Halal burgers huge success in France
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French fast food chain Quick it to triple the number of outlets serving halal burgers after the success of the first eight, opened in November 2009. The earlier decision aroused oppositon from right-wing pressure groups charging that it discriminated against non-Muslims.
On Tuesday, Quick announced its decision to raise the number of fast food restaurants that offer food prepared according to Muslim rites to 22.
The company says that sales doubled in the first eight restaurants, opened in Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Roubaix and in the Paris region, all areas with high Muslim populations and that it increased its staff by 25 per cent on avarage.
Quick has 358 outlets throughout France - compared to 1,150 McDonalds - and operates seven otehr countries, including Russia and Algeria.
While all burgers made in the restaurants are halal, customers can buy non-halal ones which have been made outside and reheated. Beer will also be sold on the premises.
Quick insists that the decision is purely commercial but it has aroused criticism.
France’s Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire has said ethnic marketing does not conform to French values. The Socialist Mayor of Roubaix briefly considered lodging a complaint against Quick for discriminating against non-Muslims.
A group calling itself L'Ordre Républicain (Republican Order) tried three times to persuade the courts to end the experiment, alleging discrimination against non-Muslims, while the Bloc identitaire - right-wing fringe group wich also tried to organise anti-Islamic street parties earlier this year - broke into some of the restaurants wearing pig masks.
The fast food chain denies it is discriminating against non-Muslims. Managers say they are opening their restaurants to Muslims and allowing them to eat exactly the same food as other religious groups.
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