Beurger King Muslim
Beurger King Muslim (or BKM) is a fast-food restaurant launched in July 2005. The restaurant aims to mimic American fast food restaurants. It first set-up a branch in the suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, Paris (France), offering hamburgers, French fries, sundaes, cola and doughnuts. The beef and chicken used in their burgers are halal - meaning they are made with meat slaughtered according to Islamic dietary laws. It is located in the eastern Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where many locals are first- or second-generation Muslim immigrants from former French colonies.
The word "Beur" is a French slang word for the second generation of North Africans living in France. "Beur" means "Arab". The word Beurger, therefore, is a play on words, appropriate as the majority of the clients and owners of BKM are from North Africa.
Menu and customers
Beurger King Muslim's significance stems from the fact all the food served is halal. Halal - meaning fit to eat - has to be prepared in specific ways as deemed by Islamic laws. This is part of the Muslim ritual rules for food, that include a prohibition on pork. The restaurant substitutes pork-related dishes with other meats, for example, the bacon cheeseburger is made with smoked turkey. Various sauces and spices used by the restaurant are monitored to ensure that they are not made with alcohol or fats from animals prohibited from Islamic laws. Representatives from an independent certification services come to the restaurant every week to ensure that the restaurant uses halal ingredients.
The restaurant's interior is designed to make customers feel welcome. The toilets are fitted with hoses for people not accustomed to using toilet paper, and the menu has Arabic lettering. There is a children's playground. The restaurant closes on Friday, the Muslim Day of Prayer. On Friday, the restaurant re-opens at 4 P.M. and closes at midnight.
Aside from serving burgers, fries, sundaes and doughnuts, the restaurant also serves specialties like 'Bakon Halal', 'Double Koull Cheeseburger' (Koull is a play on the American word "cool". Koull can also mean to "to eat" in Arabic), the BKM burger (a burger similar to McDonald's Big Mac), and several types of "koull" burgers.
As a result of the halal food, more than 80% of the restaurant's customers are Muslim. While this is responsible for the business' success, it also has a downturn. During Ramadan, the Muslims' annual fast that lasts for a month, the revenues drop. According to Ibrahim Dar, the profits can drop 40 to 50 percent.
The opening of the restaurant has given a boost to the local economy of the Parisian suburb. Project manager Mourad Benhamid says that BKM had provided 28 new jobs. As one in four people of working age in the area are unemployed, Benhamid says the restaurant "ended a long period of unemployment". He also pointed out that the restaurant will allow the hiring of young people who have no diplomas.
Previously, a soft-drink by the name of "Mecca Cola" found success amongst the France's Muslim population (the largest in Europe). In 1994, a British Muslim worker at KFC decided to open his own chain of restaurants called "Chicken Spot". Today the enterprise runs 32 branches throughout Britain.
- Muslim Beurger bar opens in Paris. BBC News, 2 August 2005
- Renout, Frank. "French fast food caters to a new audience: Muslims", CS Monitor, September 08, 2005.
- "Fast-food Joint Caters to France's Muslims". Deutsche Welle. 2005-08-14. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Smith, Craig S. (2005-09-16). "The Market McDonald's Missed: The Muslim Burger". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- "Muslim-themed 'Beurger King' opens in France", USA Today, 8/5/2005.
- (AP) (August 5, 2005). "Muslim-themed 'Beurger King' opens in France". USA Today. Retrieved 31 July 2013.