McDonald's opening vegetarian outlet

Western Investor
September 26, 2012

McDonald's may be known around the world for its Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets, but we all know that it's not above shaking up its menu for different regions. For example, diners in Asia can feast on teriyaki and bulgogi burgers, while Canada is privy to McPoutine. Now the franchise is planning to try something radical at an upcoming location in India: its first-ever fully vegetarian outlet.

While going fully vegetarian is a big departure for McDonald's, it makes perfect sense in the context of its surroundings. Hinduism - which accounts for the religious majority in India, with 80 per cent of the population practising - views cows as sacred beings and forbids the consumption of beef. Islam, meanwhile, represents the second-largest religious group in India and forbids its followers to eat pork.

In other words, neither Quarter Pounders nor McRibs are going to go over very well in the Indian market.

McDonald's locations in India already offer many more vegetarian options than their global counterparts, like the potato-based McAloo Tikki burger, and a sandwich selection.

A spokesman for McDonald's in Northern India, Rajesh Kumar Maini, told an international news agency, "There is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants. At the moment, India is still a very small market. [McDonald's] has 271 restaurants in India, but nearly 33,000 across the world."

McDonald's is reportedly planning to launch its first new vegetarian outpost in Northern India in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar.

– Compiled by Kevan O'Brien

from Western Investor October 2012

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