American fast-food giant McDonald’s is betting big on spiritual Indians and plans to open a pure vegetarian outlet at the foothills of the Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra in Jammu & Kashmir and near the Golden Temple in Amritsar to tap the over 1 million pilgrims that visit these shrines each year.
Given that there are no organised restaurants to serve these pilgrims, McDonald’s seems to have got its strategy bang-on this time.
Given the pressure on margins and as more vegetarians join the restaurant-going classes, it is clear that the sure route to success in the food business in India is to aim for the vegetarians. And unlike the West, there is no call for Big Macs or Chicken McNuggets in this market.
The quick-service restaurant, which has 33,000 outlets across 119 countries, has developed the popular McAloo Tikki burger for its Indian consumers that accounts for 25% of the company’s total sales in India. And it plans more vegetarian items in its menu, The Economic Times reported today.
McDonald’s opened its first outlet in Jammu and Kashmir in August at posh Residency Road in Jammu, which will enable it to create the necessary supply chain in the region.
Meanwhile, faced with a slump in demand and flat sales globally, McDonald’s India plans to open up to 50 outlets per year to cross the 250-outlet mark in West and South India in the next three years.
It has begun introducing special promotions, discounts, value offers, and even cut back prices to revive flagging sales. ” “At this time, we have reduced prices… as we are ready to take a hit on our margins to give them compelling and exciting reasons to continue to come to McDonald’s,” Vikram Bakshi, managing director and joint venture partner, McDonald’s India, north and east was quoted as saying in Mint last month.