MNCs don't do things in halves. It's never just "veni, vidi, vici" for them. It's vici, more vici, and still more vici. So where Pizza Hut
swept, is it any surprise that KFC followed?The Scene
Ranigunj has long presented a study in contrasts. Boring steel-and-equipment traders at one end, with-it-stores at the other. That's M G Road for you. Somewhere in the middle stood the staid old Ramgopalpet Police Station. It still stands, but some of the staidness must surely slough off, for KFC has raised the general tone of the neighborhood a few degrees.
It's not just the gleaming building. It's the clientele this place is bound to attract. Certainly there'll be a few of the convenience-eaters, the type who want it quick, and are willing to switch from the Paradise
-style chicken to a slightly more foreign taste. But it's a lot more likely there'll be a lot of the with-it-crowd, hanging out. Where else can you hang-out in Secunderabad without getting chivvied by the waiters, and getting to relax in air-conditioned-cool, looking down on the world going by? Okay, okay, there are others, but few if any will match the marketing-finesse of these outlets.
These guys certainly know how to set price points. The menu, pasted above the counter in the by-now-familiar-even-to-Hyderabadis style, lists specials that are hard to resist at any budget. From combo meals for singles to family packs, they're all there.
Adding to the allure is the cleanliness. It's a welcome change from the relative insouciance with which so many restaurants tackle questions of hygiene. It's certainly spanking clean.
Walk in off the pavement and you're confronted by the menu. And a long queue, since this is self-service. Get in line for your food, pick it up on a tray, and march off upstairs if you want to dawdle a bit.The Food
The Colonel's famous secret recipe and time-tested slogan ? "finger lickin' good" ? are the stuff of legend. Over a billion chicken dinners sold every year
certainly makes for tears in Mother Hen's eyes, but it means a lot of fingers licked.
The fried chicken is the same in Hyderabad as it is the world over. Looks funny, but if you like it, you like it. It's certainly different from the chicken preparations locals are used to, but don't knock it till you try it.
Vegetarians can take heart. Marketing savvy has ensured that this large market segment is not cut out. There are all types of options ? from rice-and-curry "thalis" to hot fudge, all of which are 100% vegetarian ? even egg-free. And yes, care has been taken to segregate cooking-lines, storage-lines etc.
The food is a gourmet experience for kids, if their expressions and demands and chomping jaws are anything to go by. And usually, a gourmand experience for adults, as Indian waistlines continue to surge under the fast-food-attack. Burgers, fries, drinks, desserts ? all pack the usual punch. Taste matches calories, bite for bite. This is probably not something you want to do on a daily basis. If you can resists the lures, you've a stronger resolve than all those billions.
Extending the Pizza Hut offerings, KFC also does birthday parties if you want your little ones to tear out someone else's hair on those boisterous evenings.
And no, they don't serve Coke.The Verdict
Clean, well priced, tasty, quick and convenient. A sure winner. The only drawback is the abysmal parking.