Kahva Cafe and Grill

Kahva café and grill located just on the outskirts of the Sindhi Muslim Food Street has been around for the last several years. How it has managed to survive all these years is amazing considering the fact that you would hardly find it buzzing with people. Not that it wears a deserted look every time, but it just doesn’t have the appeal to make crowds throng to it just like Roasters or even Nandos a few 100 metres away from Kahva do.

Kahva has all the ingredients of an upscale café, the ambience, the upholstery, even the prices. The dining hall has the perfect blend of lighting something which so many upscale cafes and restaurants fail at.

And yet it is not pulling the sort of traffic that its brethren Roasters is. To be fair, Roasters had the brand essence already established via its Zamzama outlet, so the consumers thronging the place already what they were getting into. Roasters also had the competitive advantage of being owned by Nadeem Raja, the owner of already famous Arizona Grill who knew how to make a restaurant successful.

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Kahva on the other hand had to start from scratch. On top of that, the name doesn’t exactly exude the image of a sophisticated suave café. The most you would associate with the name Kahva is a swanky Shisha bar. And Kahva doesn’t even offer Sheesha. It does, however, offer numerous coffee options, from Mocha to Latte, the complete works.

Just like Roasters and in fact most of the eating houses on that strip, it is located on two floors. Both floors are styled on the pattern of a lounge with sofas and all. There is of course the conventional dining table arrangement also incorporated into the scheme. The aesthetics of it all is right up there with the very best.

What Kahva is lacking behind in is the core product- the food. Not all, but one of the items that we tried- something which is common and sure to be tried by most of the people coming to the place – was totally horrendous. Called the Biccacio sandwich, it was supposed to be made of chicken cubes marinated in herbs and spices and served in freshly baked oregano bread along with fries and coleslaw. Priced at a whopping Rs.345, the sandwich was, to start with, just below the average size. In fact if you compare it to what you can get for pretty much the same price at Roasters, it can aptly be called tiny. And remember that GST is charged in addition to the price. So the actual price of the sandwich is a mind-numbing Rs.407.

The size, sadly, wasn’t the only thing wrong with the sandwich. The description belied the ground reality. Instead of being marinated with herbs and spices, the chicken cubes seemed to be inundated with tomato sauce. Again nothing wrong with that if the sauce itself was palatable which it wasn’t. The coleslaw that accompanied it wasn’t upto the mark either. The only saving grace was the fries, both in taste and quantity.

Two of the other items that we tried were, thankfully, the complete opposite of this torrid experience. The Alfredo Fettuccini, a special pasta made with mushrooms, chicken and a garlic cream sauce was simply divine. Priced at Rs.390, the quantity was also just about right. Yes, the chicken pieces could have been a few more but it doesn’t matter that much. The garlic essence in the sauce was not overdone which some restaurants are prone to do.

The jumbo prawns in peppercorn sauce served with garlic rice were sumptuous. Priced Rs.545 they were at par with the Roasters and Arizona Grill’s offering. The only glitch was that the shell wasn’t removed and that spoilt the mood a bit working on that.

One mind-boggling we found at Kahva was that the soft drink was priced at Rs.75. Add GST to that and it comes out to be a staggering Rs.88.5. If you were lounging at a five star hotel and paying this much premium on an ordinary drink, it would make sense. Here it is nothing short of mind-boggling. The only rationale we can come up with is because the place is a wi-fi hotspot and has plasma screens installed, people come to enjoy the ambience and order a soft drink for that privilege. So Kahva is charging the premium for sitting around in the soft drinks.

But they need to at least reduce the rates for those who’re already having a meal there, or better still include the drinks free of cost in the meal. It’s not a big deal but it would help to boost the brand loyalty.

Kahva maybe a good place to dine out, but being good alone is not enough to prosper as many restaurants and cafes have found out the hard way. Kahva will need to ensure a decent turn-over to be able to succeed in the long run, considering the cut-throat competition it faces in the neighborhood.

One thing it needs to immediately implement is offer lucrative meal deals especially on its snack category, because the few people who came in while we were there went for that option. The most popular deal on that food strip is buy one, get 50% off the second one. It could go for that option, or any other option, as long as it is attractive enough to lure the consumers in and then works its magic on them to keep them for life.

Snack Attack lays a siege on Karachi

Snack Attack is yet another mid-range fast food joint in the city.  It’s biggest drawback is its location. Although located on Khalid Bin Waleed Road (parallel to Tariq Road) which sees a lot of traffic, it does not have any food joints located nearby. This simple fact has been a source of downfall for many restaurants before.

On the up side, Snack Attack has broken away from the trend of offering a plethora of meal deals with a kabab roll thrown in for good measure in every deal. In fact it doesn’t offer kabab roll or barbeque for that matter at all. It has done well to differentiate itself by offering stuff that has a taste apart from the rest of the bunch. In addition it is offering products which most don’t bother such as fish zinger. In fact it is shrewdly emulating Nandos by offering their core brands – Peri Peri Chicken and Espetada. While the Espetada at Nandos cost a whopping Rs.500+, Snack Attack has cleverly priced at just Rs.265.

Although Snack Attack is charging a premium pricing compared to its counterparts in the mid-tier category, it hasn’t come up with an ambiance to justify the premium. The joint is almost completely open a la Khan Snacks and therefore without air-conditioning. In fact the kitchen is open as well and although you get to see how the food is being prepared, the downside is that whenever they prepare something sizzling or spicy being prepared, the aroma stings your throat all the way in the dining hall as it did in our case. That was really annoying.
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They’ve got a solitary plasma screen on one of the walls showing the cricket matches which is not enough. A couple more will do.

We tried the mushroom Swiss chicken burger with cheese priced Rs.165 (add Rs.20 for cheese) and bbq club sandwich priced Rs.175. Instead of the usual fries and coleslaw, they provide garlic sauce and fries along with the snacks.

The mushroom Swiss chicken burger was supremely divine. Yes, the mushroom quantity was less than desirable, yes, the burger size wasn’t upto the mark and yes, the bun wasn’t the freshest we’ve ever tasted. In spite of these minor shortcomings, the chicken mushroom burger is worth devouring.

The bbq club sandwich could be placed at the other end of the spectrum. Its size was almost humongous, enough to satiate your appetite. The taste was pretty palatable. The filling wasn’t all that great. In line with the ordinary fast food joints, they had conveniently left the edges empty.

One good thing about them is that they give a huge quantity of fries. And the garlic sauce they serve with the meal is scrumptious.

The service is one of their weak points. When we visited in the evening, the place was almost deserted with almost 20 waiters swarming around, and yet the order was served late. If they had employed as many cooks as they have waiters, they could certainly speed up the process. But late isn’t a glitch if the end result is fresh and piping hot. While the chicken mushroom burger was just that, the club sandwich was cold.

Traditionally, club sandwiches are served in that fashion, but if you’re looking to differentiate, you might as well differentiate by serving the sandwiches hot. One big advantage of this is that the taste of any dish whether it’s great or mediocre is enhanced simply by virtue of being hot.

Another blemish in the service was serving half the dishes before and the rest after 10 minutes. It’s an unspoken rule of thumb in the food service industry to serve everyone at the same time instead of making a few people from the group having to wait while the rest consumer their meal.

Overall, Snack Attack is worth giving a shot with their uniquely prepared items. They could definitely do with a few meal deals. Right now they’re just offering two meal deals which are for the whole family and not for a single person.

Snack Attack
66/1 Jamaluddin Afghani Road

Tung Nan- The Chinese Restaurant

Tung Nan is one of the ancient Chinese restaurants of Karachi from the time when Chinese cuisine was all the rage in this coastal city. Back then eating out meant going for barbeque or Chinese. Simple times.

Times have changed dramatically since then. Now you’ve the choice of a plethora of cuisines and restaurants to choose from – Italian, Thai, Mediterranean, Mexican, Japanese, you name it.

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Chinese cuisine may have lost favor with the rich and elite,  but it still resonates strongly with the classes just below it. The result – most of the Chinese restaurants based in the vicinity of Tariq Road for more than decades are alive and well, some in fact doing roaring business.

Tung Nan is located in a side lane of Tariq Road in between English Boot House and Zahid Nihari. Just across it is another old-timer Hong Kong.

We tried both Hong Kong and Tung Nan after more than a decade. Hong Kong was a disappointment with all the Chinese dishes reeking strongly of Pakistani touch.

Tung Nan on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. Smaller in size compared to Hong Kong which is quite big for a Chinese restaurant, it has a soothing ambiance very much what you would expect from a restaurant of this category- dark interior and all.

We ordered the usual dishes that we test at every Chinese joint- Hot n Sour soup as appetizer, followed by chicken fried rice, chicken chowmein, beef chilli, spring roll, fried prawn and sweet n sour prawn.

The hot n sour soup wasn’t the best that we’ve had at a Chinese joint, but it wasn’t bad either. To be fair, it was sufficiently loaded with all the goodies including prawns.

The rest of the stuff was some of the best you’ll ever have at a Chinese joint. Although none of us know what authentic Chinese cuisine does taste like, Tung Nan’s offerings were at par with the taste created by the giants of this category back in the 80s, if you consider that taste to be the barometer for judging authentic Chinese cuisine.

People who prefer less salt and spices are specially going to be thrilled by Tung Nan’s recipes. In this respect at least, Tung Nan is staying true to the Chinese roots. This is a healthy breakaway from the existing trend where most Chinese restaurants load their offerings with salt and spices.

Quantity-wise Tung Nan is just above average. In some dishes, it offers generous helpings like the fried rice but in others like sweet and sour prawns, quantity could definitely be improved upon.

All in all Tung Nan is a good place to have a quaint Chinese meal with your family at a price that is competitive with the other Chinese joints. A meal for five would cost around Rs.2,000 with everyone getting sufficiently stuffed.

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Chaman Ice Cream Parlor

Lahore, akin to Karachi, is not well known for upscale ice cream parlors. Maybe the packaged ice cream brands have done a remarkable job of keeping the consumer demand for the category satiated, maybe the Pakistani consumer doesn’t fancy ice cream as much as he fancies the halwas and the mithais, or maybe there’s a tremendous vacuum in this category and there’s no shrewd marketer to realize this opportunity.

In any case, both these mega cities fair poorly in this category.  In the category just below it, the one-size-fit-all ice cream parlor which tries to be everything to everyone, the track record of these two cities is not that bad. But even here, monopolistic trends reign supreme. For instance, when you say Lahore, the ice cream brand that is top-of-mind (apart from the packaged Yummy) is Chaman. Value-wise, this is equivalent to Baloch Ice Cream in Karachi, but while Baloch has a number of outlets all over Karachi, Chaman has just three in Lahore. And while Baloch has a strong competition, Chaman is almost a monopoly over there.

And now Chaman has arrived in Karachi. It started off with a fairly average launch, concentrating mostly on billboards to announce the arrival with no special deal offered on the launch, in fact no USP whatsoever. What it did do extremely well is get hold of ideal locations, both from the point of view of the target market and the number of members of the target market frequenting the area. It has opened two shops, one at Tariq Road near KFC, the other at Boating Basin.

And yet the place is not doing as well as it does in Lahore, in fact not as good as any good ice cream parlor ought to do.

But why? One of the major reasons is that the Chaman owner thought that it was already a well-established brand in Lahore and that the people of Karachi would know about it, even having tasted it on their visits to Lahore. Unfortunately for the Chaman guy, this assumption didn’t work.

Secondly, Chaman is charging a somewhat premium price of Rs. 50 per two scoops, again probably having the line of thinking that it is already an established brand and can charge whatever it wants. It’s strongest competitor, Baloch Ice Cream, has priced the same cup size at Rs. 35-40 depending upon the flavor.

Yes, there’s nothing wrong with charging premium pricing but you do need to be able to justify it. Chaman should definitely have done some brand activation, even reminding people of the rich heritage of Chaman in Lahore. It didn’t do that. It just put up a few billboards and they also give the impression that it was a new shop and not the king brand of Lahore.

The result is for all to see. Both the outlets are fairly deserted most of the time in spite of the fact that they are located at prime spots of Karachi.

Finally, the lackluster performance of Chaman is to an extent related to its taste. Although it has quite a number of flavors, more than most of the competitors, the taste itself is not that unique. It could be a case of Karachiites not liking the Lahori taste. It could be a case of Karachiites already having tasted similar tastes in other parlors at a much lower cost. That’s a disadvantage Chaman has in Karachi, a city which offers the ice cream consumer a plethora of choices in terms of prices and taste. It’s like being a big fish in a small pond to suddenly becoming a small fish in a very large ocean, although Lahore is no small pond by any stretch of the imagination, in this case it does.

When we tested five of their flavors – strawberry,vanilla, banana, pista and tutti fruit, they tasted more like the packaged ice cream brands rather than the handmade brands. And yes, that is a disadvantage. On top of that, Chaman doesn’t offer any toppings or cone options, a feature which has become a perquisite for any ice cream parlor in Karachi in this category.  They do have their sundaes and other similar desserts though.

So what can Chaman do to turn things around in Karachi?

The cheapest option would be to go for a social media strategy, targeting youth havens Facebook and Twitter. If that’s not possible, then go the traditional way of creating and distributing flyers. But what do the flyers proclaim? Just making flyers about the brand and its location is not going to cut it. What Chaman needs is to come up with innovative ways of offering its ice cream. Buy 1 get 1 free on the slowest night or day. Eat all you can ice cream option at an extremely affordable rate.

Most restaurateurs would balk at the idea of an ice cream parlor offering buffet. But why not? If you have a number of flavors, nothing should be stopping you from offering the buffet option. How much can the consumer eat anyway? A dozen scoops at the most. Just look at the positive side. Your ice cream would start turning over, meaning you don’t have to throw away the half your lot just because it didn’t get consumed. Then you’ll know which flavors the target market is favoring, and then position your offering accordingly.

Come up with innovative flavors. Chocolate cum vanilla, or vanilla chips, a tactic which Hot Spot excels at and which plays a major part in its popularity.

These two options represent just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of things that Chaman can do to enhance its brand equity in Karachi without having to change the original recipe. But sitting on your butt expecting the brand to lift off on its own without any push is a sure recipe for disaster.

chaman consumerater
chaman consumerater

Roasters Coffee House & Grill- Riding High

Roasters started out as a coffee house but then popular demand by the regular clientele forced the owner Nadeem Raja to introduce main entrées into the foray, as revealed by him to Mahmood Nanji on the program Success Stories.

With time, Roasters has morphed into a full-fledged restaurant with the coffee business confined to a mere sideline option.

If you’re familiar with most of the upscale restaurants in town including Roasters, you will notice Roasters has an uncanny resemblance to one particular joint. In fact most of the items on display are identical. That place is Arizona Grill and the reason is both joints are owned by Nadeem Raja.

Wouldn’t that lead to cannibalization of sales? To an extent, yes. Fortunately, they are not located that close to each other, although all the four joints are in the same locality, two at Zamzama and the other two at Bahadurabad and Sindhi Muslim Society.

The most similar dish and probably the best item on both restaurants’ menus is the Battered Fried Shrimp. Heavenly stuff, these shrimps.  The surprise element was the price. At Arizona Grill, this dish costs almost Rs.600 whereas at Roasters it is priced less than Rs.500! Talk about brand premium. There’s literally no difference in the taste, quantity or even in the presentation, apart from the garlic sauce that is served with Arizona version but is absent in the Roasters version.

Roasters- Battered Fried Shrimp

There are of course, differences as well. Crepe is one of the specialties of Roasters but nowhere to be found in Arizona Grill.

The quantity, well, Arizona Grill fares a wee bit better on this aspect than others.

We tested five of their main entrées, and found their sumptuous factor to be remarkably high compared to their contemporary restaurants. The Onion and Pepper Chicken was the worse of the lot, and even that wasn’t all that bad. The chicken itself wasn’t badly done, there was the strange sprinkling on top that spoiled the whole dish.

The chicken waffle is a bold dish for two reasons. One, waffle is not something that is known amongst the Pakistani consumer, let alone be popular amongst it. Secondly, waffle is mostly used as a morning or evening snack; on top of that it is slightly sweet. Our consumer may have become accustomed to the red-sauce sweet-and-sour chicken and prawn and what not, getting used to waffle may take time or may not happen at all. It’s bound to become popular only if more and more eateries start serving it.

Roasters- Chicken Waffle

The Roasters’ chicken waffle was alright, nothing extraordinary. We felt that the waffle itself could have been done a whole lot better. It should have been soft but was quite hard.

The solitary beef burger on the menu was not only tasty but humongous. It ought to satiate the appetite of even the ‘healthiest’ of eaters.

The two crepes that we tried were simply divine. Even the now defunct Crepe Factory couldn’t come up with this level of’ scrumptulicious’.

The pasta was the second best thing on the menu, with just the right amount of spices and herbs used to accentuate the flavor.

Both the joints, Zamzama as well as Sindhi Muslim Society, were checked out and the ambiance, service and food were found to be remarkably uniform. Service was good enough, although at the Sindhi Muslim outlet when we ordered different forms of potato with different dishes, we got only the French fries with each one. Minor glitch.

The privacy factor could be jacked up a bit, although it’s far better than others of its kind especially at Zamzama.

It’s marketing strategy is a little bit subdued. They have come up with the standard lunch deal which most of the upscale restaurants are following diligently – buy one and get the other at 50% off. However the way this promotion is presented at all restaurants including Roasters – “50 % off Lunch Deal”, it gives the impression that you would only be required to pay 50% on your total bill. A bit deceptive, especially since the actual deal doesn’t offer that much of a difference in the total bill.

Why? Many reasons. For one, the GST is not included in the waiver. Then the deal is valid for only the main entrée. Any appetizer or dessert you order will be charged at full price. And the biggest of all, you need to order even number of main entrees to be eligible for the meager discount. If you order 3 or 5, only one dish would be eligible for the discount.

And herein lies an opportunity for some shrewd restaurateur to tinker with the terms of the deals and make it more attractive than what the rest of the bunch is offering. How?

Include even the starters and desserts within the deal. Then if a customer orders three or five dishes, offer a 25% discount on the odd one out. And if someone is bold enough to order seven dishes, how about the eighth one completely free? These small measures have the potential to tilt the level playing field in the favor of the restaurateur who implements them, that is if, someone is bold enough.

A great opportunity which almost all restaurateurs fail to take advantage of is offer tantalizing deals on the slowest day, which for most is Monday nights. Gun Smoke is one shrewd place which is offering Eat All You Can deal on a Monday night although the deal is a bit too stifling. Then Aqua Lounge is offering a Crab Buffet on Monday night. Although not a bad idea, but who would have a crab-only buffet on Monday of all the nights, and that also for Rs.1000+ tax?

That’s literally creating a barrier for anyone even remotely interested in that deal. So what gives?

Your deal has to be too good to be true, yes it has to be that irresistible, even if it means you don’t make any profit on it. After all your purpose is turn the slowest night into the fastest one, to make sure that the place is thronging with people and people are falling over each other to get their hands on that deal. What this would do is stir a commotion and spread like wildfire. No one to date has been able to conjure up this sort of hysteria on a slow night, weekend yes but not when the going is tough.

Coming back to Roasters, apart from this one deal, there’s no deal, advertising or brand awareness strategy by them. All the branding endeavors are internally driven. They don’t even have a Facebook page which is a major shortcoming considering that almost the upscale joints maintain a regular presence there, interacting with their customers, offering new deals and basically just keeping in the thick of things. It’s even more bizarre since the sibling brand Arizona Grill does have a major presence on facebook with more than 12,000 fans.

Although there’s a group by its name, it’s probably created by a fan and doesn’t have much to offer, not even the menu.

All in all, Roasters has done tremendously well to rise up to the first-tier upscale restaurants from being a mere coffee shop, competing with the category leaders, leaving even the parent brand Arizona Grill behind.

Nandos Scores Big with Espetada Rustica

We have always been a fan of Nandos’ marketing endeavors, not just their tongue-in-cheek humorous print ads reflecting the prevailing conditions (headed by the creative department of Adcom), but also their in-house branding efforts. The way they have woven stories seamlessly into their ambiance, something which the other franchises have utterly failed to do in spite of having a long and rich tradition themselves, speaks volumes for the ingenuity of their marketing department.

However, I have never been a fan of their food. Nine times out of ten, I have come out a disappointed customer. I would have thought I  was the odd man out until I saw the share of the Pakistani market that Nandos has as found out by Aurora in their December issue – a meager 6%, which just goes on to show I’m not the only one not satisfied with their offering.

A case can be made in their favor that Subway as well has only a 6% share although it has far more outlets than Nandos. To set the record straight, Nandos has just three in the entire metropolis of Karachi. But then, it could have deliberately kept the outlets low because it expect demand for more.

When it comes to aggressive sales promotion and pricing, Subway wins against Nandos hands down. Although Subway doesn’t come up with new innovative dishes likes Nandos does, what it does do is put a clever spin on its lone offering at a price that is unbeatable. Put another way, the amount of stuff you can have at a particular price at Subway wouldn’t fulfill you at all at Nandos.

That brings us to their new marketing toy- the Espetada Rustica. If you strip away the hype, there’s nothing to it- just five pieces of tender grilled chicken served with baked vegetables, a bun and butter sauce. But the way it is presented in that unique vertically inclined skewer and the story to go with it that Christopher Columbus was addicted to this on his New World Adventures. Now the late discoverer of America may never even have heard or seen this dish, let alone be addicted to it, but such is the power of storytelling in branding that this delicacy has become the darling of the consumers. I can’t think of a time before when the consumers rushed to Nandos for some new offering as they have responded this time. A friend of mine celebrated his wedding anniversary at Nandos courtesy the Espetada Rustica.

Of course the print and the radio medium had a big part to play in this state of affairs since it was advertised on both these mediums. While the radio ad was good, especially the heavy accent used to portray possibly a Portuguese chef, the print ad would have made the great David Ogilvy turn in his grave.

Ogilvy was always a great fan of the white background, or at least a light one which would highlight the foreground elements. Nandos always goes against this convention. And it just doesn’t work completely. Just look at the ad, the background is red, the skewer is red and so is the drink! No contrast whatsoever. And if that wasn’t enough, the details of the entrée are written in microscopic font on a green background. Who on earth would be able to read that without a magnifying glass? And this isn’t the first time they have committed this folly. The fact that the cuisine has become well-known with the consumer doesn’t mean the print ad was a success. Maybe all the people driven towards the entrée was the sole result of the radio ad or even the billboard.

Now the crucial part- the taste. In that department, the Estrada Rustica is quite good. It comes in two flavors, the mild and the hot. We checked out the mild one, so cannot comment on the other one. The size of the portion was generous, enough to satiate the appetite of a healthy adult. The accessories could have been much better both in diversity and portion. A few boiled/backed pieces of assorted vegetables just doesn’t cut it. They should have at least thrown in the potato wedges for good measure, even if they are not part of the original 16th century recipe, that is, if there is really an ancient recipe of it. In any way, something extra must have been included, considering the price of the offering.

And now we come to the second crucial part – the pricing. Simply put, it is exorbitant. At Rs. 575 plus tax plus a drink plus the tip, you are looking at an Rs.850 meal, and there’s no appetizer or dessert. Now that’s pretty steep. When Nandos first launched  the offer, the drink called Blanko was included in the 575. Not anymore. You have to pay Rs.120 plus tax for that too. And it’s not even in the menu. Another fantastic marketing gimmicky.

Coming to the drink, it is offered in two flavors, either a sprite or a coke. Trust me, take the sprite version, for the other one is simply undrinkable. Not that the sprite one fares much better. We couldn’t discern the taste completely, but it tasted like a cross between a hair spray and a talcum powder. We tried our hardest to identify the brands of the powder and the hair spray, but the citrus taste courtesy slices of apple and orange in this ‘Portuguese’ drink created a hurdle in this endeavor.

We asked the waiter what on earth were the ingredients of the drink, and the poor soul had no idea himself. He said a strange syrup is imported the contents of which are confidential, and this syrup is used to make this drink. Swell.

But you have got to hand it to the Nandos people for sexing up the presentation of the drink as well with that ancient shaped bottle to go with the Columbus tale. And the volume was generous enough, about 300-350 ml.

Another brilliant marketing tactic they have come up is the use of cards to entice the first time customer for a repeat visit. The card is divided into six coupons, each coupon valid for a single visit. For the 2nd visit, you get chicken wings for free if you spend a certain amount, for the 3rd wedges and so on.

On our second visit, as promised we got the chicken wings, and they were simply divine. The thing to praise here is that the Nandos people didn’t try to cheat by offering less just because it was free, something that other franchises are prone to do.

Nandos ought to continue with this innovative style of coming up with strange and supposedly exotic dishes and marketing them aggressively. Yes, the price of Estrada Rustic is a bit too steep, which I reckon includes the cost of the marketing campaign. Otherwise, Nandos could easily have priced this product at Rs. 300-400 considering there’s no unique or expensive ingredient in it. But then, I’m also in favor of charging a brand premium if you can position your brand favorably in the consumer’s mind. And Nandos has succeeded at that in this case.

Subway’s Rs.169 Special Deal

When it comes to special offers, Subway takes the lead over all the other foreign franchises operating in Pakistan. Maybe this has got something to do with the fact that amongst all the foreign brands in Pakistan, Subway has had the toughest time. 10 years down the line, they have managed to capture a meager 6% of the market share in contrast to KFC lion’s share of 29%, Pizza Hut with 23% and McDonald’s with 18%.  Although Nando’s is at 6% as well, but then Nando’s hasn’t had the run that Subway has plus it doesn’t have that many outlets compared to the strong network of Subway.

(These market share stats were determined through an online survey conducted by Dawn.com and the results published in Aurora magazine). Continue reading Subway’s Rs.169 Special Deal

New Nan King – Just Another Chinese Brand?

Back in the 80s, when café rage was yet to hit the Karachi foodscape; branded franchise (Pizza Hut, KFC & McDonalds) were non-existent, and places like Copper Kettle and the Zamzama street were still in the womb, Chinese restaurants were the place to hit if you wanted to have an upscale eating out experience. Most of the Chinese restaurants in the city including Peking, Kowloon and Hong Kong were concentrated in the PECHS and Bahadurabad area. And the king of the lot was none other than Continue reading New Nan King – Just Another Chinese Brand?