Steers was the first foreign invasion (South African) fast food joint to make its way to Uganda and even way back then, the investment in excess of $300,000
(approximately Shs 900m) was considered hefty.
I remember their much acclaimed super rave burgers that used to cost a trifling Shs 2,400 while the meal combos ranged between Shs4,800 and under Shs6,000. Naturally, they also had pizza that were similarly priced as well as other favourites.
The past offerings
Judging by those prices, I believe we are looking at the turn of the century circa late 1999, and shortly after the successful opening of Steers came the advent of Nandos; something that led many of us to think that there would be a deluge of other similar joints such as Burger King, and McDonalds.
Today, Steers and Nandos are both history and in terms of international fast food establishments, I can only think of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut.
While Nandos had everything going in terms of location and patronage, somehow they failed to live up to the international standard of the franchisor leaving them no alternative but to bar them from operating.
By the time Nandos closed shop it was a glimmer of the original pristine international casual dining restaurant chain founded in South Africa in the late 1980s boasting more than 1,000 outlets in 35 countries. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good and with the opening of The Food Hub (a Ugandan owned entity) and set up to the exacting standard of any Nandos or Steers franchise owner if not even better!
The variety menu
The Food Hub is a food court that serves the most delectable, well cooked and delicious food. The menu is geared to appeal to customers who feel comfortable buying the Mr 1 Piece chicken, regular chips and soda for shs 8,000. Fancy something more upscale then the Mr 4 Piece chicken, 2 regular chips and 2 sodas is just what the doctor ordered. Or perhaps a half or even a whole chicken and why not? Best of all the chicken is done either deep fried or flame grilled, depending on your preference.
Likewise, a burger with some trimmings and slaw as well as chips and a soda go for Shs 19,500. And then there is the ‘New Double Double Offer of 2 Prince burgers for Shs22,000 with two chips and two sodas. Pizza also come in a wide range and are favourably priced.
Last but not least is the ice cream & juice bar. Here there is a vast array of smoothies, ice cream as well as slices of cake and muffins, doughnuts, samosas (Shs 3,000) chicken or beef pies as well as fruit juices at Shs 6,000.
The Food Hub is the desired place where informality reigns and you can comfortably sit and be served without the formality of plates and a limited offering of disposable flatware.
It is an untold blessing to comfortably be served in an air-conditioned environment with service that is unrelentingly efficient and to the point.
If you go…
The place: The Food Hub
Rating: Not to be missed
Address: Cargen House, 13A Parliament Avenue
Concept: Designed for those on the go who wish to grab a decent bite in an informal setting without compromising quality. The end result are a superlative range of very affordable popular food items such as pizza, chicken, burgers, ice cream, waffles, frozen yogurt, pastries and so much more.
Recommended item: The grilled chicken was amazing and the pizzas rich with toppings and cheese and incredibly tasty.
The space: Spacious and beautifully done up. You would be forgiven for thinking that you were in New York. Plus, there is the added advantage of having central air-conditioning. Highly informal and immaculately clean and tidy.
Ambience: Refined and absolutely chic.