Saravana Bhavan

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Hotel Saravana Bhavan
Chain of Restaurant
Industry Restaurant
Genre South Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
Founded 1981
Founder P. Rajagopal
Headquarters Chennai, India
Number of locations
39(in india),43(outside india),16(to be opened)
Area served
India, Australia,Malaysia, Oman, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore,Saudia Arabia ,Bahrain, U.A.E, U.K, U.S.A, Kuwait, Kenya,South Africa,Qatar, Hong Kong, Thailand, Netherlands.
Key people
P. R. Shiva Kumaar
R. Saravanan
Products Food, Sweets, Bakery, Ice Cream
Services Fast Food, Take Away, Home Delivery and Outdoor Catering.
Revenue Increase $450 million (2010)
Number of employees
8700(in India - 2014)

Hotel Saravana Bhavan is one of the largest vegetarian restaurant chains in the world, founded in 1981 offering south Indian Vegetarian cuisine.[1] They have more than 33 outlets in India (20 outlets in Chennai) and 47 around the world (including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the United States, and the Middle East.[2][3]


One of the most popular overseas branches, located in Edison, New Jersey, United States

In the early 20th century, there were practically no restaurants in Madras (now Chennai). P. Rajagopal in 1968 opened the a tiny grocery shop on the outskirts of the city.[4] Rajagopal belongs to the Nadar business/landowning community. In 1992, Rajagopal on his visits to Singapore observed the functioning of the multinational fast food joints like McDonald's and used them as a model.[5]

By the 1990s, the Saravana Bhavan chain spread throughout neighborhoods in Chennai. In 2000, Saravana Bhavan opened its first branch outside India, opening a franchise in Dubai, with a large number Indian expatriates. It eventually expanded to Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Toronto and Doha, Qatar, relying on the expatriate Indian population. It does not attempt to attract non-Indian customers. They are sometimes referred to as "canteen-like joints are strictly aimed at Indian expatriates missing a taste of home"[6] It is considered to be a high volume, low margin venture which is labor-intensive. Saravana Bhavan sends workers from India to work in their foreign branches.[7] The overseas outlets are run by franchisees.

Service Model[edit]

It is expected that the customers know what they want, with the waiters essentially taking orders and delivering the food. The food is prepared fresh and the high volume reduces the waiting time.


In addition to the traditional south Indian snacks (dosa, idli, utthapam, vada, with several variations) a few North Indian dishes (Parotta, Chana Bhatura) are offered.[8] A few combo thalis are offered. Some locations offer tandoori bread (Naan). A small selection of south Indian sweets (Badam Halva, Rava Kesri) and north India Gulab Jamun are offered. It has its own brand of vegetarian icecream. Some branches offer more extensive menus


The chain founder P. Rajagopal was on the public eye due to his conviction and sentence to life prison for his involvement in the murder of employee Prince Santhakumar in 2001 and harassment of his wife Jeevajothi, who he had wanted to marry.[9] He was the subject of a long piece in The New York Times mentioning the case.[10] He was released on bail after serving a few months in prison.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]