Top Halal Fast Food Chains – It is rather well-known that most Muslims, whether practicing or otherwise, eat halal food or halal meat. The Muslim population in major countries around the world like the UK has been growing considerably. And while the concept of ‘Halal Food’ isn’t unheard of, there has been a rise in the demand for it from fast food companies as they are responsible for feeding millions of people, including Muslims.
So, let us look at what ‘halal’ means in the context of food.
Literal Definition of Halal:
The Arabic word ‘halal’ means ‘permissible’ or ‘something that is allowed’ or ‘lawful.’ The antonym of ‘halal’ is ‘haram’ which therefore translates to ‘unlawful’ or ‘forbidden.’
Shari’ah Definition of Halal:
To make meat halal or permissible, an animal or poultry has to be slaughtered in a ritual way known as Zibah or Zabihah. The Qur`an gives the following underlined injunctions as regards to Halal meat:
- The animal has to be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter since carrion is forbidden. The carotid artery, jugular vein, and the windpipe, all three have to be severed by a single swipe of a sharp knife so that the animal suffers less and dies as quickly as possible.
- Muslims are commanded to commence every deed in the name of Allah and slaughtering animals is no exception. Each animal must be slaughtered by first reciting the name of Allah.
- The flowing blood from the severed neck must be drained out completely from the animal as blood is forbidden.
- Swine flesh is expressly forbidden, in all its forms regardless of whether Allah’s name is recited or the proper method followed or not. This particular animal and all parts of its body are haram for eating, using, selling, etc.
- An animal that has been killed by strangling or a violent blow or a headlong fall is haram.
For meat to be halal:
- Any animal dead prior to slaughter is not halal.
- A Muslim should be the one performing the slaughter.
- All blood must be completely drained out of the carcass.
- New methods of slaughter should be considered un-Islamic and thus haram, unless they conform to all the rules of zabihah mentioned above.
- Halal slaughtering must not be done in the area where pigs are slaughtered, or even in the vicinity.
- The animal must be fed and given water prior to the slaughter.
- The animal must not see other animals being slaughtered.
- The tool used should be razor-sharp.
- If possible, the person doing the deed and the animal should be facing the qibla.
- The animal must not be suffering from ailments and lacerations; it should be healthy.
Is stunning of animals/birds permissible?
According to the Halal Food Authority of the UK, there are only two instances of stunning that are approved, but it always maintains a ‘no stunning to kill’ approach. Halal Food Authority allows controlled electric stun-with-minuscule amperage, with official Veterinary Surgeon validating that the animal or the birds do not die before slaughter. The two approved electric stunning types are:
- Water-bath Stun – for Poultry
- Electric-Tong Stun – for Ovine meat
The prohibited types are Captive Bolt Stunning, Percussion Stunning (allowed by some Ulemas in Africa & Germany for cattle) and Gas Stunning (allowed by Turkish Ulemas for pre-slaughtering of chicken)
It is safe to assume that fast food franchises operating in Muslim countries will serve halal meat. Zabihah.com is the best website out there that lists all fast-food chains, restaurants, and eateries that serve halal food in some capacity.
What Are The Best Halal Fast Food Chains?
All relevant facts provided in this article are compiled with the help of Wikipedia, the official websites of these fast-food brands and the list are based on the information obtained from Zabihah.com, a website that is a reliable source pertaining to places and eateries all over the world where halal food is provided.
Ranking Factor: The top halal fast-food chains are ranked on the basis of the number of halal outlets each provides.
Glocal Halal Chains
All Texas chicken franchises serve halal food throughout the world.
In many Muslim majority countries like Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and in certain Muslim minority ones too like India, McDonald’s has been serving halal fast food. However, it fails to serve halal to customers in US, UK or Canada so far.
You can find halal items in certain Pizza Hut branches in USA, UK, and most Muslim countries.
THE HALAL FAST FOOD CHAINS IN USA
These are some of the popular fast food companies in the US serving halal food. Some of these serve wholly halal food, but there are some whose management decided to procure halal meat for that store’s menu. It does not mean that the entire chain is halal.
↓ 1 – Crown/Kennedy Fried Chicken
Kennedy Fried Chicken and Crown Fried Chicken are common restaurant names primarily in the New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Baltimore areas of the United States, but also in nearby smaller cities or towns along the Northeastern United States. Kennedy Fried Chickens typically compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in the inner city neighborhoods of several states along the East Coast.
Kennedy Fried Chicken was founded on May 16, 1969, with its first restaurant on Nostrand Avenue in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. There is a dispute among the people involved in the business over who is the actual founder. Some claim that it is Abdul Karim while others say Taeb Zia was the early founder. Zia, an Afghan immigrant originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, is known by some as Zia Chicken or “Lau Chicken” and is regarded as the father of Kennedy Fried Chicken. You should also have a look at our earlier post on Top 10 Tea Brands In The World With Price And Specialty.
Most Crown/Kennedy Fried Chicken restaurants serve halal chicken.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 120
↓ 2 – Krispy Krunchy Chicken
Krispy Krunchy Chicken was established in 1989. Krispy Krunchy Chicken specializes in remodeling, re-design, and construction planning.
Islamic Society of the Washington Area has certified selected outlets in this chain as offering one or more halal options or certifies a supplier to this restaurant. Halal franchisees use chickens that are certified by the Islamic Society of the Washington Area, who confirms that ‘all poultry are mechanical slaughter with actual Muslims on-site reciting the tasmiah (bismillah Allahu akbar) during the slaughter process’.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 47
↓ 3 – The Halal Guys
The Halal Guys began as a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York city in 1990 comprising of three members. As the business grew, they recognized a huge demand from Muslim cab drivers looking for a halal food meal. Their specialty is chicken and gyro over rice. About three decades later, their customers and business have grown exponentially. They claim to serve only 100% halal food.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 37
↓ 4 – Paradise Biryani Pointe
Paradise Biryani Pointe specializes in traditional Hyderabad Nawabi food. After building a loyal customer base in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, Paradise Biryani Pointe expanded to serve customers around the United States. All chicken and meat served at Paradise Biryani Pointe are required to be halal.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 36
↓ 5 – Elevation Burger
Elevation Burger is recognized as one of the most innovative burger chains in the country. Elevation Burger is an American fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in organic hamburgers. The company originated in Falls Church, Virginia, within the Washington Metropolitan Area. They have over 50 locations operating in the United States, México, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The meat for non-vegetarian burgers is USDA-certified organic, grass-fed, free-range beef.
Corporate headquarters confirms via Facebook and Twitter that all beef served at Elevation Burger is halal.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 27
HALAL FAST FOOD OPTIONS IN UK
↓ 1 – Pizza Express
Pizza Express is a Chinese-owned restaurant group with over 470 restaurants across the United Kingdom and 100 overseas in Europe, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore, and the Middle East. It was founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot. PizzaExpress specializes in handmade pizza. PizzaExpress introduced the lighter pizza Leggera, the first pizza range on the high street that contains around 500 calories. We also recommend that you check out these Best Toothpaste Brands in the World.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 266
↓ 2 – Subway
Subway is an American privately held restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. At the end of 2010, Subway became the largest fast-food chain worldwide, with 33,749 restaurants – 1,012 more than McDonald’s. Subway is one of the fastest-growing franchises in the world and, as of June 2017, had approximately 42,000 stores located in more than 100 countries. More than half of the stores are located in the United States. It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain, and the largest restaurant operator, in the world.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 122
↓ 3 – KFC
KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is an American fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, it is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain after McDonald’s, with almost 20,000 locations globally in 123 countries and territories. KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky during the Great Depression.
KFC’s original product is pressure fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders’ recipe of 11 herbs and spices. The constituents of the recipe represent a notable trade secret. Larger portions of fried chicken are served in a cardboard “bucket”, which has become a well-known feature of the chain since it was first introduced by franchisee Pete Harman in 1957.
Some KFC outlets are managed and/or owned by Muslims, who can provide halal chicken dishes upon request.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 78
↓ 4 – Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) is a restaurant chain in the United Kingdom specializing in gourmet burgers. The company was started in London by New Zealanders Adam Wills, Greg Driscoll, and Brandon Allen, in 2001. Chef Peter Gordon, a New Zealand-born, London-based chef, oversaw the menu development and the first restaurant opened in 2001, bringing the concept of ‘gourmet burgers’ to London. GBK is known for its “large” burgers, fresh produce and casual service style. The initial success of the Battersea restaurant led to further openings across London.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 51
↓ 5 – Chopstix Noodle Bar
This fast-food chain is focused on delivering fresh, nutritious, and tasty Pan Asian meals made from the best ingredients, including Halal certified chicken. Their innovative fusion recipes provide a tastier quick service, value for money option for their customers. Chopstix Chefs cook all meals in-store to make sure each dish is served as fresh as it possibly can be and you can find them in over 80 locations throughout the UK.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 47
↓ 1 – Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Popeyes is an American multinational chain of fried chicken fast food restaurants founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana and headquartered in Miami, Florida. Since 2008, its full brand name is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., and it was formerly named Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits. It is currently a subsidiary of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International.
According to a company press release dated June 29, 2007, Popeyes is the second-largest “quick-service chicken restaurant group, measured by the number of units,” after KFC.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 61
↓ 2 – Villa Madina
Villa Madina began serving fresh Mediterranean food in Canada in 2004. Villa Madina uses traditional food-making and home-made recipes and ensures that the food is prepared in front of the customers. All their food is halal-certified by the Halal Advisory Group. Aside from halal meat, they also offer vegetarian dishes. Their menu included shawarma, falafel, Mediterranean salads, and sandwiches.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 44
↓ 3 – South St. Burger
South St. Burger is a purely Canadian fast-food franchise that claims to use 100% Angus beef free from additives, hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics. Their food is freshly made on an open flame to give it grill flavor, and they have a large number of toppings to go with the burgers.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 38
↓ 4 – Mary Brown’s Chicken and Taters
Mary Brown’s is another Canadian quick-service restaurant with approximately 155 chains in the country. The business was started by its namesake in 1969 when she decided to bring her Southern Fried Chicken to the masses with the help of her husband. Their motto is ‘made fresh from scratch.’ Today, Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters is Canada’s fastest-growing franchise.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 33
↓ 5 – Hero Certified Burgers
The owner of Hero Certified Burgers, John F. Lettieri, originally a cheese-maker, was dissatisfied with the lack of real-cheese in hamburgers available outside high-end restaurants and eateries. It was this quest of his that led him to start Hero Certified Burgers in 2004. Their burgers are made from 100% sustainable Angus beef with real cheese inside. Their beef supplier is approved for halal food production.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 29
↓ 1 – Hot Star Chicken
Hot Star Chicken is actually a Taiwanese fast food brand that is considered the most famous snack from Shih Lin Night Market in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. It has expanded to Australia and is now famous there too. They use 100% chicken breast which they claim to be free of any processing, preservatives, and additives and is always cooked fresh on order. Their specialty is larger than palm-sized crispy chicken.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 18
↓ 2 – Burger Edge
Burger Edge is an Australian owned and operated fast-food restaurant. Their burgers are made from premium grade grass-fed beef and other ingredients such as fresh Avocado, Short Rindless Bacon, Sourdough Bread, Free Range Eggs, and special recipe Aioli, all cooked fresh in an open kitchen, and in front of the customer. They claim to use ‘only halal beef and chicken’ and otherwise don’t work in a ‘halal environment’ as they use bacon in their burgers too.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 15
↓ 3 – Gami Chicken and Beer
Founded in 2006 in Carnegie, Gami Chicken and Beer serves Korean chicken, the word ‘gami’ meaning ‘beautiful taste’ in Korean. The chain is RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) approved.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 15
↓ 4 – McDonald’s
McDonald’s is an American fast-food company started by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940 in California. It is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue working in over 100 countries around the world.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 13
↓ 5 – LeWrap
LeWrap was founded by Kaan Celik and his family in Parramatta Westfield in May 2005. Their aim is to provide freshly made and healthy wraps made from fresh chicken and beef that is neither frozen nor thawed. The food provided by their outlets is halal.
Number of Outlets Serving Halal Food: 13