Nowadays, Indonesian people are familiar to foreign fast food, such as, fried chicken, burger, hot dog, churro, pretzel, fish and chips, etc. In Indonesia itself, there are plenty of fast-food restaurants, ranging from foreign franchise–McDonald, KFC, A&W, Popeye, A-Ha, Wendy’s–to local frenchise–Boloo-Boloo, Cibubur Fried Chicken, Iwan Fals Fried Chicken, and many more. Although there has been an increasing strong opposition to fast-food restaurant, people are still coming to those restaurants in spite of the low nutrition value contained in their menu. People consume fast food for time efficiency. I mean, who wants to wait for ten minutes just to get his or her meal ready to eat? So, practicality is the main reason for people to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner in KFC or Popeyes. After several years of eating in many fast-food restaurants, I finally come up with my top four fast-food restaurants, most of which are foreign frenchise. However, this personal list that I made is organized from my least favorite to my number one favorite. In my humblest opinion, Boloo-Boloo, Popeyes, KFC, and A&W are the top four fast-food restaurant in Indonesia .
Firstly, Boloo-Boloo (Boloo 2x) is my number one choice whenever I do not have much money yet I want to eat something delicious and big in portion. For a start, this restaurant is like a combination of Japanese restaurant and Fried Chicken restaurant. Even so, this place is able to attract many costumers. The costumers are so big that Boloo2x now already has branches in places like Lenteng Agung, Depok, and Pejaten. The main meal served there is actually Japanese food–Karage, Yakiniku, Teriyaki, Chicken Katsu (fried boneless chicken breast), fried shrimp, etc . On the other hand, knowing that many Indonesian like fried chicken, it also sells fried chicken and french fries too. As a result, costumers have two choices of meal. In terms of taste, the food is quite delicious, especially the fried chicken, though it may taste a bit sweet to some people. Nevertheless, the strongest selling point in this place is its cheap meal. Japanese menu only costs approximately Rp20.000,- while the fried chicken costs Rp6.000 per piece. This happens because Boloo2x is an Indonesian franchise. Therefore, the restaurant does not place high price for royalty, original recipe, merchandise, or any other thing. Then, it is not a wonder if many people come and dine there frequently. Additionally, the food quality is also good and comparable to other foreign franchise restaurants.Personally, Boloo2x’s fried chicken is better cooked, inside out, than big names like KFC and A & W.
Secondly, Popeyes is a unique fast-food restaurant because of unique menu and its unique food taste. Entering Indonesia around 2000, this restaurant is still young yet is already able to have a big number of loyal costumers. The main course is fried chicken and french fries. The fried chicken in this place is big, bigger than KFC’s. Not only big, it is also crispy and it has unique taste. According to Popeye’s advertisement, the fried chicken is cooked using Louisiana unique recipe which give flavorful taste, i.e., spicy and sweet. The fried chicken texture is crispy and a bit oily. Besides its fried chicken, the french fries also receives the same special Louisiana seasoning that also gives different taste sensation than KFC’s and A&W’s french fries. If regular french fries in the two restaurants looks and tastes rather ordinary, Popeyes’ is the other way around. The skin texture or the french fries has the look of fried chicken but the taste is not just pure potato. It is also crispier than ordinary french fries, thanks to its Louisiana seasoning. Since this restaurant comes with Louisiana culinary tradition, Popeye also serves its homeland side dish variety such as Fried Calamari, Popcorn Chicken, Popcorn Shrimp, Chicken Sandwich, Cajun Rice, Red Beans Rice, Mashed Potatoes, etc. As to drinks, the standard is soda drink, which are Coca-Cola and Fanta. Besides them, Popeyes also provides costumers with an orange juice. For dessert, now costumers have options such as pudding and ice cream. The food quality in Popeyes is excellent, all meals are well-prepared and well-cooked.
Thirdly, the second best fast-food restaurant is KFC, a rather ordinary fried chicken restaurant but it is still a tasty one. Just like Popeyes, fried chicken is the main course. In terms of size, the breast, wing, and walker piece are big. As to flavor, KFC’s fried chicken is outstandingly delicious. This pleasant taste of its fried chicken is the result of Colonel Sander’s secret recipe makes its fried chicken has just the right amount of spicy and sweet flavor. Still about fried chicken, costumers have three kinds of it; original recipe, crispy type, and black pepper. The original recipe is not crispy but the taste is delicious. The crispy one is as good as the original but it has crunchy sensation when it is chewed. As a new addition to the previous two, KFC has recently introduced the black pepper chicken that tastes spicier than the crispy one. Apart from how they are served, the chicken meat in KFC is well cooked, tender and taste fresh. Along with its fried chicken, KFC also sells other kinds of menu such as Twister (a kind of kebab), burger (chicken), sandwich (chicken or fish), and Yakiniku package. For dessert, nowadays KFC’s costumers may order ice cream cone, pudding, or combination of both. To quench the thirst after eating KFC’s chicken, KFC’s costumers may order software drink, Pepsi, though it is not a popular drink in Indonesia. For something else, they can also have Frestea, hot tea, coffee, Milo, orange juice, or just Aqua. Nevertheless, KFC has a shortcoming the aspect of food quality. The fried chicken served in KFC’s restaurant around Indonesia is not always at the same level of quality. For example, in Kemang branch, the fried chickens are excellently cooked but the chickens in KFC Depok branches are not well-cooked, leaving some parts of the meat black or gray. This one thing is not only my personal opinion but it is also shared by many regular KFC costumers.
For the last part, the best fast food restaurant is A & W as it has four things to offer. First, even though its fried chicken is smaller than Boloo2x’s, Popeyes’ and KFC’s, it is by far the crispiest. As to taste, A & W’s recipe does not give its fried chicken any distinctive flavor–neither spicy nor sweet. Second, just like any other fried-chicken restaurant, A & W has french fries in its menu. But, the french fries have two kinds of shape; regular and curly. These two options give more choices to costumers who may be bored with the ordinary straight cut potatoes served in the above restaurants. If Popeyes is a restaurant with Louisiana culinary tradition then A & W is one with American tradition. A & W provides many choices of American meal for side dish, such as, onion ring, waffle with ice cream, burger (chicken, beef, or fish), and hot dog. For dessert, costumers can order ice cream (cone & sundaes) or waffle (plain or with ice cream dressing). Further, A & W serves the tallest ice cream than the other two restaurants above. The next best thing from this restaurant is its chili sauce which is the spiciest and the hottest among any other fast-food restaurants in Indonesia. KFC’s chili is rather bland whereas Popeyes’ is quite sweet. Boloo2x’s fares better with A & W in this aspect. Above all, the best thing that A & W can offer are its discount card and an annual calendar filled with many discount coupons. Surely, the card and the calendar are not free, costing as much as Rp30.000, but it gives costumers advantage of buying meal at reduced price for all year long. This feature really single out A & W from its tough competitors–KFC and Popeyes, thus become its main strength.
As a conclusion, A & W is the best fast food restaurant in Indonesia because of its crispy chicken, a variety of french fries, unique choices of side dish, chili sauce flavor, and discount cards. In terms of price, the three restaurants are relatively the same. As to costumer service, they also give similar quality of treatment. Still, A & W is still a better restaurant because of its one single advantage that Popeyes and KFC do not have, i.e., discount card and discount coupons. How about you? What is your list of top four favorite fast-food restaurants.