Mumbai’s QSR Modelled Charcoal Biryani Eyes Expansion Across India

When you think of quick service restaurants in India, you probably don’t venture past prominent quick service fast food chains like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and McDonalds. The same is true all over the world where the terms ‘fast food’ and ‘quick service restaurant’ become interchangeable. However, thanks to the diversity of Indian cuisine, some forward thinkers have realised that popular Indian fare can also be used in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) model that fast food chains have met with such success.

A recent example? The Mumbai based Charcoal Biryani, a venture set up by Chef Mohammed Bhol, Chef Mikhail Shahani, Anurag Mehrotra, Krishnakant Thakur and Gautam Singh. These five entrepreneurs noticed a lack of Indian options in the QSR category in India and, using the chefs’ expertise – biryani – sought to change that.


“If you see the QSR space in India, there are the likes of Dominos but as far as authentic Indian cuisine is concerned we felt that there was a huge gap in the market. QSR format, it is bound to raise eyebrows. Going by the research, Biryani is the second highest selling food category after Pizza and not a single national QSR brand existed, selling that,” said Thakur to Mid-Day, a Mumbai daily.

All About Charcoal Biryani

Working with this idea, the team launched Charcoal Biryani last year and have been looking at feedback and working on product and technology development since.

Customers looking to order from Charcoal Biryani can download their simple app from Google Play or iTunes, place a phone order (the numbers depend on your location) or order online through Zomato. After placing an order, Charcoal Biryani aims to deliver the order within 45 minutes.


An important feature of any QSR restaurant is to package their food in appropriate packaging. Therefore, Charcoal Biryani delivers its biryanis in black containers, with napkins and disposable cutlery.

“We have taken utmost care to design a self-sufficient packaging, which allows you to eat your biryani in the box and then dispose off the box itself. The box contains napkins and spoon to help you enjoy your biryani cleanly,” they say on their website.


Charcoal Biryani offers customers a range of biryanis to choose from, including the Butter Chicken Biryani (yum!), the Paneer Makhani Biryani (double yum!) and the Lamb Biryani. Each parcel of biryani ranges from RS 210 – 250.

Future Plans

The biryani delivery system as well as the biryanis themselves have been met with positive reviews from customers. Popular lifestyle website, BrownPaperBag comments (after tasting the biryani) “Now if only those gosht busters promise to behave themselves, we can expect quite a feast in the coming months,” while Zomato reviewers have been similarly positive.

Meanwhile, Charcoal Biryani has received funding from HNI as well as an investment from Harish Vyas. Using these and the positive feedback, Charcoal Biryani aims to rapidly expand delivery across Mumbai over the next few weeks and has the ultimate aim of expanding all over India.

Have you had a taste of Charcoal Biryani yet?