Lawn suits? Yes surely but they have been there for some time now. I am talking about something more recent… something that has seen a huge progress in the past 5 years or so. Something that keeps popping up on all of our social media pages and clouds are notification bars! Hint? Think food!

Yes the restaurant, cafés, dhaba, take-aways, chai wala phenomenon has witnessed a tremendous growth in the city of Karachi. Where once upon a time restaurants were meant to be a place for formal business lunches and weekend family dinners now they seem to have become something to compete about on the social media. It all started with a few harmless social media posts, grew onto pictures of the delicacies moving onto check-ins and now there seem to be various groups on Facebook and other social media dedicated to discussing the dining experiences people had.

It gets kind of annoying when my phone keeps beeping with notifications on my friends posting on one of these groups but then again I tend to click on these notifications and drool over those savoury, delectable, heavenly goodies! Don’t blame me! I am currently living in a country where halal food options are quite limited and you either just watch others eat or give in and eat out at one of the Indian restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Indian food! It’s just that at times you get sick of eating those orange coloured barbeque items…not sure why they add so much food colour!

Right so we were talking about the local eateries in Karachi…my independent research suggests that normally people tend to spend Rs 1,000 on fining dining, Rs 300 for an indulging dessert experience, Rs 500-700 on burgers that were once upon a time available at small stalls and bun kebab houses for Rs 20-80 and not to forget Rs 1,000-1,500 at a café which provides an “IN” crowd experience. Some might agree that the food and brand name were well worth the money spent, plus you get to hang out at these fancy places with your friends and oh oh not to forget…the amazing photos, check-ins and social media status that gets you a 100+ likes! Well surely so many likes are well worth the money!

I am guilty of the check-ins and photos of any good and presentable food that I come across but mostly they are aimed at my family and friends living in Pakistan. I think it makes them feel a little better to know that I have finally found a few good halal place and saves me from the regular pity of not being able to have access to such extravagant food options that Karachi offers.

Also I guess posting on Facebook groups with the intention of making other people aware of the kind of experience you had at a certain eatery is a good idea. But then again we need to be aware that some members of these group may not have so much money to spend on these luxuries and may feel left out from the “cool” crowd!

With the people wanting to experience new food places every other weekend, food industry seems to have become the most thriving and easy money making business in Karachi. From little jars containing dessert sauces to curly fries to grilled burgers, people seem to be exploring every avenue of the food business. And of course fancy names and pretty packaging don’t come in cheap! But this industry is growing so rapidly that gone are the days when pricing and quality were the only things that mattered; today it’s more about how long before people get bored of it and start looking for a change!

However one thing is for sure, the restaurant exploring trend is here to stay and anyone hoping that they’d be able to stay satisfied with the chaat masala fries on the street corner and anday walay burger is kidding themselves. Let’s see how long before you get tempted into trying out one of the more popular and most talked about food places!