Category Archives: Federal B Area

786 Fast Food: Rocking or Flopping?

Just a few years ago, a Food Street was a big thing. The Nazims and all the bureaucrats  made a hoopla of developing of Food Streets where people can come and have a rollicking time as if that would miraculously jump start tourism in this part of the world.

Truth of the matter is, the sprawling metropolis of Karachi has without any aid or help from the government spawned a number of such streets brimming with eateries. How in devil’s name did these develop so meticulously on their own is a million euro question (dollar being out of favor).

Apart from the renowned Boating Basin and Burnes Road, you’ve got the Sajji street on University Road, the Karhai Walas on Super Highway, the Fast Food streets in Azizabad, North Nazimabad and Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Kabab Roll mania in Khadda Market Defence,the BBQ street in Bahadurabad, and the Nihari  Street in F.B Area which is also the topic of interest here.

The Nihari Street in Dastaghir, F.B Area came about as a result of the famous Jawaid ki Nihari. Another uniqueness of this street is that it has a halwa puri wala which offers this morning delicacy even at night!

But that’s not the topic of discussion here. It is the 786 Fast Food right across the street from Jawaid Nihari. We have always emphasized on the crucial importance of the location and the 786 people couldn’t have got it more right on that particular street. The next crucial thing after location comes the product behind the brand, in this case the food. In order to make it big, the taste as well as the quantity of food should at least be at par with that particular category, also referred to as the POP (Point of Parity).

786 has done wonderfully well on both these counts. The taste although not great, is good enough, and the quantity is enough to stuff a normal healthy stomach. We tested two of their core meals, the Zinger and the Club Sandwich, and they passed with flying colors on both these dishes.

So, is 786 going to become the next Fast Food chain to dethrone Hanifia  or even Mr. Burger? No.

Why? Because it hasn’t got any POD (Point of Differentiation) to be worthy of contention for greatness. The taste is alright, but it’s the same as the other Zinger walas- there’s just no uniqueness about it.

The quantity is fulfilling, but then that’s the case in many other local fast food haunts. If it had made the portion size a gigantic one, something which the consumer couldn’t consume without bursting at the seams, well that would have made for a great POD.

Another small but clever POD it could have come up with was instead of using a standard mayonnaise, it could have used the garlic mayo one, something which the Karachiites are very fond of. And it could have used that not only in the Zinger burger but in the club sandwich as well. That sort of innovation would serve the joint well.

Another cardinal rule they have broken is offering too many items. Although they are a fast food joint, they are offering everything under the sun from Chinese stuff  to Shashlik and Chicken Garlic. Instead they ought to focus on a few items and try to offer innovations on them.

So, should you head towards the joint? Only if you are in the area and you are in the mood for a quick bite, otherwise there’s no need to come all the way to this place when you can have the same things with the same taste just about anywhere in Karachi.

Khan Snacks and Broast

Khan Snacks and Broast is one of the oldest fast food joints in Karachi. Located near the Water-Pump Chowrangi (now a proper intersection) in F.B Area, it is one of the pioneers of broast-making in this part of the world.

Even now when a million fast food joints are offering this delicacy, Khan’s version remains remarkably differentiated. It’s rivals have utterly failed to copy its competitive advantage. But it’s not just the broast itself that is uniquely created. The bun, the fries, the raita, even the ketchup is radically different from the rest of the pack. And the coleslaw is out of this world!

Over the years, we feel that the size of their broast has shrunk while the prices like the rest of them have gone up. And herein lies an opportunity for some brand to offer substantial size chicken pieces at the same prices. Even with average taste, this brand will definitely prosper.

Khan’s burgers, however, are not that sumptuous. Especially the beef buger tastes like a home-made version. Its beef patty is your standard ‘Kachchey Qeemay ka kabab’.  However, if you fancy the home-cooked taste, you’re going to love it. The chicken version fares just a wee bit better.

However, unlike other fast food joints in the same category, Khan’s burgers are guaranteed to satiate your appetite- they are that big. What’s more, unlike other fast food joints which offer raita only with the broast, Khan offers it even with the burgers – with unlimited refilling.

The chicken zinger, however, doesn’t have a unique taste and tastes just like your standard local zinger in any other fast food joint. Its size though is substantial, guaranteed to fill you up to the brim. Although the bun is of standard size, the crusty patty is humungous, protruding from both sides of the bun. In most of the local fast food joints, the zinger patty is either too crusty with literally no meat inside or simply meat with no flakes. Khan’s version offers the perfect blend of crust with meat.

The prices are pretty much the same compared to the competition. The broast is around Rs.120, so is the zinger. The beef burger is priced at Rs.70.

Over the years, the taste has remained remarkably consistent, and surprisingly, so is the menu. While the competition offers everything under the sun from Chinese cuisine to shashlik, Khan broast has confined itself to just the basic fast food items, adding only zinger along the way and not bothering to offer even the club sandwich which is the prerequisite of any fast food joint.

There’s an even an urban legend associated with Khan’s. They say Khan’s earnings from catering and normal dining is a whopping Rs. 2 lac per day. Now that can’t be right? Or is it?

Stranger things are happened though in this city of lights.

Whatever the stories, there’s one fact that you cannot ignore, and that is, you need to go and indulge yourself in Khan’s delicacies.