FAISALABAD: Chenab Group of Industries, the textile conglomerate, has decided to spread its presence in the food market and will expand the chain of Italian food restaurants named La Atrium across Pakistan after the success of its first branch operating in Lahore.
“The success of La Atrium restaurant in Lahore has encouraged the company to expand to cities across the country,” said Chief Executive Officer of Chenab Group of Industries Mian Latif in an interview to The Express Tribune.
“After receiving a welcome response from food lovers in Lahore, we have decided to expand in all the big cities of the country,” said Latif.
In the first phase, the group will open branches in Faisalabad, Multan and Sialkot and after that it will venture into Islamabad. In the next phase, it will try its luck in Sindh.
In November 2012, Chenab Group ventured into the food business with the launch of La Atrium in Lahore. The restaurant was opened adjacent to ChenOne store, a subsidiary of Chenab Group.
Chenab Group also owns Charcoal Grill, a restaurant specialising in Lebanese and Moroccan cuisines. Luna Cafe, a coffee house owned by the group, is another project, which is doing good business in Lahore.
According to Latif, Chenab Group decided to enter into the food business after finding it lucrative, offering decent margins.
Chenab Group has been struggling to cope with financial difficulties for many years after the group could not service its debt on time. It is trying to regain its lost position and gradually expand businesses.
“We are concentrating on these types of ventures as a side business strategy. Five years ago, at the time of acute energy shortages, the group suffered losses of billions of rupees and at that time ChenOne stores were the only source of income for the company,” said Latif. As a result of this experience, the group decided to diversify further.
The company has selected a team of seasoned international chefs from the Middle East for its restaurants.
Offering a complete international taste and service, La Atrium and Luna Cafe are doing quite well, he said. The group plans to expand the chain of restaurants and add catering and food product manufacturing.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2014.
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