Pakistanis Don’t Approve of U.S., but They Love its Fast Food

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.25.11 | 12:11 PM ET

The new Hardee’s in Islamabad is wildly popular. McDonald’s expanded to home-delivery. A sports bar serving chicken wings—though not beer—just opened. Nicolas Brulliard explains what’s going on:

Nowhere is Pakistanis’ love of American fast food more apparent these days than at the newest Hardee’s. A few days after a much-hyped opening attended by U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter and his wife, lines of customers still extended outside the doors. Nawaz Sadiq, manager for development and training at Hardee’s, said the outlet has served an average of 5,000 to 6,000 customers a day so far.

“The Pakistani market is very much brand-conscious,” Sadiq said. “Pakistani people are against America because of its policies, but at the same time, people want quality.”

Unlike in the United States, fast food here is among the more expensive eating-out options. At 390 Pakistani rupees, or about $4.50, a Big Mac is out of reach for most people. Consequently, many customers are part of Pakistan’s highly educated class and have spent time in the United States, or have at least more favorable opinions of the United States than most of their countrymen.

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