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Global food chains dominating Pakistan’s fast food industry

Published on 5th Jan, Edition 1, 2015


Fast food industry in Pakistan is likely to take an escalated boom this year

The fast food industry in Pakistan is undergoing an escalated boom. Despite fierce economic competition, country’s this industry has managed to generate strong profits and is well-received by the local masses as well. Recent statistics have revealed that fast food industry is the second largest in Pakistan. Not only that, but this sector also accounts for 16 percent of the total employment in manufacturing sector. An industry with such dynamics has a great probability of exceptional growth in future as well.

Pakistan’s fast food industry is the second largest industry as it accounts for about 25 percent of its value added production. 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. Since the last decade, the international food organizations have started to structure their market in Pakistan with great interest. Many renowned global food chains like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Subway have managed to provide a unique taste to the people of Pakistan which has helped them expand their business. The most recent influx of an international food organization in Pakistan was Hardee’s, which had comparatively a different taste to offer. Against the traditional chicken burgers, which is one of the most popular fast-food dishes in Pakistan, Hardee’s specializes in a variety of beef burgers, which was definitely a challenge for the organization to influence the chicken lovers.
Based on Pakistani’s love affair with food in general and particularly dining out, international food franchises started making inroads in the late 90s. Pizza Hut was one of the first major brands to come to Pakistan in 1993, followed by KFC in 1997, Subway and McDonald’s in 1998 and Dunkin’ Donuts in 1999. These brands were the food franchising pioneers in Pakistan and remain extremely popular.
McDonald’s is arguably the most famous although KFC is the largest in terms of spread with over 80 restaurants across Pakistan. Food franchises now range from Domino’s, Nando’s , Burger King , Sarpino’s Pizzeria, Fatburger, Hardee’s, Johnny Rockets, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Doner Kebab, Sakura, TGI Fridays, Pizza Express, Bombay Chapati, Subway, Steak Escape, Noodle House etc. In Coffee/Café, Butler’s, Cinnabon, Gloria Jean’s coffees, Second Cup Coffee, Coffee Planet, Coffee Republic, The bagel Bar coffee House etc are in the run.

Pakistan has the lowest fast food outlet to population ratio among 34 emerging markets with 0.55 outlets for every 100,000 urban residents. That was the reason, foreign food brands are eager to enter Pakistan because competition is low, margins are better due to low labor costs, cheap real estate and better profitability. Food service franchises remain one of the most appealing business concepts for the aspiring entrepreneurs in Pakistan.


Hardee’s flagship store in Lahore is the biggest Hardee’s restaurant outside US and the biggest in Asia and Middle East in terms monthly sales. Gloria Jean’s Coffee store in Islamabad has the highest sales in Gloria Jean’s system in Asia & Middle East.

Pakistan Industrial & Traders Association Front (PIAF) has urged the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to declare year 2015 as a year of energy generation.

The PIAF Chairman, Malik Tahir Javed said that energy crisis is the mother of all economic ills, therefore, the government should observe year 2015 as year of energy generation. He suggested the government to expedite work on the ongoing hydel and alternate energy projects for cheaper generation of electricity. He said, “It is a good omen that government is already working on various projects of energy generation and most of them would be completed in the year 2015.” He said that business community has attached high hopes with the present regime that is taking right measures to bring the economy back on rail. He said that various initiatives of the Nawaz Sharif’s government and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar are yielding desired results. He said that strengthening the rupee value against the dollar and massive cut in petroleum prices are the ample proof of the government’s commitment within the country.

PIAF Chairman said that energy is engine of growth and its demand is growing with every passing day therefore government has to work on war footing to enhance power generation in the country keeping in view the future needs. He said that not only ongoing energy projects should be completed at the earliest but work on new projects including Kalabagh dam should be started without any delay. He said that Kalabagh dam is the life line of the manufacturing and agriculture sector of the country. He said that those who are opposing the building of a dam are not well wisher of the country. He urged the government not to take any kind of pressure and start work on Kalabagh dam in the larger interest of the country.

Given the present scenario, the country is set to see positive growth of fast food industry in 2015, as more outlets are expected to open for growth of fast food chain. The major difference between the local restaurants and international food organizations is not just the difference of flavor; the whole set up is so appealing and charming that it excites anybody.


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