Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Halal Restaurants: Relatively Untapped Business Model?

Famed for having an “exotic” feel and yet probably only a comfortable walking distance away from most restaurant critics and fine dining connoisseurs, are Halal restaurants still a relatively untapped business model?

By: Ringo Bones

Ever since the Bush administration’s malfeasantly run War on Terror managed to bedevil the Islamic World and made Islamophobia fashionable to those who are into neo-Nazism big time, the Halal restaurant business has been denied their proverbial day in the sun in the Christian West since they became popular during the rise of Hair Metal in the late 1980s and Seattle Grunge in the 1990s. Given that the Bush administration’s malfeasance never managed to catch Bin Laden for eight long years, is the commercial success for Halal restaurants nigh?

Even though one has to do a significant amount of legwork in order to authenticate the local Halal restaurants that have suddenly sprung up for their authenticity – i.e. a certification from your local Council of Muftis – me and many others find that Halal restaurants have a certain ineffable charm. They also are not too crowded and most of the time, their serving staff are not especially overworked – earning them several brownie points in the service department.

Business wise, even the French burger / fastfood chain quick now seems to be riding on the Halal wave when they started serving Halal certified burgers with beef and other Halal meats prepared under approved Islamic law. The press have even dubbed it as the surest sign that Halal foods are now mainstream in Paris. Economically, this represent a 7 billion US dollar a year EU wide Halal market, but in France, most meat claiming to be Halal are not as they don’t have any certification of their local Council of Muftis. At least Halal restaurants are now on everyone’s radar again despite of the eight-year long Bush era Islamophobia.