Pakistanis line up for American burgers
KARACHI, Pakistan — On a Saturday afternoon in Pakistan, dozens of teenagers and young families stand in line at an upmarket Karachi mall, waiting to order burgers at the latest fast-food store in town.
“I've been coming here every alternate day for the past month to see if it's opened yet or not,” Hana Khan, consultant for restaurant delivery website foodpanda, said at the Jan. 5 launch of Fatburger, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based chain that operates in 14 countries outside the United States.
Within two hours of the doors opening, all 130 seats inside were taken.
Local and overseas business groups are lining up to buy franchise rights in Pakistan for an array of popular food sold from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur, driven by rising demand from a booming middle class in South Asia's second-biggest economy after India. Pakistanis increasingly flock to American food outlets, even as ties between the two nations are strained by U.S. drone strikes in the northwest of the country.
“Food is universal; it transcends politics,” Don Berchtold, president and chief operating officer of Fatburger North America Inc., said at the Karachi opening. “In food, people don't look at relations between countries. They just want to eat.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Netanyahu rebuts claim of genocide, accuses Iran
- Belgium accuses Muslim group of radicalizing, training youth to fight in Syria
- Protesters in Hong Kong stand firm in battle to stop encroaching rule by China
- Afghan president heads unity government poised to sign pact to keep U.S. troops
- Unrest, fatalities challenge shaky cease-fire in Ukraine
- Search for victims on hold in Japan as volcano spews toxic fumes
- Virus traced to mosquitoes in Latin America causes severe joint pain
- Mystery over North Korean leader fuels health rumors
- Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft
- It’s not a small world after all: Global population estimated to soar
- Courting Vietnam, U.S. prepares to ease arms embargo