McDonald's plans outlets, menu refresh

McDonald's plans outlets, menu refresh

 American burger and fast food legend McDonald’s has envisaged a major expansion drive in India, with plans to double its outlets in the South and West regions, besides a bid to refresh its menu.

There are 216 McDonald’s restaurants across 26 cities in the West and South of India, operated by master franchisee Hardcastle Restaurants, which is owned by Westlife Development.

“Around 175-200 outlets would be added in the said regions over the next five years, taking the total count to around 400-450 outlets. While around 60 per cent of the outlets would come up in the existing markets, for the remaining 40 per cent, we are eyeing new markets,” Hardcastle Restaurants Director (Business Operations — South) Gerald Dias told Deccan Herald, adding that the McCafe base would also be doubled from the current 60, to 120 cafes, by March next year.

For new outlets, the company is investing around Rs 700 crore from internal accruals, which will also include among other things, a menu refresh.

Burger blast

McDonald’s aims to establish a strong leadership in the burger niche in India, with more varieties of the bun-and-patty favourite being added to its menu, in the years to come.

As part of its 20th anniversary in India this year, the company revamped the iconic Big Mac, known here as the ‘Maharaja Mac’. “The new Maharaja Mac contains a flame-grilled chicken patty, for that lovely smoked flavour. We’ve also added new ingredients such as jalapenos and habanero, besides newer dressings and flavours. For the first time, we’ve also introduced a vegetarian Maharaja Mac, with a cheese and corn patty,” Dias said.

As is McDonald’s global strategy, even in India, the menu is tweaked to be favoured by local patrons. Hence, around 50 per cent of the company’s offerings in the country are vegetarian. Interestingly, India is one of the few markets where McDonald’s serves a vegetarian menu.

“It takes around 18 months for a new product to be rolled out. Our menu strategy is to give a modern and customised experience to our fans and customers. In the coming months, we will continue to change and add new burgers, sides, and even desserts to our ever-evolving menu,” Diaz said.

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