After a long wait, Hardees finally opened up in Islamabad with a bang. Residents of the capital, who had been waiting for the south American chain to open in their hometown, loitered around the block for another two hours last night to get their hands on the delectables. After its launch in Rana Market, The Express Tribune ventured out into the crowds to get their feedback on the new eatery.
An eager customer, Hira Asad, elaborated, “Since there’s a dearth of good beef burgers in the city, Hardees has indeed created a stir among the burger junkies. Centrally located, delicious burgers, friendly staff sprawled over three floors, this place is designed for success.
Not only is it a great place for all to unwind but also binge to their heart’s content,” she added.
Shahmeen Sheikh who works for an internet service provider said that the launch of Hardees was a fairly big affair. “I think this place will do quite well in Islamabad as it’ll break the fast food burger monopoly of McDonalds. It brings with it variety and choice and if it keeps its quality as it is, it would do pretty well especially due to its central location.”
Bilal Qureshi, a local accountant inline to avail his cherished meal said, “It should’ve come earlier [in Islamabad] because everybody loves Hardees in Lahore. However, I feel that the space is very limited and they do not have enough seating arrangement and especially with Ramzan coming up it’ll get very crowded.”
Another customer, Qadeer Hussain, a businessman from Lahore did not approve of the set up in Islamabad. “You can not compare this set up to the one in Lahore,” he said, adding that the quality is not the same and the cleanliness is a major issue with the flies fluttering around everywhere. “My family and I are avid Hardees fans in Lahore but this one doesn’t compare,” he said.
Moreover, an NGO worker, Yasir Qayyum, commented, “As long as they maintain their quality I don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t do well in Islamabad.”
Interior Designer Zara Zaman Khan also present at the launch said, “I like Hardees because it is not as processed as McDonalds. However it can only be eaten when its fresh, once it cools down it looses its flavour.” When further probed regarding the success of the eatery, Khan responded, “It’ll die out in a month. The location is terrible and there is no parking.”
Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Shahmeen Sheikh Shahmeen was an internet service provider, and Legal Affairs Executive for Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2011.