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Fast Food industry in Pakistan undergoing an escalated boom

Published on 21st Mar, Edition 12, 2016


Pakistan’s fast food industry is undergoing an escalated boom and despite fierce competition, the industry has managed to generate profitability. Statistics show that fast food industry is the second largest in Pakistan, with approximately 180 million consumers. Not only that, but this sector also accounts for around 20 percent of the total employment in manufacturing sector. An industry with such dynamics has a great probability of exceptional growth in future as well.

In Pakistan, top nine American fast food chains are operational. These chains are: Johnny Rockets; Fat Burger; Burger King; Hardees; Domino’s Pizza; Subway; Pizza Hut; McDonald’s and KFC. American fast food industry is simply the world’s most famous fast food industry. In almost every country, there are several American fast food chains operating at any given time and Pakistan is not an exception.

Following is brief details of these outlets:

Johnny Rockets: Johnny Rockets didn’t take much long to realize the potential of Pakistani market and only after two decades of its parent branch opening in US, they unveiled their first outlet in Pakistan.

Johnny Rockets is not like your traditional restaurants, it provides a fun-filled atmosphere where ketchup art is a thing. It currently has two outlets in Lahore and Karachi with plans to open another outlet in capital city, Islamabad.

Fat Burger: As the name suggests, Fat Burger is a name associated with an American fast food chain of burgers. It took more than 60 years for Fat Burger to finally open its own outlet in Pakistan.

Currently, Fat Burger has just two branches in two major cities of Pakistan (Karachi and Lahore); however, its popularity is becoming widespread. And it will continue to grow in coming years.








World stock-to-use ratio

Major exporters’ stock-to-disappearance ratio

( million tones )

( percent )

































Source: PAGE- Research Department

Burger King: Burger King is one of the most popular burgers in the USA. It has finally come to Pakistan. It took Burger King quite some time to realize the potential of Pakistani market but in 2013, they finally opened their first franchise in Karachi.

At this moment, Burger King is operating in three major cities of Pakistan — Karachi, Multan and Islamabad with seven outlets in total. Keeping in mind the popularity that burger king enjoys in US, it will come as no surprise if it begins to offer competition to other American fast food chains operating in the country within next few months.

Hardees: Hardees is famous for its burgers and particularly famous for its special chips. This American food chain is currently operating five outlets in Pakistan. It has been able to gain popularity and a loyal customer base that just wants to nibble on those delicious onion rings and have a mouthful of those juicy burgers.

Domino’s Pizza: It is a very famous pizza franchise currently operating in Pakistan. With a total number of 13 outlets in four major cities of Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi). Domino’s has gained popularity in urban population.

Domino’s is famous for its efficient and standard delivery. The franchise is still expanding and continues to attract more and more customers.

Subway: Although Subway is not much famous in teenagers of Pakistan, yet it has grown in size, having more than 40 outlets. Health conscious people who want to eat healthy and balanced diet, look towards Subway as their number one choice. By providing good quality sandwiches Subway is slowly attracting more and more people.

Pizza Hut: Probably the most popular brand of pizza in the world at the moment and, without doubt, the most famous pizza franchise in Pakistan.

Pizza Hut does not need any kind of introduction. It began operating in 1993 and since then has opened 40 outlets in all major cities of Pakistan. Pizza Hut Pakistan was also one of the first American fast food chains that initiated their operations in the country. The sheer volume of sales is unbelievable and it is indeed difficult to find a table at any Pizza Hut outlet if you are visiting during lunch or dinner hours.

McDonald’s: McDonald’s Pakistan opened their first branch back in 1998 at Gulberg-Lahore. Since that day, there has been not a single down day for any of the 27 outlets operating in the country right now.

It is arguably the number one burger chain in Pakistan right now. Kids are its primary customers and McDonald’s management never seems to forget that. The mini toys that come with every happy meal attract hundreds of kids to McDonald’s on a daily basis. The franchise seems to keep on growing and growing every single day.

Apart from the outlets, McDonald’s also performs business through smart shops. These smart shops are located at popular malls and markets.

KFC: With over 60 outlets in almost every major city of the country, along with several smart shops, KFC Pakistan has come a long way since 1997. To this day, there has been no decline in the popularity of KFC.

The number of sales is quite huge. This can be judged by looking at the Rs10 million that is paid on a monthly basis in terms of taxes. There is no denying that KFC is definitely the most popular food chain in the country at present.

In Pakistan, young people in particular like to go to the modern-looking fast food restaurants. It costs more than in local restaurants, and the food may not be better. But it is still worth it, well as long as the family can afford it.

Experts believe that Pakistan is a land where various cultures co-exist and this disparity is reflected in the eating habits of the general population as well.

Remarkable transformation has occurred in food consumption of the Pakistani masses. Fast food consumption has increased radically. This dramatic shift towards fast food consumption is primarily because people prefer convenience and good taste. Because of the emerging market trends in this particular industry, the casual taste among the masses is now congregating.

According to these experts, the changing consumer preferences, shifting lifestyles and presence of multinational chains have further facilitated and triggered fast food consumption in Pakistan. The growing trend of fast or junk food outlets is a big source of income in big cities like Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan.

They said the increasing number of fast food outlets in every nook and corner of these cities clearly indicates how youth is turning towards the unhealthy trend. The taste of burger and chicken roll paratha influences thousands.

Moreover, small outlets of burgers points, Shawarma etc are attracting public.

According to various researches, processed and pre-prepared food, which can be cooked quickly and handed over to customers within no time, eliminate hunger and taste great, but do not provide essential nutrients and eventually results in weakness and fatigue. The extravagant junk meal rich in oil also decreases concentration. It is made with pasta, breadcrumbs, corn flour, processed potato, processed egg and milk products as well as hydrogenated vegetable oil, saturated fats, gums and sugar substitutes, and then made to taste good by the addition of herbs and spices, salt, monosodium glutamate and sugars.

On the other hand, health professionals told PAGE that constant use of junk food resulted in a drop in blood circulation due to fat accumulation. “It results in lack of vital oxygen, nutrients and proteins that can stale your grey (brain) cells temporarily leading to poor concentration. The impact to health from fast food is quite staggering when it is consumed on a regular basis,” said one health officer, adding: “By replacing fresh wholesome food with processed additive-laden food, blood pressure rise, cholesterol level increases, retard metabolic rate and also weaken immunity system which is very important.”

They called for changing lifestyle to enjoy benefits of healthy life.


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