Saravana Bhavan

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Hotel Saravana Bhavan
Chain of Restaurant
GenreSouth Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
Founded1981; 38 years ago (1981)
FounderP. Rajagopal
Number of locations
39(in india),43(outside india),16(to be opened)
Area served
India, Australia, Malaysia, Oman, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Singapore, Bahrain, U.A.E, U.K., U.S.A., Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, South Africa, Qatar, Hong Kong, Thailand, Netherlands, Sweden.
Key people
P. R. Shiva Kumaar
R. Saravanan
ProductsFood, Sweets, Bakery, Ice Cream
ServicesFast Food, Take Away, Home Delivery and Outdoor Catering.
RevenueIncrease29,782.4 million (US$410 million) (2017)
Number of employees
8700(in India - 2014)

Hotel Saravana Bhavan is the largest South Indian vegetarian restaurant chain in the world, founded in 1981 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.[1] They have more than 33 locations in India (20 in Chennai) and 47 across several countries in Southeast Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.[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 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 City, Dallas, Toronto and Doha. While the restaurants gained popularity among non-Indians, they mostly target the South Asian expatriate population. 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.[citation needed]


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.[8] He was the subject of a long piece in The New York Times mentioning the case.[9] He was released on bail after serving a few months in prison.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Founder & Key Personalities". Saravana Bhavan. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  2. ^ Berry, Rynn; Suzuki, Chris A.; Litsky, Barry (2006). The Vegan Guide to New York City. Ethical Living. p. 27. ISBN 0-9788132-0-0. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  3. ^ Addison, Bill (2006-06-30). "Diners line up for Saravana dosas". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  4. ^ Masala Dosa to Die For, New York Times, ROLLO ROMIGMAY 7, 2014
  5. ^ The Hindu, Friday, 21 August 1998
  6. ^ Can you overlook a violent history for the perfect dosa?, Crystal Wilde, 18 November 2015
  7. ^ Indian Restaurant Chains Have Overseas Expansion on Their Menus, Knowledge@Wharton, 21 April 2011
  8. ^
  9. ^ Romig, Rollo. "Masala Dosa to Die For". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2014.

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