The Paradise food trail – From a small canteen to a chain of 50 restaurantsSharika Nair
This article is a part of the CitySparks series sponsored by Verisign
Biryani is a guilty pleasure for foodies across India and a conversation on Hyderabadi biryani is rarely complete without the mention of Paradise, which is more of a landmark today, than just a popular restaurant chain in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The fact that the restaurant is singled out as a must-visit destination in a city that has a long list of superlative eateries is a testament to the strength of the Paradise brand, which has been painstakingly built and maintained over the decades.
The Paradise brand started in 1953 as a small canteen at the Paradise cinema in Secunderabad. The food became so popular that by the early ’60s, the canteen grew into a small restaurant serving typical Hyderabadi cuisine. In 1978, when Ali Hemati took over as chairman, he started bringing in significant changes in the way Paradise worked, looked and what it served. The focus was on serving food that retained the rich taste and flavours of traditional Hyderabadi cuisine while giving customers value for money.
Today Paradise has 11 full-fledged outlets in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Its outlet in Hyderabad can seat up to 1,500 people at a time and is reported to be the largest in the country. The chain is on an expansion spree, and is opening several more outlets in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and other cities. Another 50 new outlets are in the works across rest of India, including in Pune and Delhi, and more in Dubai and the US in the next two years.
Big on expansion
Paradise has an aggressive growth strategy and is backed by $10 million in funding it received from Samara Capital in 2014. “We aspire to be among the top 10 restaurant brands in India by 2020, both in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction. We’re taking quite a few initiatives to expand the brand franchise into newer growth areas like catering, flight kitchens and home delivery,” says Ali Hemati.
When a team works well together, it shows. A majority of the 2,500 employees at Paradise have been with the company for more than a couple of decades and play a key role in carrying forward its legacy of culinary excellence spanning over six decades.
Over the years, Paradise has received several awards from Zomato, Burrp and several other such forums. It’s also regularly visited by celebrities, including Rahul Dravid, Aamir Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Sania Mirza.
While the group has big plans for growing the business, it has also made philanthropic investments by setting up the Paradise Foundation, which aims to set up and build a free residential school for children from economically backward families. The foundation has already been sponsoring the education of several students for the past few years.
The Digital Presence
Earlier this year, Paradise had its website redesigned by a professional web design firm to make sure that visitors received all the information they needed about exquisite food in a streamlined fashion. The team opted for the name paradisefoodcourt.com (Paradise Food Court is the company’s registered name) way back in 2009 because the team believed that only a .com name matched their aspiration of becoming a global brand synonymous with biryani.
Paradisefoodcourt.com was originally buried beyond Page 10 in a web search of keywords related to Hyderabadi biryani and to other items on their menu despite the fact that it was so well known offline. With some smart investment in SEO and search engine marketing, Paradise biryani turns up on the very first page of an online search today.
The Paradise website is a one stop location that gives comprehensive information on the Paradise brand and food. Hemati says, “From offers to new outlets, Paradise customers do not have to go beyond our website to get all the latest updates.”
Paradise complements their website presence with social media presence and is active on all major platforms. “I will not rest until Paradise becomes a global brand,” promises Hemati.
Going .com is helping Paradise to leverage their immense popularity and move on to a national/ international level. You can go big too, by going .com!
Register your .com at www.gobigwith.com