South-Westerns' Economic News Summaries
Now French Muslims can have it their way too
Subject New fast-food restaurant caters to Muslims
Topic Monopolistic Competition
Key Words

fast-food, halal, France, Muslim

News Story

Beurger King, a new fast-food restaurant in Paris, caters to the Muslim population there. In fact, the name is a play on the term "Beur," indicating a second generation North African in France. The food is standard fast-food; burgers, doughnut, and such, but all of the meat is halal - prepared according to Islamic dietary laws. Halal is the Arabic word for "lawful," and halal food comes from animals that have been slaughtered according to a specific procedure, just as Kosher food must be prepared in a particular manners overseen by Rabbis. "The procedure is as follows: the animal must be slaughtered by a Muslim (or a Jew or Christian). The animal should be put down on the ground (or held it if it is small) and its throat should be slit with a very sharp knife to make sure that the 3 main blood vessels are cut. While cutting the throat of the animal (without severing it), the person must pronounce the name of Allah or recite a blessing which contains the name of Allah, such as 'Bismillah Allah-u-Akbar'."

While non-Muslims are certainly welcome at the restaurants, this has become an instant favorite among the local population; France is home to the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. Workers wear head scarves, so customers don't have to feel out of place wearing their own into the restaurant.

The business plan indicated that the meat would be halal and would be inspected twice daily. There was no indication that the restaurant would be as successful as it was.

There is no relationship between this restaurant and North America's Burger King, which has no restaurants in France. Burger King had no comment when asked if it had plans to expand into France.

Questions
1.

Given the halal preparation, would you expect demand for this product to be elastic or inelastic? Why?

2. Do you think that this concept gives the restaurant owners more or less control over price compared to other fast-food restaurants? Why?
3. As a result of the success of this restaurant, what would you expect to happen to other fast-food restaurants in Paris? Why?
Source "New Beurger King caters to France's Muslim fast food consumers." The Associated Press. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 7 August 2005.

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