Hot Brands International.
Based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Hot brands International is one of the fastest growing food service companies in the region, marketing a unique range of ethnic food restaurants in both Quick Service (QSR) and Casual Dining (CDR) restaurant formats. Currently, these restaurants include Indian, Chinese, Italian, Thai and Japanese cuisine which reflect the flavors and cultures of the countries they represent.
The company started as a small proprietorship in May 1992 with Fresh Choice the first food court outlet in the UAE, serving a selection of international cuisine in the food court of Barjuman Shopping Centre, Dubai. Starting from humble beginnings, the company soon benefited from its early success and rapidly expanded into new shopping malls within the UAE. The realization of the growing potential of this industry led the company to open more concepts in the same food-court: Fillings, serving specialty salads & sandwiches in Dec 1992, Shamiana® serving Pandora, Indian Cuisine in 1993 and Sala Thai® offering authentic Thai food in 1994.
By the end of 1995, while the company consolidated all existing concepts, the launch of the biggest shopping centre in the Middle East, Deira City Centre, provided the opportunity to replicate the most popular concepts: Shamiana and Fillings. Since then, the growth has been exponential, with significant expansion from 2000.
In October 2001, Hot brands International opened its first venture outside the UAE at Muscat City Centre in Oman. In addition, it introduced the new concepts of Magic Wok®, serving Chinese cuisine, and Santino's®, serving Italian pizzas and pastas, in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
Other milestones include the opening of Sugoi!™ Japanese Cuisine (QSR format) in Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai in 2005.
With the quick-service dinning concept proving hugely successful, Hot brands International began exploring other food service formats. Therefore, identifying great potential in the casual dining sector, where customers could enjoy eating out in relaxed contemporary surroundings experiencing innovative high quality food.
The first casual dining restaurant, Pane Caldo formally, Santino's Bistro Italiano™, opened at Jawharat A'Shati complex in Muscat, Oman in June 2005 while the second casual dining concept, Haru (Japanese Robatayaki Cuisine) opened in the Green Community West, Dubai in April 2006. Da-Shi-Dai™ , a Chinese cuisine concept and Pane Caldo, an Italian casual dining restaurant will be among the latest brands to be introduced to consumers early 2007.
From 5 stores by the end of 2000, the company has over 40 outlets, and 8 branded dining concepts, operating currently throughout the Middle East, India and South Africa. It is now ready to open a further 50 more stores by the end of 2007 Including QSR and CDR restaurants with latest brands Da Shi Dai (Chinese Cuisine) and Pane Caldo (Italian cuisine).
As a UAE-based company that is expanding internationally, the company believes in constant R&D and innovation to facilitate overseas growth, focusing on franchising services to gain greater market penetration in key strategic regions. One of the companies key strengths lie with fact that all branded concepts are developed internally and then taken to market after extensive research and development.
The company is now in a high-growth phase and forecasts a rapid expansion throughout the Middle East, India, South Africa and other significant markets worldwide. Regional offices have already been established to support training, logistics, operations and marketing. Current locations include Kuwait, Oman, India and South Africa.
Amid all these changes, however, the company’s commitment to its core values remains unchanged.
Avinash Bal, Vice Chairman and CEO, says the company remains committed to a passion for food’ innovative food concepts; great customer experience and professional expertise.
Hot brands International and its executives are also members of the International Council of Shopping Centres, the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres, the Franchising Association of India and the Canadian Business Council of Dubai.