Yes, definitely the fact that it's halal attracts a lot of people...the whole "captive audience" thing that I mentioned.
I went to the Yonge & Dundas location last night (first time visiting any Paramount location) and
The worst thing was the service. We were seated fairly quickly, and took a few minutes to look at the menu and told the server that we would be ready in a few minutes. She never came back. A new server then came by to take our orders and was visibly annoyed when I asked if the shawarma plate comes with hummus or tahina, which is a pretty standard question, in my opinion. It took ages to get the bill and no one ever asked us how we were doing or if we needed anything else. Keep in mind that though this was on a Sunday, it wasn't during the dinner rush (yes, there was a steady flow of patrons) and I'm wondering how staff handle themselves when it is reallly busy there.
Even though a chicken shawarma plate is only $10.99 for a fairly generous portion, you are better off spending your money somewhere that has better food and better service. Just because you are a casual restaurant doesn't mean you can just dump the food off on someone's table, never check in with them, fill the water glasses once (over nearly two hours) , bring me the wrong flavour of baklava when I specifically asked for pistachio and then even be rude about bringing the POS machine to the table so that I can pay for my meal.
I guess the captive audience and tourists who aren't familiar with "Middle Eastern" food keep this place going.