This outstanding story of successes across Europe started with Jean-Paul Bou Antoun, a Lebanese businessman born in Al Kaakour village in the Northern Metn region of Lebanon. He migrated to Paris in 1975 in order to complete his studies in Hospitality Management, which he did at the prestigious Ecole Cordon Bleu, a leading institute of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management that was established in 1895.
One year after his graduation, his brothers and sisters joined him in Paris following the sudden death of their parents. Jean-Paul quickly involved them in the culinary world, as well as in the business ventures he was looking into.
In France, Jean-Paul began his career as a fresh graduate working at Grand Hôtel Bois de Boulogne in order to gain experience in the field. He then moved on to working as a private chef for renown banker Joseph Abd El Khoury, also a fellow Lebanese.
In 1984, joining forces and resources with his brother Nader Bou Antoun, Jean-Paul opened their family restaurant Fakher El-Din. The success of the restaurant allowed for the opening of a second branch just two years later, making it one of the most successful Lebanese restaurants in Paris at the time.
Three years after, and following major hype surrounding this small Lebanese-owned and family-run restaurant, Jean-Paul Bou Antoun sold the branches of Fakher El-Din to a local Parisian and opened Noura restaurant.
Today, Noura restaurant is an absolute Lebanese-French phenomenon boasting fifteen branches across France, including Cannes, four more branches in London, and a most recent branch in Geneva, Switzerland.
Noura currently recruits over four hundred and twenty Lebanese employees across all its branches, and currently has a grand total of approximately 550 employees. As per Say Who France (2017), “A reference of the Lebanese cuisine per excellence, the Nora brand treats the taste buds of the most gourmands since twenty years in Paris and in the Parisian region.”
Noura restaurant witnessed a major expansion in its revenues and influence when it purchased Lina’s Cafe, a high-end coffee and sandwich place you have probably visited all across Lebanon in malls and on busy shopping streets.
In 2006, Jean-Paul passed on the management of Noura restaurant to his sons, Paul Antoun, Walid, and Ziad, and Noura has been now offering catering and snacking services, all with authentic Lebanese flavors and twists.
Noura reportedly receives over 6,000 daily clients and the family business makes a staggering 60 million Euros in annual revenues between both Noura and Lina’s.
The Bou Antoun family has not shown any signs of stopping. Lina’s has boomed into an incredibly successful franchise whereby serious businessmen and businesswomen can take on the challenge of opening and maintaining the prestigious image that this impressive family has created in the culinary world.