In France this year, with sunset coming well after 9 PM, one leading fast food chain is seeking Muslim business by keeping its doors open an extra two hours.
Since 1 August, halal branches of Quick restaurants, France’s leading fastfood chain, have extended their business hours from 10 PM until midnight to accommodate their Muslim customers who have to wait until after sunset to eat.
This is a first for Quick, which had not adjusted its business hours in previous years.
However, despite this accommodation, the crowds of Muslim customers have yet to pour in. Most Muslims in France seem to prefer eating at home in Ramadan.
Nevertheless, the gesture has been appreciated.
One Muslim couple, who love Quick’s halal burger, say they welcome the initiative: “We do not have children and we work late. It is very convenient for us. But, especially at the beginning of Ramadan, Muslims like to be at home, with family.” the young husband said.
Quick’s management say they expected this low response at first. They predict increased late-night volume after the 15th of the month.
The assistant manager of Quick’s Nogent says he “expects big sales from August 15,” which is also the middle of Ramadan.
At the entrance, only one placard indicates the times changed, without mentioning the reasons. The manager of the franchise, Hervé Peretti admits, however, that this new schedule is mainly due to the Muslim holiday, since 60% of the branch’s customers are Muslims.
Quick halal branches in the Paris area have adopted the same policy, including the restaurants in Chelles (Seine-et-Marne), Fleury (Essonne), Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis), Argenteuil and Garges-les-Gonesse ( Val-d’Oise).
In the provinces, only the Kingersheim (Haut-Rhin) branch has changed its hours, and only at the drive-thru counter.
“This is a logical consequence of the policy to serve halal food,” admits the National Director of Quick, who makes it clear that the extended hours are not a national policy.
Quick’s branching out into halal restaurants dates back to November 2009. The chain began by testing halal burgers in eight restaurants. At the end of the successful experiment in June 2010, the selected branches experienced “an average increase in sales of around 100%”. With these results, Quick decided to make 14 more branches halal (out of a total of 375 branches in France).