In 2006, Dr. Mohamad Fakih, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, purchased a nearly bankrupt restaurant and transformed it into, what is now known as the fastest growing Middle Eastern Halal restaurant chain in North America – Paramount Fine Foods. Mohamad’s determination to change perceptions surrounding Middle Eastern food has driven Paramount’s brand success across Canada and Internationally as well as advancing the global Middle Eastern food trend.
A community leader, Dr. Fakih regularly participates in fundraisers and community events, supporting multiple causes and organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, Islamic Relief worldwide, Sick Kids Hospital, the Make a Wish Foundation in Toronto and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in Canada. Both Paramount and Mohamad have donated generously to these charities and other non-profit organizations. Across his restaurants Mohamad offers discounts to all Emergency Service Workers in uniform to show appreciation for their service in our communities.
In the past three years after the Canadian government decided to welcome 25,000 Syrian Refugees, Dr. Fakih made headlines in Canadian News when he travelled to Lebanon to visit the Islamic Relief Camps for Syrian Refugees to gain a deeper understanding of current relief efforts. Hoping to lead by example, Mohamad partnered with Ryerson University, Toronto for the Lifeline Syrian Challenge – allowing Paramount Fine Foods to fund employment support counsel to help recruit new Syrian Canadians during their job search.
Mohamad opened the doors of Paramount restaurants to the skills and drive many refugees bring to Canada by providing up to 150 jobs for the newcomers in his restaurants in year 2017.
Dr. Fakih’s determination to uphold values of giving back to communities where Paramount restaurants are located has resulted in a workplace culture of giving to others and to supporting one another. He has made philanthropy and giving back a key part of Paramount’s culture and identity, setting it apart from other restaurants and businesses globally.
In February 2017, Dr. Fakih was acknowledged before the Canadian Parliament by the Prime Minister of Canada – Justin Trudeau – as an Exemplary Canadian Citizen and Businessman who successfully operated a Middle Eastern restaurant chain, and was applauded for his charitable work in January 2017 when he covered the funeral costs of six victims of a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque. In his business affairs and community work, Dr. Fakih is viewed as a Canadian of Lebanese birth who transcends and brings together people of all origins in a global workplace advancing our communities and helping each other to contribute to our societies. The Prime Minister of Canada –Justin Trudeau- as well as the Premier of Ontario, Canada and several City Mayors have all visited Paramount Restaurants in Ontario.
In May 2018, the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Canada launched a new partnership with Dr. Fakih, the President and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods and the Founder of Fakih Foundation, to support the Agency’s work for refugees globally and in Canada.
UNHCR recognized Dr. Fakih’s vision and commitment to building, a Canada that is strengthened by diversity and a global leader on refugee issues, based on his contribution in promoting the economic and social integration of refugees into our communities, he is the voice and the face of UNHCR Canada.
Dr. Fakih is committed to revamping the traditional image of the Middle Eastern Restaurant industry by changing the way the cuisine is viewed and enjoyed. He believes that his hands-on approach to all aspects of his business ensures the
Paramount currently employs over 2000 people across its 71 restaurants and gourmet butcher shops globally with 42 in Canada and 12 International locations, plus food factories and its Toronto international corporate head office. The Paramount brand will have 65 locations by end of 2018 with new locations opening in Lebanon, the UK, New York state, US, Dubai and Pakistan. Paramount continues to be proud to bring Halal Foods to the world after being the first halal restaurant to open at Terminals 1 and 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport.