados, Grenada Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Vincent, Trinidad not to mention the US, Venezuela, Paraguay Colombia, Bermuda to name a few others).

    It is Cheffette that seems loathe to enter other territories despite having a seemingly successful brand. This type of protectionist Government policy is really quite ridiculous and to the detriment of us local consumers.

  11. Changing Times?

    Halout? Yuh losing yuh grip, boy!

    Whah happen? – yuh sick or whuh?

  12. Tudor

    Goddards has to be applauded for their aggressive expansion programme with businesses from Miami to South & Central American with business activities ranging from wholesaling, retail, manufacturing, catering, to shrimp processing.
    Barbados is really now, business wise, the third state of Trinidad Tobago & Barbados.

    Haloute has stated that he is NOT interested in expanding outside of Barbados, yet continues to block anyone fast food franchise who attempts to come to Barbados. Their policy of buying supplies from Trinidad while screwing local farmers & manufacturers is well known. Anyone know if Cheffette is unionised?

  13. BK

    The last time I checked Haloute was not the one responsible for blocking any application.

  14. Tudor

    BK, I find that intersting since Haloute is on record as saying the fast food business must be kept for bajans.

  15. BK


    He is entitled to his opinion but like I said he does not make the final decision.

  16. John


    OK, OK. I give up.

    It must be someone in Government!!

  17. John

    …. we just need to figure out where the buck stops!

  18. Velzo

    or who pays who more bucks!

  19. Tudor

    He who pays the piper call the tune!

  20. Red

    Haloute was one of the parties blocking the re-entrance of McDonalds.

    In September 2006, The Nation carried an article about Chefette opposing Subway coming to Barbados.

    Shortly thereafter, they were wavering on that position because of their own issue of replacing Coke with Pepsi from Trinidad.

  21. How it works.

    In the allegedly-Democratic Western World, fashioned on the Greek ideal of yesteryear,
    we make the mistake of thinking that countries are run by Governments.

    That is the ideal, but it is not the economic reality.
    Cold Hard Ca$h BUSINESSES are what runs a country(put another way..MONEY runs a country).
    American Corporations(Inc.!) run CONGRESS
    (who are shareholders in said Corps.)
    and so the Corporations bidding is carried out by its Public Servants, Ye Congressmen.

    It only SEEMS like Governments are calling the shots,
    but there are far richer people behind the scenes,
    adjusting the strings on their puppets OUT FRONT.
    – Ever heard the term “Front Man”?

    So…to get back to the point someone made about Mr.Halout blocking entry of competitive fast-food services into Barbados,
    I’d like to spring to his defence and say that Mr.Halout never once blocked any entry,
    but he sho’ as he11 had many blocked on his behalf, by his front men, who are…..

    But I must away,
    and so I bid thee farewell.

  22. reality check

    The Subway Barbados application probably didn’t have some of the inner circle ( read that to mean free job for influence peddling and hand outs ) as Directors of their application.

    Barbados has a huge problem with increasingly obese people and associated heart, diabetes and other related illnesses.

    Barbados should let Subway into Barbados with the proviso that they do not upmarket the chips and high fat content selections. This is a low cost food that Barbadians can afford.

    This would be a decision for the long term health of Barbadians which unfortuneately is not a real concern for our politicians.

    Jerome Walcott where are you???

  23. Re Subway- Judging from the ads I see on MCTV, Subway is one of the most health-conscious chains of fast food in the U.S.

    Granted everything is on or in a starchy bun, but the concentration is on freshness and good diet.

    Perhaps the best of a bad lot?

  24. Lady Anon

    At least, something is being done with the white elephant, the Barbados Pavilion.

  25. Rumplestilskin

    K- Noted, fair comment.

    I mis-worded my last post and agree that Goddard’s have input tremendous resources in expansion programmes that will earn much for Barbados.

    My main concern is that this entity which is contributing much, is on the Barbados stock exchange and Barbadian originated, cannot get a fair franchise license, BUT a foreign (Trini) entity can walk in here and do so, apparently quite easily.

    That is bending over backwards…sorry forwards.

  26. Rumplestilskin

    Globalisation means increased competition and indeed will mean foreign ownership for many ventures locally, changing the level to which we will have to perform.

    However, what we have to realise and work accordingly within the ‘rules’ is that the major players all have their ‘protections’ to ensure that their own industries are protected.

    For example, try to export a jar of guava jam to USA.

    You will need all kind of clearances and certificates, no?

    Despite all of the verbiage and pretense, the major players want us to ‘globalise’ yet ensure that non-tariff’ barriers still exist in their own countries, despite claims otherwise.

    I suspect this is where some are led to the belief that an alternate ‘name’ for this process is re-colonialisation.

    A simple answer is that we ensure that our own ‘quality standards’ are set ‘rigorously’ to ensure that products coming in here meet ‘stringent’ requirements, for the protection of the consumer, of course. There be no ‘barriers to entry’ in Barbados, you just have to meet the requirements of our standard setting agencies.

    Ho, ho. Smoke and mirrors.

  27. Rumplestilskin

    If dem playing football, doan be playing cricket, just play football better dan dem.

  28. Hemp.

    We live in democracies,
    and therefore the only legal laws are those that people follow.
    If the law is broken by the majority, the law is void.

  29. let the subway restarant come here people need jobs just like me bills to pay children to send to school let it come.