Up-scale eatery, Chocolat Royale has finally reopened after it was sealed by NAFDAC over multiple allegations bordering on sale of expired food items and sundry issues.
The management of the restaurant and cafe, however, said they have learnt their lessons.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, July 3, 2015,Chocolate Royale’ General Manager, Mr. Elie Yahchouchy, confirmed they were cleared by NAFDAC on Monday, June 22,while business resumed on Tuesday, June 30,2015.
He also opened up on what really happened, even as he revealed that some of their loyal customers have been trickling in since they resumed business about one month after NAFDAC’s sanction.
Meanwhile, ENCOMIUM Weekly was told by some customers of Chocolat Royale they are happy the restaurant/cafe are back.
We also had a taste of their meals and snacks to authenticate their quality and adherence to standard.
Mr. Ellie Yahchouchy is the General Manager, Chocolat Royale with headquarters on Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos. He granted ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Associate Editor, Uche Olehi exclusive interview on Friday, July 3, 2014.
What really happened?
NAFDAC raised some issues and obviously they couldn’t carry on with the investigations without closing Chocolat Royale. So, we allowed them to do their work which led to a resolution of the matter after they realized it wasn’t really what they were told.
We couldn’t have disposed the said items without the authority of NAFDAC.
So, in what better ways are you guys doing things now?
We’ve definitely learnt our lessons. We now do double checks. Yes, it’s true that some of our customers would be naturally psychologically affected by the development, but Chocolat Royale still stands by its equality and integrity.
In terms of naira and kobo can you estimate how much Chocolat Royale lost this period?
I can’t pinpoint an amount. A lot of people have not been here for weeks. So, that amounts to a whole lot, you can’t really quantify in naira and kobo.
How long was the place shut?
For about a month.
What about the issue of operating in not-so-standard environment?
All these have also been dealt with. You’ve gone to our kitchen and other facilities and seen things for yourself. Anybody can check us out.
It appears a lot of your customers are back?
We thank God, hundreds of our clients are back. We are grateful to our loyal customers. There was this particular customer who on the first day, we started said, “Finally, you guys are back. I’ve been waiting.” That was really encouraging. Despite what happened, at least some people believed in us.
This gave us hope that more people would be coming. And we have not been disappointed.
How did it feel when tongues were wagging that your boss had fled the country?
It made us feel bad. Our GMD has little to do with Chocolat Royale which I run. In fact, during that period, he was sick. It happened while he was away. And when he came back, he dealt with the matter. He has been around ever since. Why would he run away from his country? He’s more like a Nigerian, you know.
Look at the employment he has created for Nigerians. There are many who have been blessed but they don’t invest here. He is not in that category.
So, what should we expect from Chocolat Royale now it’s back?
We are better and bigger. We are maintaining the standard. Some might doubt us, but the good thing about it is time, which would tell.
Are there loyalty packages available for customers at the moment?
Yes, there are a whole lot of discount going on. There are vouchers and many other incentives for our esteemed clients.