Paramount Fine Foods
Through combining culinary quality with cultural traditions, Paramount Fine Foods has stepped in to satisfy the Halal niche market and appeal to the eclectic taste of Canada’s foodie culture.
With a vision to create the number one Middle Eastern halal restaurant chain in Canada, Mohamad Fakih applied his savvy business experience in 2007 and purchased the nearly bankrupt single restaurant called Paramount Fine Foods. He retained the original staff, rebranded the image and paid off the restaurant’s outstanding debts.
Mohamad focused on building great relationships with existing suppliers while working to revamp the Middle Eastern restaurant industry image. Today he is CEO of the successful brand that has expanded to five corporate restaurants, three franchised locations, Pearson Arport, University of Western Ontario, and plans for international expansion, starting with Orlando, Florida this coming spring and moving on to other cities in the U.S.
Changing the Standard “Shawarma” Restaurant
Paramount Fine Foods began with their first location in Mississauga, Ontario. Offering customers an experience like no other Middle Eastern restaurant, Paramount Fine Foods provides a family atmosphere. “For those who are Middle Eastern, coming to Paramount Fine Foods makes them feel right at home” says Mohamad Fakih.
“Paramount Fine Foods offers an experience that is unique, a cuisine that is authentic and an environment that is different. It gives people the opportunity to experience a culture, have high quality food and healthy options.”
With business thriving, he opened another location in downtown Toronto. Mohamad was determined to continue expansion and opened additional stores in London and Hamilton, Ontario. He built an exclusive brand of Middle Eastern cuisine, with a unique concept that provides customers with a one of a kind experience. This success led to franchising opportunities. Currently operating with 11 locations, and a production company, the Paramount Group also has a vertically integrated award-winning Butcher Shop, a mobile food truck, and a new fast serve concept called “Fresh East”.
From Farm to Table
Paramount offers fresh and healthy Halal menu items to the communities of Southern and Western Ontario. They excel as an industry and market leader because they place service and food quality first in the very driven restaurant industry. They maintain their integrity with Halal values by offering a combination of a relaxed, family friendly, dining environment with a focus on healthy and authentic Middle Eastern Halal menu items. “Our strategy has always been the customer is the boss” says Fakih.
“We don’t differentiate ourselves, our customers differentiate us.”
Unlike other restaurants, Paramount Fine Foods has partnered with a farm and slaughter house, and runs its own butcher shop. Their “farm to table” concept allows customers to feel assured that they are getting the freshest Ontario Halal meats. Every menu item is made daily.
Since March 2012, the boutique-style butcher shop in Mississauga has been serving the public and is also the supply chain for the restaurant meats. Three days per week are dedicated exclusively to Paramount at a federally inspected slaughter house, further assuring that customers receive only the highest quality meats, slaughtered in an environment which upholds Halal traditions. Paramount Fine Foods believes that the consistency in the food being served at the restaurant can only be achieved by direct supply, quality and secure undisrupted delivery of food supplies.
With a completely alcohol free menu and environment, Paramount takes Halal very seriously and that is one of the reasons behind their success. “We take pride in our Halal practices and offer information to those of all ethnic or religious backgrounds who want to know more about what they are eating” says Mohamad Fakih.
Paramount is Not an Expectation, it is their Name
The Paramount Fine Foods experience is about more than just food. Their management team is diligent in educating all of their staff on each aspect of the company and service philosophies. Paramount uses a full range of research solutions including: online surveys, feedback from social media, secret shoppers, online review sites and one-on-one with our guests to help their management team better understand the marketplace, customers, employees and competition. They approach every aspect of the company’s goals strategically, to ensure that they get exceptional results.
Collectively, there is active support from the entire team. Decisions are made in management meetings that affect sales, marketing and product development. Accountability is a key part of their company culture. There is a sense of family amongst the Paramount team; their dedication, time and efforts all attribute to the company’s success. Their mission is to stand on paramount quality, paramount freshness, paramount service and the difference is noticeably Paramount. Their team consists of individuals who work together as a group to facilitate all aspects of Paramount Fine Foods. They are a diverse team comprised of all ages, ethnicities and religious backgrounds and individual strengths. “Immerse your company with a team who you value as a second family. Success is wonderful but, success surrounded by family is Paramount” says Mohamad Fakih. He strongly believes in his employees and provides the right tools to grow within the organization. “My team is my family. I have yet to see the dedication and hard work that I have witnessed from my team anywhere else. They are the building blocks of our present and future success.”
Serving their Communities
Paramount is already projecting their goals for 2015 that include opening each new location successfully and expanding the paramount fine foods brand internationally. Paramount Fine Foods will be opening over 20 locations in 2015.
“We also aim to open different line of brands that will serve the halal quality” says Mohamad Fakih. “Our main goal is to give back to the community on a bigger scale than we already have, and become increasingly involved in the international community.”
Paramount feels that giving back to the community is their responsibility and has always been involved in all the communities in which it operatesin. They offer police and EMS workers a 50% discount at all of their locations as a sign of appreciation for their hardwork within the community. Paramount also partners with The Make a Wish Foundation and holds events every year to raise money for Cops for Cancer. Other community initiatives involve collaboration with The Children’s Hospital, Operation Smile, The Canadian Cancer Society, and many others.
Mohamad Fakih’s natural flair and passion for his business continues to lead the way for success in allhis business endeavours. His extremely high standards for Paramount ensure superb customer service, outstanding hospitality standards and the freshest Middle Eastern cuisine in the industry. Bringing fresh, healthy, high quality and certified Halal Middle Eastern cuisine to the diverse culture of Canada is their priority and their customers will always receive the complete “Paramount package”.