Lahore’s all-women run eatery sets a new trend

Women staff members at Pakistan’s first all-women run eatery, a fast-food joint in Lahore, deliver orders to waiting customers. August 1, 2019. (AN Photo)
Updated 19 August 2019
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Lahore’s all-women run eatery sets a new trend

  • The all-female staff is meeting revenue targets and giving “best” performance
  • KFC now plans on launching more women-run branches in other major Pakistani cities

LAHORE: In socially conservative Pakistan where millions of women are denied their basic right to work, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has set a new trend by setting up an eatery, run by an entirely all-women staff.
Nestled in a sprawling food court in Lahore’s massive Packages Mall, the busy KFC branch in the eastern Pakistani city is now the country’s first eatery where the cooking, managing, cleaning, and serving is run solely by women staffers handling hundreds of daily orders, with no men in sight except for in the customer queue.
Huma Farooq, manager at the branch is only 26 years old but rose through the ranks quickly after starting out as a front-desk worker.
“In Pakistan, women are taught to manage their house,” Farooq told Arab News. “They do everything for their homes. They clean, cook and serve. This branch is different from the others. Women take it as their home and ... give it their best,” she said.
“We all treat each other like sisters or relatives and share each other’s burdens,” she said.
And that sisterhood seems to be bringing in results in the form of revenue targets, which are being more than met.
“Honestly speaking, the all-female branch is giving the best performance, and feedback from the customers is really encouraging,” KFC’s Chief Operating Officer in Lahore, Hamayun Sajid, told Arab News.
“The idea behind launching an all-female branch was to give empowerment to women and to encourage (other) women to follow the trend,” he said.
KFC now plans on launching more women-run branches in other major Pakistani cities, including Islamabad and Karachi.
Ramiz Khan, 16, a student on his first visit to Pakistan from Dubai, told Arab News that a trip to the chicken joint unwittingly changed his view of the country.
“The restaurant has changed my perception about Pakistan,” he said. “It is my first trip to the country as I was born and raised in Dubai. I can say that Pakistan is not (as) conservative as portrayed generally.”
The praise was unrelenting from customers at the tables and standing in the queue, as the staffers were hard at work behind the scenes and at the counters.
Another customer from Lahore, Sabata Shah, told Arab News, “I love fried chicken and often go to KFC. After visiting this branch, I can tell you that I was quite comfortable here as I was being handled by women.”
“Women from conservative backgrounds normally don’t feel comfortable with male waiters or order-takers in restaurants,” she said. “But here, they will be.”
 


Makkah, Karachi chambers agree to jointly develop business sector

Updated 3 min 5 sec ago
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Makkah, Karachi chambers agree to jointly develop business sector

  • Saudi Arabia is one of the top exporters to Pakistan
  • Mutual events and joint investment can help enhance bilateral business ties, says MCCI chief

MAKKAH: Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) chief Hisham bin Mohammed Kaaki met with his Pakistani counterpart Junaid Ismail, president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Sunday in a bid to explore ways of jointly developing the business sector of the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting, headed by the visiting Saudi official, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and to mull over areas of shared interests for the business community in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Ibrahim Bardisi, secretary-general of the MCCI, was also in the attendance.
Kaaki said that the visit to KCCI would help strengthen mutual cooperation, exchange of expertise, arrange bilateral visits and events, in addition to organizing forums and exhibitions to help develop private sector and result in strong ties between the entrepreneurs on both sides. 
He added that interaction between the Saudi and Pakistani business community can be enhanced through various mutual activities, exhibitions and joint investments.
He lauded the relations between the two countries noting that he highly valued his visit to KCCI, which was Pakistan’s largest business body.
Ismail highlighted that Pakistan had a well developed textile and military industry, in addition to offering prospects in technology sector, civil engineering and other scopes of mutual interest. Organizing exhibitions would help strengthen bilateral ties indeed, he said.
The non-oil Saudi exports to Pakistan in the last five years are estimated at SR17 billion ($4.42 billion), including food items and construction material estimated at SR191 million and SR965 million respectively.
The Kingdom is one of the top exporters to Pakistan, while the latter exports textile goods, cloth, processed cotton, rice, meat, fruits, vegetables, spices, leather products, electronic and chemicals to Saudi Arabia.