Dress it up how you like - it's just headline-grabbing

We've been enjoying the recent coverage of Lady Gaga, the pop star who is never shy in coming forward, in her slip-like meat 'dress'. The original outfit first appeared in this month's 'Hommes Vogue' magazine for Japan', and in fact to call it a 'dress' would have been pushing things. It looked more like a series of thin fillet and prosciutto cuts draped across her body. But we liked it and, wearing the outfit for the recent MTV awards in Los Angeles, Lady Gaga had the photographers crawling all over her.

That's why 'I wish I'd thought of it', is what some people might be thinking when looking at the outfit. And probably the same line will occur to a few restaurant entrepreneurs over the coming 18 months. The fast food sector is packed to the gunnels, but the arrival of Al-Farooj to these shores promises something different in the form of its fast-casual halal.

Major chains like Domino's and KFC have found it's not as easy as just moving a few dishes over to halal there were protests at KFC's Burnley branch. But Al-Farooj doesn't have to appeal to very different markets in the way that the mainstream restaurant brands do. The trouble KFC had was that by pleasing one set of consumers those who eat halal it was upsetting the other.

One diner in Burton-on-Trent was told he couldn't have bacon in his 'Big Daddy' burger because they were in the middle of a halal trial - and the Daily Mail had a field day reporting it.

Of course, you could argue that Al-Farooj is taking a risk as with any new business venture. But the recent estimate of the worth of the UK halal food market $31.5bn, and the response we have to any halal-based web story that we put up frequently the most-read with a vast number of comments suggests Al-Farooj owners Al-Islami could be on safe ground. And while many a marketer will emulate the Lady Gaga meat garment look, you can be sure Al-Islami won't be pulling that particular trick.

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