Burger King comes to town unannounced

Published: October 6, 2013
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Burger King Pakistan’s Boat Basin branch opens its doors to Karachi residents on Saturday evening. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Burger King Pakistan’s Boat Basin branch opens its doors to Karachi residents on Saturday evening. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

Known for its scrumptious Whopper burgers, the global franchise Burger King finally arrived in Karachi with not one, but reportedly three outlets.

The launch was held on Saturday but kept under the wraps as most of the representatives of the fast food chain refrained from giving details.

The internee manager Azhar at the Boat Basin outlet said that the launch was supposed to take place at 10am but it got delayed to 5pm and then 8pm. The outlet, which is opposite Kentucky Fried Chicken and Karachi’s very own Mr Burger, wore a deserted look. Only a few SUVs were parked outside while at least a dozen private security guards stood at the entrance. A few owners and employees rushed in and out of the restaurant as passersby stopped occasionally to check out the famous Burger King logo.

The area manager was reluctant to share information about the discreet launch, saying that even he wasn’t aware that it was going to take place today. The employees did not even confirm if the BK branches at Khayaban-e-Nishat and Ocean Mall would be part of the launch, but social media was abuzz with news that they would open on Saturday.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Oct 6, 2013 - 1:55AM

    Burger King was suppose to come to Karachi 10 years before, but due to some unavoidable circumstances, the local franchisee could not sign the agreement.

    However, this time Arfeen made it possible.

    The fast food has made it way in the market, more particularly in the posh areas of Pakistan, but still the foreign food franchises cannot make their way in the thickly populated areas due to law and order situation in the country.

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  • TUNG
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:39AM

    haaain!!!who they want to eat there if they want to keep it that secret! TOP SECRET MAYBE!anyways they would have earned more in LAHORE!

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  • Pakistani Ostrich
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:39AM

    “..Burger King comes to town unannounced..”
    I read the article because I thought imran khan had visited karachi unannounced! My mistake.

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  • Mohamma Anjarwala
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:49AM

    @Syed A. Mateen:
    Arfeens are not the franchisee for burger king in Pakistan. Its habib group managing bk.

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  • Pakistani
    Oct 6, 2013 - 9:46AM

    Welcome Welcome

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  • Hammad
    Oct 6, 2013 - 10:35AM

    I am not sure why people are so crazy about Burger King in Pakistan? Its a cheap fast food chain people!

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  • Oct 6, 2013 - 10:44AM

    @Syed A. Mateen: Being in the area, some shopkeepers informed me there was a profound ‘hush hush’ because some PPPwalas came in their SUVs and were ushered inside and served. Not even the shopkeepers knew the opening date. Salams

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  • Aam Awam
    Oct 6, 2013 - 11:14AM

    Better late than never! :D

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  • Ali S
    Oct 6, 2013 - 11:15AM

    Finally, they open a branch in posh areas. Now ‘burgers’ won’t complain about having to go to Nazimabad to eat a greasy overpriced burger.

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  • ASQ
    Oct 6, 2013 - 11:30AM

    @Syed A. Mateen: u really thing that thickly populated areas can afford 600 plus burger meal?it’s not about law and order situation it has more to do with purchasing power of people.

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  • Ammar
    Oct 6, 2013 - 12:16PM

    “My” burger king “Pakistan” …. original or pakistani version or something ..

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Oct 6, 2013 - 1:13PM

    @Mohammad Anjarwala:

    I am not sure whether you are the same person who owns a “Anjarwala Bakery” in Block-3 of Clifton or not?

    Let me correct your mistake by stating that there were three well known partners of MCR Private Limited who were previously the owners of Pizza Hut in Pakistan.

    After the sale of Pizza Hut franchise, one Managing Partner Mr. Manzar Riaz left for US. He was the one who brought Pizza Hut in Pakistan and then two more partners joined him. One of them was a well known Chartered Accountant Mr. Khurseed Hadi and the other partner was Mr. Shahid Feroz of Arfeen International.

    After the sale of Pizza Hut, Mr. Khursheed Hadi brought another chain of Nando’s and Mr. Shahid Feroz of MCR Private Limited has signed and brought Burger King in Karachi.

    For your information, the owner of the Pearl Continental Hotels in Pakistan Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani was working 10 years back to sing and bring Burger King fast food chain, but some how the other, he could not sign the franchise agreement due to law and order situation in Karachi.

    Moreover, the Pizza Hut when sold was purchased by the owners of Habib Oil Mills and they are the ones who are now running the Pizza Hut Outlets in Pakistan.

    MCR Private Limited is not owned by Habib Group, but the owners are Arfeen International.

    I hope Mr. Anjarwala by now you would have understood the back ground of local franchisee of Burger King in Karachi.

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Oct 6, 2013 - 1:27PM

    @ASQ:

    An average person when don’t get a foreign food franchise outlet in the thickly populated area, he goes to the posh areas of Karachi to have it.

    As far as money is concerned, an average person can afford to buy the food, if not twice or thrice in a month, but at least once in a month.

    After all, the kids of an average person do not spare their father and squeeze him too much in the corner to go to a foreign food outlet.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 6, 2013 - 2:31PM

    Burger King might be just another fast food joint but it still ends up beating McDs and KFC lock, stock and barrel. I am excited and would be visiting them shortly.

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  • Fayaz Bawa
    Oct 6, 2013 - 3:25PM

    It’s only a fast-food chain. No idea why people get so excited about an average fast food brand. Yes, it serves a good burger but that’s about it!! It’s not a status symbol or anything to show off about on your Facebook or Twitter feeds. its only fast-food!! It’s sad that we are giving it so much damn importance.

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  • tung
    Oct 6, 2013 - 4:21PM

    I call it the ghetto food. We are acting like american blacks. As we all shd know it is considered cheap food around the world. Partially its good that we have some investment creating jobs for the youth.Recommend

  • uzma azmi
    Oct 6, 2013 - 4:22PM

    @Syed A. Mateen, Pizza Hut still falls under the ambit of MCR Pvt Limited which is part of HOMAC Group. You can always visit the website for verification. MCR is also bringing in TGIF to Pakistan

    Secondly, Nandos is owned by Tapal (tea) Group.

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  • Professor
    Oct 6, 2013 - 4:31PM

    Looks like PTI fan base is growing in Karachi !!

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  • EhsaaseKamtri
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:17PM

    In america the lowest class eats burger king, mcdonalds etc who cannot afford healthy. in pakistan our inferiority complexed nation believes eating at these fast food places is something civilized & awesome. Soon we will be obese & full of cancer

    The state of California is suing nine top food manufacturers, including Burger King, Heinz and McDonald’s, over their reluctance to issue warnings that some of their snacks could contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide.

    Indulging in chocolate and other sweet treats such as biscuits and cakes could increase your risk of bowel cancer, researchers say.
    It is the first study to link fatty and sugary snacks to bowel tumours, which claim more lives than any other form of the disease apart from lung cancer.

    Eating deep fried foods boosts your risk of prostate cancer,

    “We know that obesity and the problems associated with it, such as certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease will continue to spiral out of control if the government doesn’t take action now, said Ms Hughes.”

    Its all online. these fast food chains are unhealthy & should be banned. Before we become a nation of obese & cancer patients.

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  • M. Emad
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:23PM

    I guess, Burger King will not be unannounced for long.>Recommend

  • aman khan
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:37PM

    It’s Ok, nothing special about it like when Kfc and Nandos came with different taste. I dont understand the secrecy part, I only knew boat basin coming, but it’s news to me that it’s coming at nishat and ocean mall/DMC.

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  • Citizen Kane
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:42PM

    I hope this results in a decrease in the size of the queues outside The Burger Shack.

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  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Oct 6, 2013 - 5:59PM

    @uzma azmi:

    Now TGIF is something which is going to be a big hit in Karachi. TGIF opened in Karachi way back in 1999 by Cupola Pakistan but unluckily it started its operation way ahead of its time and as result Cupola wrapped it up within a year.

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  • Saad Siddiqui
    Oct 6, 2013 - 6:38PM

    It didn’t came unannounced, it was all over social media, and some was advertised in newspapers too, plus with pamphlets !

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  • Usman
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:10PM

    Well I am still in doubts whether this Burger King is real.. looking at the suspicious way, they have done the opening, it seems like it is fake like once Al-Baik came to Pakistan. Also, the restaurants are not made completely. The construction is not complete yet. Also the choice of burgers available here were limited…

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  • Shafaq
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:24PM

    Good job ET. I thought ET would be the last paper to highlight BK in Pakistan since it is owned by the Lakhani family which also owns MCDonald’s Pakistan – its arch rival

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  • Usman
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:26PM

    Does someone know when would they open a franchise in Lahore?

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  • Khalil
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:27PM

    Yes it is a good news. but a lot of people does not know it is a cheap restaurant in the world.as well as Mc donald…

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  • Something Clever
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:36PM

    @EhsaaseKamtri:
    uh, no. All classes eat from those places time to time. It depends on time restrictions or even their kids wanting to go.

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  • Rameez Alam
    Oct 6, 2013 - 7:51PM

    PATHETIC Burger!! Dry and tasteless, contrary to what Burger King claims,”Juicy burgers”. Fries were good.

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  • axbycz
    Oct 6, 2013 - 10:16PM

    I hate burger king. I throw up in my mind every time I see a Whopper. Can’t understand the excitement.

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  • Yusra
    Oct 6, 2013 - 10:44PM

    Guys it wasn’t unannounced. A huge Ad was posted for its staff hiring.

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  • SHAGY
    Oct 7, 2013 - 10:51AM

    but this is “my” Burger King?!

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  • Alia
    Oct 7, 2013 - 5:00PM

    Just heard from two sources that the oven at boat basin has packed up and the deep fryer at Nishat has also retired hurt. If this is true, then we have a candidate for most lack-lustre international brand launch ever.

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  • Usman
    Oct 7, 2013 - 5:01PM

    Just heard from two sources that the oven at boat basin has packed up and the deep fryer at Nishat has also retired hurt. If this is true, then we have a candidate for most lack-lustre international brand launch ever.

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  • anwar kamal
    Oct 7, 2013 - 6:49PM

    Wish not to be the target of Taliban.

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  • Shahnoor
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:35PM

    I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Bking ….. :)

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  • junaid
    Oct 9, 2013 - 1:34AM

    Nishat commericial burger king video

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15p4opburger-king-nishat-commercial-defence-defense-dha-karachilifestyle

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  • masood
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:33PM

    Burge rKing is ofcourse real….all readers Burger is manged by by MCR who owns Pizza hut Franchise in Pakistaan…..they are experts of marketing but that is their amrketing strategy to not todo marketing before opning as they know they will get the crowd wit h our marketing and after marketing it would be mess is branches soon will be opne in lahore, islamabad and peshwar

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  • Aneela Zakaria
    Oct 9, 2013 - 10:57PM

    Who cares if this is soft or hard opening….Pakistanis have to much time on their hands and all they do is groan and moan, if your like the food then shut up eat it and enjoy or move on!

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  • Usman
    Oct 10, 2013 - 9:54AM

    Hi Masood… we are not discussing their strategy to go with no advertising here… we understand that they are in a soft launch phase but what we fail to understand how can a legacy brand like Burger King do such a blunder of opening up without properly trained staff who still dont even know how to serve the burger… trust me the burgers were burnt and staff didn’t even know how to serve it… the bun was unable to hold the patty.. drinks were half filled.. pathetic experience.. no value for the premium paid… MCR bought the chain here but is unable to retain the BK experience… honestly it looks like fake Burger King

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  • Oct 21, 2013 - 1:35PM

    Really much bat trained persons working at Burger king” I really can’t understand how appointed to those people, still need much better service. we are not talking about the strategy and advertising in Karachi, we cannot understand how soft beaning in Pakistan Karachi but we cannot understand how can apply brand like Burger King as blunder beaning in Karachi without properly brand staff who serve better in Burger king, we still not understand know the service in burger king how the guys serving to guest or customer, very much foolish, trust me, the burger king product like not as brand because all the product extra cook even cold drinks just full ice cubes, low quantity, no one have any idea how to serve the people coming at burger king the bun was to much holding actual position, same quality at drinks side.. no real experience noting value at the burger king MCR what going on and where is the Real MCR, honestly it like (Aam burger -(Khokhy wala burger) Burger King.

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  • ananymous
    Nov 4, 2013 - 6:43PM

    Some other party got the contract but due to mis-commitment from BK international they pulled back. They would have never gotten the franchise if the original investors had not said NO to burger king … it fell into their lap because someone said NO first and then it was given to these guyss @Syed A. Mateen:

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